Wow, the 10th Somerset Scythe Festival brought the usual combination of good friends, sharp blades and petrol-free mowing to a sunny field in Somerset. The weather was hot, hot, hot and this year the competition was hotly contested as well.
After being knocked off his top spot last year, Simon Damant was back and determined to regain his crown from George Montague but in the end the tough, lodged grass caused both men trouble and the final result was ruled a draw meaning we get to enjoy the excitement again next year.
In the women’s competition Andi Rickard continued her amazing run of success with Beth Tilston and Gemma Suggitt continuing to battle over 2nd and 3rd.
However, for me the real champ was Mark Allery, the man who finished in third place. This doesn’t seem so impressive until you realise that Mark (pictured racing above, between Simon Damant and George Montague in the final) was competing with an English scythe. Up until now our heavier native scythe had been almost written off and relegated to competing within its own class since it was thought incapable of competing against the continental scythe. This year Mark changed that and is rightly creating an increased interest in the English scythe – hats off to him.