In less than 12 hours Joel Barton from East Sussex will attempt to set a new UK 9 hour lamb shearing record. Currently the record is held by Roy Collier who sheared 521 lambs in 9 hours on 27 August 2011 in Knockrobin, Co Wexford, Ireland.
Tomorrow's attempt is taking place at Woodchurch, near Ashford, Kent. Joel Barton has been a professional shearer for seven years. He first started shearing when he was a student at Plumpton College. Joel has been training for the event for the last year.
Joel will be shearing Romney lambs. He will start at 5am and finish at 5pm. Joel will shear for two hours, then take a break. After that he will shear in 1hour 45 minute runs with breaks in between ( a run is a period of time when a shearer shears continuously without stopping, during each run Joel will be looking to lose less than 10 seconds between lambs). This work pattern reflects a normal working day for a shearer. A normal working day for Joel would be eight hours actual shearing broken down into four runs.
Supporters have traveled from as far away as Scotland and even New Zealand to assist Joel. Behind the scenes, a team of around 15 people will be making sure everything runs smoothly. The back up team have the vital job of ensuring a constant supply of lambs and taking care of the equipment. The record attempt will be closely monitored by officials from the British Isles Shearing Competitions Association.
Tomorrow I will be reporting on Joel's progress via Twitter @Romneyteg.
In the meantime here is video coverage of Roy Collier setting the current record.