SATURDAY, New Zealand
IN a shocking result for Australian cherry pip spitters, Mount Barker’s Mark Vitler spat his way into second place in the Australasian Cherry Pip Spitting Championships first round.
The big man from the Porongurups huffed and puffed and spat but only managed to sneak in behind the eventual winner, Mike Bassett, from Wanaka, a town just up the road from Cromwell, home of New Zealand’s finest cherries and biggest spitters.
Thousands gathered at Cromwell’s Saturday markets to watch mouths of all sizes blow air behind cherry pips.
With snow still resting on nearby mountains, the local atmospheric temperature was cold but the competition hot.
Bassett spat 11.42 metres from a field of 48 spitters.
All in all the 48 contestants gobbed 408 cherries pips, or as the Long Cloud’s like to call them, “stones”.
This means round two in Manjimup this Saturday, December 13th, will be the hottest round ever contested.
According to late reports, Vitler was angry at his loss, blaming his manager, coach, an uncle by marriage, the colour of his socks and New Zealand food.
“There is no way I should have lost this spit,” he is believed to have said. “When I get back to Manjimup on the 13th, which is my lucky number, by the way, people can expect to see one of the greatest spits ever.
“I’ll show them a 1 in a 100 years spit!”
Local news suggests the competition’s frist ever winner, Jo Perry, has been practising with great vigour and is keen to be the first woman to win the big trip over the ditch and spit for Australia.
Manjmup will also see the return of last year’s first round winner, Paul Omodei Junior, keen to revive his family’s fortunes and remind festival goers that he holds the local record of 12 metres, or 17 metres, or 23, any number greater than any number bragged about by any other spitters.
In the field will also be the winner of 2008 local heats from Donnybrook, Mt Barker and Manjimup.
Not to forget The Bassett Man, the current New Zealand Champ and winner of round one.

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