Albanian scythesman ‘Ded’ wins at 2011 Eastern Counties scything competition

The 4th Eastern counties Scything Competition at Wimpole Hall Estate near Cambridge was the best yet!  We were pleased to welcome additional contenders from the South and West, fired up with success in the west country, hoping to take the trophy (as ‘number one seed’ Simon Damant is the event host and therefore does not compete).

The individual mowing contest was closely fought. In the light weight dry grassland of East Anglia technique more than strength delivers fast times and it is often quality that determines the result.  George Montague completed 5 x 5m in the quickest time (1’53”) closely followed by Richard Brown (1’57) – but it was surprise entrant Ded Kalaj who took the overall winners trophy and the quality cup as although he was slightly slower (2’0”) he produced the best finish with a quality 9 (over RB 8.5 (left tufty bits) and GM 8.0).

As a young man in his home country Albania Ded mowed acres of grass every year – 4000 to 7000m2 per day he claims.  He demonstrated differences in technique of mowing and sharpening compared with that currently used in the UK (adopted fromAustria). Ded borrowed a 75cm luxor blade for the competition as his own blade had been confiscated by Gatwick customs as an offensive weapon!  Ded has now left his scythe kit with Simon Damant for safe keeping until next year – he hopes to join us and compete in Somerset again!

(footnote: after the competition Simon D mowed a square in 1’32” Q7).

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