Scalford's tug of war machine claims world championship medals
Scalford's tug of war machine were in demand and among the medals as the village club took on the world in South Africa.
The Lincoln Tug of War Club has been based in the village for almost two decades and is coached by Scalford’s Tim Lee.
They won a brilliant bronze medal in the 640kg division and narrowly missed out in the 720kg category at the Tug of War World Championships in Cape Town.
And there were further medals, including gold, for as Lincoln’s pedigree and reputation earned squad members invites to guest for other teams.
“I’m over the moon how we performed as a club and as a squad for England,” said Tim.
“Our targets were to get into the top four first, but we always wanted to win.
“We were good enough to win the 640, but it just came down to the toss of a coin.”
Lincoln narrowly missed out on a medal after reaching the bronze-medal pull in the 720kg division.
A lost toss of a coin, and with it the choice of ends, proved crucial as they went down 2-1.
But they were quickly into their stride in their main target, the 640kg class.
They went through their half of the draw without losing an end, beating the reigning champions along the way, to reach the semi-finals.
But losing out in the 50-50 of a coin toss would again prove pivotal.
“We met a very strong Swiss team in the semi-final who had already won this weight in the open,” Tim said.
“We were looking strong, but noticed the ground had become better at one end than the other, which happens in tug of war.
“We took the first end and they just managed to take the second, so all of the year came down to the toss of a coin for the third pull which I lost.”
The Swiss took advantage of the better ground conditions to move through to the final where they defeated Germany.
But the Scalford pullers recovered well from the disappointment to beat the Dutch in the bronze-medal clash.
“The lads put up one hell of a pull in the semi, but just lost,” Tim added.
“I have no doubt we would have gone on to win the final if we’d had the choice of end, but to finish third-best in the world at 640 kilo is something for them all to be very proud of.”
Tim’s son Will Lee, a former England youth international, and clubmate Lee Robinson did strike gold in the 4x4 mixed team, in both open and closed competitions.
Tim also helped assemble and coach England’s 560kg senior men’s side which featured Lincoln TOW pullers Daniel Kenny, Lee Robinson, Ian Robinson and Richard Keightley.
The team had to settle for fourth place after defeat in the bronze-medal pull to reigning world champions, the Basque Country.
Scalford pullers Aidan Wheeler and Ian Robinson then helped a Somerset team to the bronze in the 680kg class.
The Lincoln club train three times a week throughout the year at their Ironstone Lane base, and preparations stepped up a notch in June when they retained their national titles and qualified for the worlds.
As well as the regular sessions, their training regime also demands three runs a week, on top of competitions, all while paying close attention to diet and weight.
But keeping strength up and the weight off is a fine balancing act as a late scare proved.
“After landing in Africa the team was still 20 kilos off the 640kg limit, 24 hours before the weigh-in,” Tim added.
“The team headed to the sauna, ran and did gym work through the day and night to be ready, and we weighed in at 639.8kg.”
While rest is on the cards now the season is at an end, Tim already has one eye on next season to prepare and qualify for the European Championships in Ireland next September.
Squad: Tim Lee (coach), Aidan Wheeler, Daniel Kenny, Lee Robinson, Will Lee, Ian Robinson, James Murphy, Dave Field, Ian Murphy, Richard Keightley, Dave Bowyer, Paul Barber.