THERE'S a real art and science to chucki

Colin Hansford, Dale Elliott, Shirley Hanney, Pam Sutherland and Hazel Keogh fly the famous Akubra.
Colin Hansford, Dale Elliott, Shirley Hanney, Pam Sutherland and Hazel Keogh fly the famous Akubra.

THERE'S a real art and science to chucking the famous Akubra hat and the tiny community of Mumbil, near Wellington, reckons it has discovered it.

Col Hansford, whose family has lived in Mumbil since 1862, believes there is a way of throwing the famous Aussie headwear a distance.

"A bit of a wind wins every time, then you spin the hat and it should float from there," he said. Mr Hansford was among a group of so-called experts on Mumbil's oval preparing for Saturday's Blackwattle Fair, where the famous ChuckAkubra competition is held.

"I am the original measurer and I have tape first used for this in 1989, which is still the measuring stick," Mr Hansford said.

Politicians have won the ChuckAkubra. Member for Orange, Andrew Gee threw the iconic Aussie headwear more than 20 metres and is being challenged by Wellington mayor Rod Buhr.

2009 winner Dale Elliott has been monitoring the weather and is hoping for a windy day.

"You need a wind, which we usually get, and if it gets taken in the wind from there its pure luck," he said.

Hazel Keogh said there was a real science and no one has the real answer. Her husband Trevor is also a former winner.

"There are 500 different people, who have 500 different theories and in the end no one is exactly right, but it's quite funny when you see people's faces once they throw the hat," she said.

Mumbil progress association president Shirley Hanney said the fair had grown over the years and there would be a few unique stalls not seen anywhere else.

"There will be a person with Indian body art, a tattoo stall and a woodcutting designing stall. We try and make the fair a mix of different things for people to look at. There's only a few volunteers to work on this little fair so we have to know our limitations," she said.

Saturday's event also features billy cart races and a bush fire brigade challenge.

"We are hoping there are no fires for the area's sake and if that's the case our bush fire brigades will be ready to take on each other," Mrs Hanney said.


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