Johno Smith and Zane Wedding have positioned themselves at the sharp end of the Single Line Work Positioning debate.
The effect of their individual SLWP 'protests' at the 2012 NZ TCC last weekend is now rippling around the (social media) tree climbing world - their actions are bound to become part of kiwi tree climbing folklore.
Regardless whether Johno and Zane were right or wrong in doing what they did, one has to admire a man who is prepared to stand up for what he believes in.
Zane chose his protest in a classic form of rebellion, out there, loud and in ya face - see previous blog post here.
The ironic thing is Zane has won 'spirit of the competition', years in a row now, for similar behaviour at tree climbing events - this time around, Zane's somewhat unique style made a very clear statement to the 'TCC establishment' so, to be expected, no prizes were awarded.
The more reserved Johno chose a different route to express his unhappiness with the ITCC ruling on SLWP.
After winning the third place 'Masters' position climbing DbRT in the preliminaries Johno eventually declined to display his advanced tree climbing skills (since the Unicender on a single line was dis-allowed).
One can only imagine, this would not have been a light decision on Johno's behalf. (This was Johno's first ever Masters placing).
Some say Johno's actions were questionable, in that, the next in line could have had a chance to compete in the Masters if Johno had made his decision (not to compete) known earlier to the event organisers.
One, there is more to this story than can be disclosed here and two, as it happens, the next-in-line would have also declined to climb.
Treetools spoke with the next-in-line 'Master' Central Districts tree climber Peter Boyle and he was adamant, climbing in the Masters was not an option once Johno deferred.
According to Peter, Johno won his Master's position fair and square and, as such, it was his to do with whatever he felt right.
Peter would not have climbed in Johno's place, come hell or high water!
So… here we have a bunch of young men ready to forfeit their tree climbing dreams on a matter of principle.
It's hard not to admire such passion! (Whatever your view on the SLWP/Unicender protest).
Johno Smith contemplating his next move in the 2012 NZ TCC, Druids Hill, Wellington Botanic Gardens, Sunday 28 October.