Wednesday, July 11, 2007

World Championships Rotary Tiller Racing Update, or "The Dirt Clods Were Flyin' and the Tines, They Were a-Spinnin'..."

As promised, we bring you the results of the World Championships Rotary Tiller races, the 2007 Edition, held semi-recently in Emerson, Ark.

News out of Emerson is slow, but the tillers ain't! And hey, better late than never. We all should have been there in person anyway when Erica Butler, pictured here, raced to her third world title in her division. The pride of Louisiana, Erica is a junior at Louisiana Tech and claims Homer as home.

Read on brothers and sisters...

July 1, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact person: Bill Dailey, Pea-R Person
Web site:

Waller and Butler Repeat in Tiller Race

The times were slower than previous years, but the results essentially the same at the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race in Emerson, Arkansas, Saturday.

Shane Waller of Junction City, Arkansas, won the men’s division of the race of souped-up garden tillers for the fourth straight year. Waller tilled the 200-foot track of plowed ground in 6.03 seconds, about three-tenths of a second off his world record of 5.72 seconds set in 2004. (It's hard to get a good photo of Waller, pictured here; he's too fast.)

Race officials said the track was slightly slower this year due to it purposely being tilled deeper during preparation, in an effort to slow the race down and increase safety.

“It’s soft,” said Waller, referring to the track conditions. “It slows your time down, but it’s easier on your knees," he observed. That was important to Waller, since on a couple of occasions the tiller dragged him down the track after he lost his footing.

"I got a lot closer to the record than I thought I would,” he added.

The win came despite that fact that Waller had been without his usual practice time this year, having been away on business.

“I’ve been behind it three times counting this morning,” he said.

Billy Robertson of El Dorado placed second in the competition, while Donny Cole, also of El Dorado, came in third. (Notice Robertson's eyewear ajar in this action shot.)

In the women’s division, Erica Butler of Homer, Louisiana, won for the third straight year. Butler’s best time was 7.53 seconds, over 1.3 seconds slower than her world record of 6.19 seconds, set in 2005.

Butler, 20, a junior at Louisiana Tech University, also made note of the track’s condition. “It’s too deep,” she said. “It was hard to run in.”

Marilynn Smith of Homer, Louisiana, placed second in the Ladies Modified Division, while Jessica Knight of El Dorado came in third.

Both Waller and Butler were racing with “Radio Flyer,” the world’s fastest garden tiller. In a competition that included a number of false starts and stalled engines, Radio Flyer never hesitated.

“The tiller ran perfectly,” said Butler. “Couldn’t ask for more.”

In other divisions, former world champion tiller racer Wayne Waller took first place in the “Rip Roaring” division, a category in which the gearbox and frame must be from a genuine tiller.

In the “Stock Tiller” division, Adam Waller of Parkers Chapel, Arkansas, came in first.

In the “Powder Puff” division, Britni Bailey of El Dorado took top honors.

Among the “Kids Flower Bed” division, Drew Waller of Junction City, Arkansas, came in first among the boys, while his sister, Kaylin Waller, won the girls category of the race. Drew and Kaylin are the children of world record holder Shane Waller, and three-time former ladies champion, Lauri Waller.

The World Championship Rotary Tiller Race is the feature event of the annual Emerson PurpleHull Pea Festival.

Now for the World Cup PurpleHull Pea Shelling Competition. Pea-shelling athlete Doeleta Weaver (far right) of Emerson successfully defended her title and smashed her former world record in the process. She shelled 1 lb. 1-3/4 oz. of purple hull peas in a 5 minute heat. That's a lot of good eatin' in a short amount of time.