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Mounted on a two and a half horse power torpedo motor cycle, and travelling at a fairly uniform rate, Mr E. R. Godward (says the Southland Times) rode 41 times around the quarter-mile track at the Caledonian grounds at Invercargill on Monday afternoon. The occasion was the testing of an invention framed by Mr Godward whereby the consumption of petrol is diminished to a very surprising degree.
The results obtained at previous tests had been made known, and their nature aroused curiosity in many cases and incredulity in others. The test was carried out under the strictest scrutiny. The nature of the apparatus by which the saving is effected has not been disclosed, as Mr Godward maintains that it is as yet only in the experimental stage. From external appearances the engine is practically unaltered. The petrol and oil tank is slightly larger than the average tank, and a pipe whereby hot air is drawn off the cylinder into the tank is the main alteration in the mechanism.
There was a fairly sharp breeze blowing when the test was made, and the rider ran an extra lap in order to satisfy critics that he had covered the required distance. He did a full 10 miles, at an average speed of about 22 miles an hour, and it was found that 3 1/2oz of petrol had been used, equivalent to a run of 457 miles per gallon. A test with kerosene over a five-mile run at an average speed of 26 miles an hour worked out at 3oz, or equivalent to 266 miles per gallon. After the latter test the ignition plug was removed, and it was found to be quite free of carbon deposits, a fact which will be noted with surprise by many motorists.
• Anglers who paid a visit to the mouth of the Ashburton River during last weekend were not very successful with trout fishing (says the Lyttelton Times), but some fine catches of groper were made, fish weighing up to 50lb being landed. Sharks were also numerous, and one seven feet long was landed. Mr R. Ferris landed a trout weighing 15lb.
• The visit of the godwit to the waters of the Invercargill estuary was later this season than usual (says the Southland News) and a well-known sportsman states that the birds are not so numerous as in former years, though he and a companion on New Year's Day bagged 87. They were not in the best condition, but made a palatable dish. In his opinion the opening of the season for shooting godwit should be delayed for a month.
• The Dunstan Times states that motor cars were much in evidence at the Vincent Jockey Club races last week, no fewer than 17 of these machines being on the ground on one occasion. The main road between Omakau and the course, on which a number of these machines were plying for hire, was soon a sea of dust, which was showered in every direction by the passing cars, greatly to the discomfort and annoyance of other users of the road. - ODT, 10.1.1913.