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NZ’s Strongest Man to attempt World Record

NZ’s Strongest Man to attempt World Record in Kawakawa

For Immediate Release 08.05.2009

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Mitre 10 Mega’s “Big is Good” man Levi Vaoga will attempt a World Record solo pull of the 1927 steam engine “Gabriel” at the 2009 Puff & Pull Carnival in Kawakawa on Sunday 17th May. The attempt will follow community team competitions to pull the vintage engine along the tracks from outside the historic Star Hotel along the main street to the world-famous Hundertwasser Toilets.

The day is packed with excitement and community spirit to raise money for the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust, which is working to restore the 13km Kawakawa to Opua railway, the first ever railway line in the North Island, which includes 12 bridges and an 80m long tunnel.

The fully restored, vintage steam engine “Gabriel”was one of 5 built in 1927 and is the only one of her class left in the world. The Kawakawa Railway Station is registered by the Rail Heritage Trust, and the restoration of the railway is strongly supported by NZ Historic Places Trust. The railway is unique in that a section of it runs through Kawakawa down the middle of a road that is also part of State Highway 1.

The day’s events begin at 8.30am with “Trek the Track,” a sponsored 4.7km walk involving 350 local schoolchildren, organised by Sport Northland, along a disused section of railway track between Moerewa and Kawakawa.

Then, at 10am, school teams will compete to pull “Gabriel” along the length of Kawakawa’s main street to win the ‘Getting up Stream” trophy, followed by the contest for the “Gabriel Trophy” involving adult teams from local Bay of Islands businesses and clubs. These competitions are a core component of the day and are hugely entertaining for both contestants and supporters.

Levi, New Zealand’s strongest man and formerly 4th strongest man in the World, will then make a Guinness World Record attempt for a solo pull of the vintage steam engine.

To top off the day, the crowd is led by a Highland Pipe Band to Johnson Park where the carnival continues with activities, stalls, dance and music performances.


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