The challenge is issued; do you have what it takes to enter the history books and become a winner in the Capstan Pull?
Maybe you just want to win $500 or $300 for your community, business or sporting group?
Or have you always dreamt of being on TV, the BBC no less? Whatever your motivation, nominations are now open for teams of five to enter the 2013 Eden Whale Festival’s Capstan Pull event.
Register your expressions of interest here
While some jokingly call it the ‘Wheel of death’, the Capstan Pull gives men and women the chance to revive the skills of yesteryear’s whaling days, and have a lot of fun in the process.
Teams ‘harpoon’ the ‘whale’, a part played by an almost unrecognisable Mitsubishi Sigma that was reborn as ‘Benny the Whale’, before racing to the capstan to haul the ‘whale’ ashore.
Always a highlight of the 18- year-old festival, this year the Capstan Pull will be held on Saturday afternoon from around 3pm.
The event will be captured by a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) film crew and is sponsored by the Eden Magnet ($500) and Ben Boyd Shell Service Station ($300).
Descendant of the Davidson whaling family, Marty Davidson reminisced about how Benny and the Capstan Pull event came about.
“Benny was built for the second or third whale festival about 14 or 15 years ago,” he said.
“Evan Page built the capstan and Dad (Rene Davidson) Dallas Edwards, Bob Daly, Dennis Lees - the publican at the time - put a bit of time into Benny. I put a motor in it, Silk’s supplied the car and it was built out at Storey Avenue.” Marty encouraged teams entering the event to sign up on the Eden Whale Festival website as soon as possible.
Scheduling may need to cap the number of teams who can participate so it will be first in, best dressed.
In each team, four run around and push the capstan and the fifth team member feeds the rope.
To ensure a level playing field between men and women participants, a handicap system is in development.
Always politically correct, Marty said: “We’re going to handicap the blokes, not advantage the girls!” Mr Davidson said ‘Benny’ will also get a facelift, ready for his starring role on the BBC.
His boot is full of sand, from a time when they wanted to make him heavier to haul, and other mutinies are emerging.
“I remember my cousin Warren Davidson sitting in there with his foot on the break while the footballers went round; he made their life hell.”
“I’ve been on the ‘wheel of death’ and I’d rather not go on it again,” he laughed.
“But I’m fairly sure someone’s lining me up so I’d better get running."