Europe

Backward bid for tractor world record

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Media captionPatrick Shalvey reaches the finish line of his world-record bid (video courtesy of Northern Sound Radio)

An Irish farmer is confident he has broken a world record by reversing a tractor and trailer for more than 13 miles (21 km).

Patrick Shalvey attempted the record on a long stretch of road in County Cavan he viewed only through a rear windscreen.

The record attempt took him about two-and-a-half hours. He finished at about 12:30.

Guinness World Records will confirm if the record has been broken by 4 April.

Mr Shalvey told local radio station Northern Sound that it seemed to go very well, aside from a bit of muscle pain from turning around to watch the road continuously.

Image copyright Northern Sound Radio
Image caption Patrick Shalvey was attempting to break a record held by Eamonn Hickson, another Irishman

"I stopped at one stage for a bit of physio, but that's allowed apparently as you're still going in a straight line.

"We didn't have to stop and go forward at any stage, so I'm happy enough.

"I was a bit anxious about this one for the last few days, especially with all the hype Northern Sound and other places were giving it - it was sort of adding to your nerves a bit."

He added that while driving a tractor is second nature to him, he said today's challenge was "a different story".

'Buzzing' at the finish

"You have gardaí (Irish police) going up one side of you, flashing lights all around you.

"There was wonderful support on the road, all the lorries and jeeps were beeping their horns at us.

"And at a couple of stages some bicycles went past me, that was a wee bit disconcerting - to be reversing, doing your best going backways and a racing bike goes by with a fella giving you wave.

"But it went very well and we're very happy with the whole thing."

After the world record attempt, Mr Shalvey bent down and kissed his tractor.

Sean McCaffrey, a reporter with Northern Sound, said Mr Shalvey was "buzzing" at the finish line.

Image copyright Northern Sound Radio
Image caption Patrick Shalvey at Lavey, County Cavan, about halfway through his tractor-reversing route

The AA had warned that delays were expected on the N3 between Virginia and Poles from 10:00 to 13:00.

Irish police, St John Ambulance and support vehicles were on hand to assist Mr Shalvey in the attempt.

The rules of the world-record attempt dictated that Mr Shalvey could not drive forwards at any point or allow the trailer to veer so far off course that he had to correct it.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the record he aimed to plough through is already held by an Irishman.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Highway to Hay: The attempt will set off from Lisgrey House near Virginia, County Cavan

Eamonn Hickson reversed a tractor and trailer 10.79 miles in County Kerry in 2014.

The endurance record attempt was filmed as part of Big Week on the Farm, a week of programmes to be shown on RTÉ in early April.

The programme is no stranger to unusual world-record attempts: In 2016, County Donegal man Ivan Scott broke a world record after shearing a sheep in 37.9 seconds.

Big Week on the Farm will be broadcast live from the Shalvey farm throughout the week.

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