To no surprise, Britespan team member and competitive plowman, Tom Evans, has taken home the 2016 Canadian Reversible Plowing Champion title from this year’s Canadian Plowing Championships.
The Ottawa Carleton Plowmen’s Association hosted the 2016 Canadian Plowing Championships at Anderson Links Golf Club, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from August 24-27. Competitors from across Canada plow in their respective provinces for the right to compete in the Canadian Plowing Championships.
We caught up with Tom to congratulate him on this achievement and find out what’s next!
Britespan Building Systems Inc.: No surprises that you took home the title, we are so proud! How does it feel?
Tom Evans: It’s great! It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It hit home when I got a message from all the members of the junior plowing club that I help to run on my way home on Sunday. They were having a practice competition and recorded a congratulatory video for me and someone brought a cake with a Canadian flag on it. What was left was at my house when I arrived home.
BBS: How many people were competing this time around?
TE: Three in my category. The runner up from Ontario last year and the champion from British Columbia. There were also classes for conventional plows (five seniors and three juniors).
BBS: How did you prepare for this level of the competition? Did you do anything extra or different?
TE: I practiced three weekends back in April and May on 30 year old pasture land. This prepared me for the final day at the Canadian competition which was on a golf course driving range and was 15 year old sod. This is very difficult to plow well. Also I competed in three contests in our area just prior to going to the national event: Chatham-Kent, Huron & Perth.
BBS: Now that you’ve conquered this part of the competition, what’s next?
TE: There will be a lot of planning, fundraising and training to travel to Kenya in December 2017 for the World Championship. There are a lot of questions as to what equipment my teammate and I will use there. We may end up shipping tractors and plows there, which will mean a lot of work here to get them prepared.
BBS: How will this competition differ from the previous competitions in Ontario?
TE: There are 30 countries competing. 25 of them have champion plowmen or women who are extremely good at it. The level of competition will be very high. Typically Canada places about 20th there. We often borrow equipment. Setting up and using equipment that you aren’t familiar with puts us at a disadvantage. The soil will be much different there too from what we are used to. It will level the competition a bit because it will be different for the European countries that dominate as well. It is very sticky soil and requires us to use plastic mouldboards instead of steel. Figuring out how to get the best job will be a challenge.
BBS: Can we expect a win from the next competition as well?
TE: While, I have gotten good at this sport, there is much more to learn. Our best competitors here can place well from time to time depending on if they can get comfortable with the equipment and conditions. Then top 10 is possible and maybe higher. The guys at the top though have a ton of knowledge on how to make a plow work. They have coaches who have been world champions and a lot of support.
Canada is starting to catch up on things but it has been 42 years since we had a top 3 trophy winner and 55 years since we had a World Champion. I am hoping to be able to compete with equipment that I am comfortable with and be able to do my best job. Then I will be happy no matter the result.