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Estonian shearer packs a lot of power

Estonian shearer Peedo Fiks is in a class of his own at the World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill, even if the inevitable is that his competition will end in the heats.

One of only "five" shearers in Estonia – another is son Ando - the 64-year-old shearing his third World championships comes with his own portable shearing plant, a plug-in power pack which can run on solar energy and battery power, and comes complete with pig-tail power lead.

He developed the plant and runs a business which distributes it.

Fiks(pictured), from Estonia capital Tallinn, which with a population of 440,000 is among the bigger home towns of any of the competitors at the four-day championships in Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland, shore with the unit on the lambs in the first round of the machine shearing championships yesterday, again on the second-shear ewes of the second round today, and will do so again in the fullwool round tomorrow.

He tailed the 54-strong field in the first round, but was 51st in the second, and he said: "Today it was quite good, much better than yesterday. I can still do a little bit better."

The opportunities are not vast, with a nationwide Estonian sheep flock of about 100,000, but Fiks has been a committed leader of the way since his first World Championships appearance at the Royal Welsh Show in 2010, and hopes for better.

"Our level is what it is just now," he said. We hope we can improve a little bit."