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Tractor driver reverses into record books

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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 who reversed a tractor and trailer 12.52 miles (20.16km) has secured a new world record.

Patrick Shalvey set the record on a long stretch of road in County Cavan only looking through the rear windscreen.

Guinness World Records verified the attempt as the "longest journey reversing a tractor and trailer".

"It was a long time to have your head looking backwards but there was a physio on stand-by," he said.

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.

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

"I was quietly confident when I finished, but you can never be 100% sure until it's verified," he said.

"There are certain checks to be carried out before your bid is verified. So my tractor was given the once over to check that nothing had been modified in any way which would alter its performance or which would make it easier to drive.

"Everything was done by the book and was legitimate so I was happy enough by the end of it."

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

He also said he had concerns about the physical challenges involved.

"At certain points I did think to myself, 'Am I crazy to be doing this?' but I knew I could do it and I'm so pleased that I did.

"We had a big celebration last night when the announcement was made and I've already got the certificate framed and in the front window for all the world to see."

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

Patrick Shalvey replaces Irishman and former record holder Eamonn Hickson on the leadership board.

Mr 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.

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