THE 5th National People Ploughing Championships was launched in Tramore, Co. Waterford today in striking fashion to hundreds of bone crunching craved spectators. Tramore town council put in place a beautiful blue and white marquee tent and laid on a banquet for the thousands of ‘people ploughing enthusiasts’ who came to witness this euphoric event.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Big brothers Brian Dowling and panto diva Twink were among the many high profile guests who are attending this prestigious event.
And what better way to start the 5th event than by having one of Irelands top people ploughers, James Keane. Keane won the championship 3 years in a row and has a total body count of 35 over his 14 year reign of the sport.
The opening ceremony for the week long event, will be launched tomorrow, with the Taoiseach as guest of honour. There is an array of Irish bands also scheduled to play at the ceremony, including Aslam, The saw Doctors and the world famous Butterfly Band.
Organisers have estimated that there will be at least 300 staff, mostly off the book welfare claiments, not including the 100 volunteered old people that are to be ploughed during the course of the week. There are also 7 judges and 23 supervisors playing an integral role in the proceedings.
Thousands of euros worth of used cars and parts will be inspected before the event to make sure nothing goes horribly wrong. Last year two people were injured after debree hit them after a contestant successfully collided with two old people at the same time, smashing the car to pieces and sending shrapnel everywhere.
Contestants have to successfully plough through 2 volunteered old people in a 30 second time limit. They will be judged on time and technicality. Clinical finishing of volunteers and car control are also taken into consideration in evaluating the points. If a contestant performs a ‘clean break’ he is awarded the highest mark possible (10). [Clean breaks are instant kills]
“Clean breaks are rare in this style of competition. This is due to the low performance of the cars and the lower time limit given to each contestant to execute the manoeuvres needed to people plough.” stated champion James Keane.
All volunteered old people will be sedated before each heat, to reduce pain to a bare minimum.
Tramore town council would like to thank all the families and care workers involved in contributing old people for the event this year.