IN a startling turn of events, a school teacher claiming to be from Green Island, an island off the coast of Dunedin (NZ), has won the Globe Vista Australasian Cherry Pip/Stone Spitting Championship.
Aaron Collins spat a massive 12.58 metres to to win the event and the right to spit in the faces of 5000 Australians in the return spit in Manjimup this coming December.
It is believed Hercules Hetherington was handed a drink just before the final and the question has been raised: Was it spiked? Were his knees hobbled? Who was that man in the background? Why did the resident official turn his back at the last minute?
Hetherington, who normally spits well over 15 metres was left staring at a pip just over 11 metres from his standing position.
Australian champ and Manjimup boy, Grant Hercules Hetherington shakes the hand of the mysterious Aaron Collins.
Aaron Collins blows his pip.
For those of you wondering, Wikipedia claims Green Island is uninhabited.
Read on: Green Island is a small uninhabited island located at , 13 km (8.1 mi) southwest of Dunedin, close to the mouth of the Kaikorai Lagoon. The island's Māori name is Okaihae.
It may be the 'Isle of Wight' where the Sydney sealer Brothers, chartered by Robert Campbell and sailing under Robert Mason dropped eight men of a gang of eleven in November 1809. William Tucker who later settled at Whareakeake (Murdering Beach) near Otago Heads was in the gang. Alternatively the 'Isle of Wight' may be Taieri Island a few kilometres to the south. It has been suggested in that case Green Island may be 'Ragged Rock' where the other three men of the Brothers' gang were landed. Some of the men claimed to have stayed on these two islands from 9 November 1809 until 20 December 1810.
Green Island used to be called St Michael's Mount, suggesting it had been named after the island of that name off the Cornish coast. It is more likely it was so named after Tommy Chaseland's mother ship the St. Michael when he was sealing here in the 1820s. He told Edward Shortland he lost a boat and all its hands when it was dashed on the island while trying to land. He stayed alone overnight and was picked up by another boat the following day.
In the 1880s the island was mined for guano, bird dung used as fertiliser.
Strange, but is it true?
Can we believe Wiki?
If so, where is Collins really from?
All will be revealed this coming December, as Collins defends his title in Manjimup, part of the great south west of Western Australia and another town in the West's fruit and vegetable bowl.