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On January 4 the Cromwell Cherry Festival celebrates this delectable summerfruit and a feature is the annual New Zealand Cherry Stone Spitting Championship.
Being held from 11am to 3pm at the Cromwell mall, you can come and see how the Australian cherry-spitting champion performs. Or better still, why not enter for a chance to represent New Zealand in the Australasian Man jim up Cherry Harmony Festival in Perth in mid-December 2012? To claim the main prize, the winner must have acurrent passport and be willing to represent New Zealand at the Australasian championships.
The Cromwell championship is open to all and people are encouraged to enter either as an individual or in teams. Competitors pay $2 for three cherries and spit the stones on a 2m-wide "track".
Participants can compete in four categories: male, female, junior male (16 years) and junior female (16 years) and everyone will be eligible to win themain prize.
Last year's winner, Roland Schieder, recorded a distance of11.61m and the women's winner spat the stone 6.92m. The junior female winner, Laurel Williamsrecorded 6.38 and first junior male recorded 5.97m.
The family festival day features a variety of events to entertain and amuse. These include the Cherry Pie Baking Competition; Count the Cherries in the Jar; Children's Colouring Competition; Cherry Pie Eating Competition and Cherry Ping-Pong Ball Race in the mall stream.
There are some basic rules to follow for competitors in the cherry-spitting championships.
- You may enter as many times as you wish during the day. You shall eat the flesh and lineup at the "spitting track".
- Competitors spit three single stones and the best effortof the three will be recorded with a marker placed on the track.
- The winner will be the competitor who spits their cherrystone the greatest distance and is available to travel to Perth. A person who is unable to travel and has the greatest distance will not be judged the winner but will win the category prize.
- All competitors shall allow their name/photograph to beused for promotional purposes.