Extreme mower racers cut to the chase
KAHLIA Spencer admits she hates sitting indoors, so when she heard about Extreme Mower Mania she couldn't wait to start racing the family ride-on mower.
The 18-year-old is the first female from the Gladstone region to participate in the unique sport, in which riders carve up a challenging 400m dirt track on an altered mower.
"It's exciting but I actually wish the mower would go faster," she said.
"Its top speed is 10km an hour and it's eight years old."
Ms Spencer, who lives in Miriam Vale, attended a test and tune day at the track on the weekend and reckoned the jumps were easy.
"It's a bit of fun and something to do. I enjoy anything outdoors," she said.
Extreme Mower Mania was kick-started by three mates - Matthew Pickles, Jake Bartlett and Ryan McLucas.
"It all started on Australia Day 2013 when it was raining and my mates couldn't leave their house so they mucked around with mowers and then pushed me to do it," Mr McLucas said.
"It just went from there. It's not (done) anywhere else we know of in Queensland."
They've worked hard on building the Calliope track up over the past eight months so races can occur on a regular basis.
But the golden rule of mower racing isn't having the best technique or fastest motor, it's all about having fun.
Mr McLucas, who grew up with motorbikes, tore up the track on Saturday on his two-month-old mower.
His dad Mal McLucas loves the sport and is more than happy to allow people to use his 60ha of land.
"It's the cheapest sport around and it keeps the kids off the streets," he said.
"For racing it's Bathurst-style, with multiple drivers."
It's growing in popularity, with 10 regular racers and six race meets planned for 2015. An enduro race is also planned for January.
Anybody can join and Mal McLucas is encouraging those interested to attend the next race on November 30 from 9am.
"It's for 12 years and up. As long as you are under 100 there's no age restriction," he laughed.
"You just crack yourself laughing. There's legs and arms and mowers everywhere. You get filthy."
He said there was a bit of carnage and rollovers from time to time.
"The flat-track guys are so serious and they spend a lot of money on their mowers. We just want to have fun," he said.
HOW TO RACE
- Get a ride-on mower
- Remove the cutting deck
- Buy a crash helmet and boots
- Contact Extreme Mower Mania on 0438 529 505
- Get in on a race