Nelmac Women’s team competitors Shaye Pearce, Alice Buschl, and Sophie Martin stood their ground, proving that they were the strongest womens team once again in Friday’s Nelson Tasman Hospice Tug of Peace. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

A heave for hospice

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Strength and determination were on the line in Friday’s Tug of Peace, pitting defending champions against fierce rivals, staff against students and volunteers against sponsors.

In its tenth year, the iconic Nelson Tasman Hospice fundraiser drew quite a crowd, shutting off the top of Trafalgar St for the giant tug of war competition.

With 13 strong teams competing for the mens, womens and mixed team prize, the event provided plenty of entertainment with rounds lasting anywhere between a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 4.4 seconds and a back and forwards slog lasting 1 minute and 8.5 seconds.

The Downer men were back to defend their title and defend it they did, but rivals Nelmac didn’t give up without a fight.

The winning Downer team after last week’s Tug of Peace.
The winning Downer team after last week’s Tug of Peace.

The first of two finals saw Nelmac win after Downer shifted sideways at the end of the record-long round.

However Downer brought it back, smashing Nelmac in the second final in a mere 7.63 seconds.

Downer competitor Drew Hayes says the men just turned up and pulled on a rope, and it was their strict year-long diet of pies, sponsored by local bakeries, that won them the event.

“It was a good feeling to pull Nelmac over the line, especially in only seven seconds, we’re pretty ecstatic about it.”

And it wasn’t all bad news for Nelmac, whose women’s team dominated their category for the third time in a row.

Sponsors ANZ won the mixed category.

Organiser Pamela White says the event was a massive success.

“The whole day was positive, everyone had a good time and walked away with a smile on their face.”

“It was really cool to see so many people competing and spectating, there were a lot of cameras out, lots of people cheering on the teams and, afterwards, the teams were already strategising for next year, which is awesome.”

The Nelson Tasman Hospice cannot confirm the amount raised during the Tug of Peace but say every little bit helps them towards the building of their new hospice.