Marlborough Pruners Win Title
Congratulations to Rachel, Rakakao and Sam from the Team at Pegasus Rental Cars Marlborough
The Marlborough team that won the national Silver Secateurs title in Auckland at the weekend say they are looking forward to returning as defending champions next year.
Marlborough pruners Rachel Pihema, Sam Clay and Rakakao Smiler stormed to victory at the Villa Maria vineyard on Saturday.
Mr Clay also took second in the open pruning competition and Ms Pihema was third in the tying event.
Mr Clay said the Marlborough team were up against the "best of the best".
"Everybody is pretty competitive but afterwards it's all good," he said. "We all sit down with a beer and have dinner."
The team left the region at 7.10am on Saturday morning and landed in Auckland at 9.30am.
The competition started just 90 minutes later, Mr Clay said.
"It was pretty tight," he added.
Blenheim resident Rachel was competing in the national competition for the first time.
"It has only taken me eight years to get there," she said. "And it's been a while since the title has come back to Blenheim."
Sam, who has competed in three national finals, praised his rookie team-mate. "She really impressed me," he said. `She showed real composure and to do that while competing at national level for the first time is incredible."
The trio, including Mr Smiler who had not returned from Auckland yesterday, are already looking forward to defending their crown next year.
Local rivalry is still boiling under the surface. "I was the regional tying champion in 2010 but Rachel won that title this year," Mr Clay said. "So I'll be trying to get that back first."