Teenager clips new record lamb tally

- by Terry Sim

Beau Guelfi yesterday became the youngest shearer ever to set a world record. when he put 463 crossbred lambs across the board in eight hours at Wallacedle.

The 19-year-old Western Australian broke the previous record of 427 lambs under the eye of New South Welshman Brett Cavanough, 36, the first Australian ever to hold the world crossbred lamb record.

A relieved Mr Guelfi said after the record effort he was "over the moon", but ready to continue his world shearing run which takes him to New Zealand next, but has also included England, Wales and Ireland.

Shearing under World Records Committee, he was urged on by a team of family and friends, including coach Mike Henderson, to shear about one of the romney-coopworth lambs a minute, managing a total tally of 467 lambs, but losing 4 on disqualification on quality.

Mr Guelfi has only been shearing for two years and four months, but said he had sworn off alcohol for the record effort and undertaken a strict exercise of running, sit-ups, push-ups and extension work for seven months.

His team included mother Kaaren, who was his masseuse during breaks and kept him fed on pasta, fruit salad and a special shake containing amino acids, vitamins and minerals.  His father Adrian, also a shearer, was on hand to help pen the lambs.

WRC referee for the record attempt , Peter Black from Western Australia, said Mr Guelfi shore 120 qualifying sheep in the first run, 122 in the second, slowing down to 116 in the third and 105 in the final run, as the record became secure and quality was the priority.  he said five disqualified sheep was the maximum allowed and each count-out of lambs was evaluated for shearing quality.

WRC Judge from new Zealand and a veteran of 26 world record attempts, Stewart Weir, said it was a "great effort".

"He actually shore better as the day went on.  Nobody had ever held a world record at 19."

Mr Cavanough said attempting a world shearing record "took guts" and "a bit of a killer instinct".

The lambs and shed used in the successful record attempt were supplied by Trevor Bacon who shore 707 lambs in eight hours at Condah two years ago, but not under WRC rules.

"It was a top effort for a fellow that's only 19", Mr Bacon said.

"He's probably got 16 years in him yet and he probably won't hit his peak until he's 32 or 33."

Captions under photo -

Teenager Beau Guelfi shearing his way to a record in 1998.

Photo Terry Sim  Courtesy The Standard, Warrnambool; Terry Sim;

National Library of Australia.