You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
He had another goal in mind at the national championships in Cromwell yesterday.
That was to spit further than the 14.25m New Zealand record set in 2018 by three-time champion Aaron Collins, of Dunedin.
It was not to be.
His nearest rival was Duncan Faulkner, of Cromwell, with a spit of 12.7m.
Competitors load with three stones having first eaten the cherries, and for Mr Smith that meant spitting multiple rounds.
"I was keen to take Aaron’s record but maybe next year."
"I had a bit more practice this year, especially now my hidden talent is known."
About 200 people gathered yesterday outside Forage Cafe and Information Centre, part of The Gate complex, to watch the action.
There were four groups - 6 and under, junior male and female (under-16), and the men’s and women’s competitions - and the format was pared back on previous years due to Covid-19 requirements including vaccination passports.
"She’s eaten 14 bags of cherries in the past two days," one man said of his daughter.
A woman said the starting block from where competitors launched pits on to the 20m-long competition mat was daunting.
"It’s quite intimidating and lonely up there."
Cromwell Promotions Group marketing and communications manager Marion Low said the scaled-back event was a reality in the Covid-19 environment, meaning all that was left of the annual Cromwell Cherry Festival this year was its centrepiece event.
It was the partnership with The Gate and holding the event there, rather than at its usual home on the McNulty House lawn in the town’s historic precinct, that had allowed the event to go ahead, she said.
The event had been running in Cromwell since 2006, but the national championship had been around longer than that.