The first tree competition for the year - the Taranaki Open - is on this weekend (Saturday February 4) in Stratford and the weatherman tells us the sun will be shining!
As of yesterday over 20 climbers had registered interest in competing in the Taranaki Open according to event co-organizer Nicky Ward-Allen. Registered climbers is an amazing feat in itself - kiwi tree climbers are notorious for their tardiness when is comes to registering for events.
Competitors include plenty of locals, as well as Kiah Martin all the way from Australia and climbers from as far away as Auckland and Wellington.
Perhaps the early entry numbers are a reflection of the big prize pool.
Ever generous local arborist Brendon Bellamy from Tricky Tree Specialists has returned this year with even more in cash prize money and Treetools will donate a 30m hank of Samson Vortex 1/2 inch climbing line and other bits and pieces for distribution at the organizers discretion.
DB Tree has kindly supplied the splice on the Samson Vortex free-of-charge and also donated a DB Tree Crackajack SRT rope bag to the prize pool.
Competitors in the Taranaki Open also qualify for points in the NZ Arbor Top 20 climber rankings system.
Another attraction for the Taranaki event is the planned mountain climb on Sunday.