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When Waitaki Tourism Association board chairman James Glucksman released the first potatoes in the inaugural Great North Otago Tato Roll Off, he laughed.
"They didn’t really go as far as I was hoping," he said, smiling.
The first potatoes to roll on Saturday only made it several metres down the hill on Wansbeck St on the plastic track created from Tees St.
And yet, the organisers improvised, and the celebration of North Otago’s favourite starchy tuber was a success, so there would "definitely" be another roll off next year.
"It achieved what we were hoping to achieve — a light-hearted romp, fun for the whole family," Mr Glucksman said.
"Like a potato it will grow and prosper."
Association board member and co-organiser Ole Wallis said next year the top section of Tyne St might be better suited.
The event had been moved down from Wharfe St, where the Wansbeck St hill was steeper, for a few logistical reasons, including the desire not to close off as much of Wansbeck St as first planned.
Mr Wallis was pleased with the number of registrations, especially the number of corporate entries: 74 Oamaru businesses paid the $10 entry fee. Winner Oamaru Vets gave its $500 prize to Oamaru Foodbank.
In the under-12 roll off, 45 registered, 21 entered in the public race, and 28 brought their own spuds.The potatoes will be handed over to the Waitaki Community Gardens community garden co-ordinator Sophia Leon de la Barra, to distribute to area schools for pupils to use to grow their own potato firstname.lastname@example.org