Thursday, December 17, 2009

Michael Smith

The above photo was taken by a fine photographer, Jamie Nicolaou, of an excellent dancer, Michael Smith, at last week's Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival.
Michael danced in the street during the day and blew the crowd away with his hip-hop show.
Later that night, in the Timber Park, right in the middle of two sets by One Step Ahead, a polished dance band, Michael walked on stage with all the poise and charisma of Baryshnikov.
No spot could have been harder.
Michael hit the floor running and in about 3 seconds flat he had the crowd spell bound, mesmerized and incapable of eating or drinking, or of doing anything but staring with disbelief.
He was courageous, seamless, beautiful, athletic, magnificent and in flight.
Lucky for us, Jamie Nicolaou was there to snap him in motion.
You want to see more and read more, go to Jamie's blog.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And the winner is ....

Oh yes, once again Craig "Danny Green" "The Spitting Machine" McSharer has wrestled the Trans Tasman GlobeVista Australasian Cherry Pip Spitting Championship Trophy from the New Zealand contingent.
Second was another local lad Adam "Dark Horse" Price, followed closely by Adam "Bernard Hopkins" Buckley, and third was Sam "Where's My Cherry Gone" Paardekooper.
It was a ferocious competition.
First spit off the back of the truck was Adam Price who almost knocked an old lady out of her chair in the back row.
Price's spit measured out at 25 metres.
All right, it was only almost 12, but it was early in the day and the pip spotters hadn't got their eyes in.
Price could have won with that spit but he had to face up again in the final. He was only in the last heat of the day.
In the final the crowd went ballistic when the local champ stepped up but his early spits were not great.
When all seemed lost, McSharer drew back his massive chest and let fly a spit that drowned a dog and won the day for his family, his personal pride, his town, and his country.
Sam Paardekooper was gracious in defeat.
Adam Price swore he'd be back next year.
Adam Buckley just swore.

Here are the official results:

Craig McSharer 11.44 metres

Adam Price 11.20 metres

Adam Buckley 10.90 metres

Sam Paardekooper 9.80 metres (NZ)

It's ugly work, but someone has to do it

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Love is in air

MANJIMUP, Thursday
As the weather heats up in West Australia's Cherry Capital, spitters huff and puff, stall holders strut and cuff and the town cleans and preens.
It all bodes well for the 8th annual cherry splash and folk from all over are expected to flock and frock.
There will be fashion parades, eating (Manjimup is a fruit and vegetable bowl), drinking (the region produces some of the best from the West), street theatre, music, and, of course, cherry pip spitting.
The spitting will take place around 11am on Saturday morning and the competition is intense.
This afternoon local businesses will send in their best gobber to the Visitors' Centre to find the best gobber from the town's retail and production houses.
There will nothing, however, like the final, featuring the Sam The Cherry Wisperer up against Craig The Mean Machine.
Visitors are advised to bring protective clothing.

Monday, December 07, 2009


AN over enthusiastic person in Melbourne, Vikki Leng, has sent this blogger information about the first ever Melbourne spit-off.
The Victorians put on a wild and extravagant event and are now keen to join forces with the leading exponents, namely the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Globe Vista Team.

Read on.

Haydar Kahlil won the first Victorian spit-off.

This bloke did his best and managed to keep one foot on the ground.

Is a new Olympic sport budding?
On Friday 20th November Prahran Market Square had its own Cherry Lane - just like a swimming lane but on dry land - for the Victorian Cherry Association's official launch of the Victorian cherry season and its inaugural cherry pip spitting competition.
Open to Prahran Market Traders, the competition got everyone fired up.
Fruiterer Frank Scaffaro said, “The testosterone will be flying around here on the day of the competition. We all want to win the title now - it’s a matter of pride.”

The Top Ten Traders from Prahran Market earned their pride of place in the finals during a preliminary pip spit off involving 46 contestants.

With a pip spit of 15.97 metres (for purists, measured at the point the pip stopped rolling) it was Haydar Kahlil of Kahlil Flowers who took the title of VCA Cherry Pip Spitting Champion for 2009" and claimed the trophy - an engraved Kitchen Aid stand mixer in cherry red!


CROMWELL, NZ, sometime Monday
IN a surprise move, Mike "Mad Dog" Bassett, the current Australasian Globe Vista Cherry Pip Spitting Champion has pulled out of the Trans Tasman competition.
It is believed Bassett got cold feet after seeing Craig "Pretty Boy" McSharer spit at an after-event party.
Observers said McSharer spat well over 13 metres and that was well before he started on the NZ beer.
Bassett's replacement is a relative unknown, Sam "Horse Whisperer" Paardekooper.
Officials at the Cromwell New Zealand Cherry Stone Spitting Championships said The Whisperer spat 11.36m, some 0.16 metres further than MacSharer.
What this means is that without the Mad Dog in Manjimup the big spit off will be even closer than earlier expectations.
Bassett can spit, no-one doubts that, and he spits well under intense pressure, not least from the MC on the day, but the new NZ kid, from all accounts, looks good, spits good and never turns a cheek when slapped.
If you have never seen sensible adults line up and release cherry pips encased in saliva, this is the year.
Oh, local growers are saying there will be plenty of cherries for sale on the day.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


CROMWELL, NEW ZEALAND, sometime Saturday
Australia's own Craig "Danny Green" McSharer spat his best but could not slam "Mad Dog" Bassett.
Mike Bassett retained his Australasian Championship belt with a huge hurl of over 12 metres.
A registered builder in his home town of Wannaka, South Island, Bassett practises very llittle but saves his best for the crunches of major competition.
McSharer worked his lips, his cheeks, his buttocks and both his lungs and spat further than anyone expected given his lifestyle.
Next Saturday, Western Australian standard time, at the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival, Bassett and McSharer will spit again in the second round of the Globe Vista Australasian Cherry Pip Spitting Championship of the Entire World.
McShare swore he would revenge himself and his country.
"They don't call me Danny Green for no reason," he said. "When cornered, I fight back and punch above my weight."
It all looks good for the biggest spit off since Richard Hadlee and Trevor Chappel. Or Rod Marsh. Or was it Greg Chappel. Well, one of the Chappels.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mt Barker spits Big

The Weekender, 3/12/2009

The Cherry pip spitting season is heating up.
Last weekend 90 people, yes, 90 of them, spat off in a precursor to the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival Globe Vista Australasian Cherry Pip Spitting Championships of the World.
That's a lot to fit in one mouth at one time.
The winner was the rambunctious Rob Andrews from Albany and his over exhuberant son, Sam, took out the junior section. In Mt Barker they like to include everybody and so there was also a women's winner, Sharon Boenzi.
Over in Manjimup there will be no discrimination and Rob and Sam will both be spitting in the Open Section.
Rob, by the way, won with a massive toss of 12.33 metres, which is sure to put fear into the gobs of the Manji set.
Meanwhile DO NOT FORGET that the current Australian Champ, Craig "Danny Green" McSharer, is juicing himself for the first round in the Australasian Big Gob.
It all takes place this Saturday morning in sleep deprived Cromwell, where parties last nights, months, and sometimes years.
No doubt he will meet the Big Gobber from last year, Mike "Death Defying" Bassett, a builder by day in Wannaka, another New Zealand town the high country.
The NZ winner will, of course, fly over the ditch, across the flat and be driven down to God Kissed country where he will spit again, and again, and again, then, when exhausted, he will fly home and wonder where the hell he's been and if it all really happened.
Arr, life, what wondrous moments it tosses.