World shearing history was created by a shearer in Western Australia on Tuesday 5th April,  5 pm WA time

.Dwayne Black raised a merino shearing record set by Dion Morrell  near Tarras, New Zealand in 1997 - the first time ever a record set in New Zealand has been broken in another country. 

The first time there have been referees from 3 countries at a record, Hendrik Botha South Africa, Stew Weir New Zealand and Bernie Walker Australia. 
The first time a shearer has held 4 World records at one time. 
Black (31), toiling all day on Nick and Jane Trethowan's merino ewes, near Kojonup in his home state of Western Australia, he added six merino ewes to Morrell's mark of 507 to claim the new official world record for shearing merino ewes in a nine hour day of 513. 
It was Black's second attempt at the record in just over a week. He abandoned his effort at lunchtime on Easter Monday when unseasonably cold weather adversely affected the condition of the sheep. Black's tussle with the weather continued all week, with parts of Western Australia receiving days of torrential rain and cold temperatures. Eight and a half inches fell on the farm where the record was held and thousands of freshly shorn sheep - including 800 on the farm of the record attempt - died in the storm. When the sheep were eventually dry and able to be shedded up on Monday night, April 4th, Black knew he was going into the attempt with the condition of the sheep "something like a lottery" but chose to tough it out in pursuit of a place in shearing history. A mentor and his record "second" for the day, New Zealander Edsel Forde, said from Kojonup last night, Tuesday night it was Black's long and thorough physical preparation, combined with an exceptionally strong will, that got him through. "He finished very strongly, it was a pretty gutsy effort," said Forde, who travelled from the Waikato to support Black. "When you are shearing merino sheep - more so than when you are shearing crossbreds - your mind is under constant attack. There's no set pattern to how they come through," he said. The record was shorn according to rules set down by the NZ-based world shearing records committee. It was a truly international event though, with judges from three countries - Stu Weir (Southland NZ), Bernie Walker (Victoria, Australia) and Hendrik Botha (South Africa). 
Stats: Run totals - 112, 103, 98, 99, 101 for 513.-  Average quality rating: 16.61 - Average Wool weight 4.37kgs - Sheep shorn and not counted: 1. Hours worked: Standard nine hour shearing day beginning at 5am, finishing at 5pm. 
 Kerry McGawley a Sports Clinician of University of West Australia  took statistics on Dwayne which included, Blood tests, weight, internal temperature, body temperature, heart rate before during and after each run.  Urine samples and food and drink consumed were also taken to be analysed which may find trends that could help in the future for any super performing athletes. Dwayne lost over 16 litres of sweat during the long hard day 
He now has lighter training until July when the hard training starts again to get ready for more record attempts  
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A world merino shearing record attempt in Western Australia planned for April 2nd was postponed until Tuesday  April 5th due to rain starting 2 days before. Eight  inches of rain feel on the record sheep and therefore the attempt will now be staged for April 5th starting 5am
Dwayne Black, a 31-year-old Esperance-based shearer, will repeat his record attempt hoping for a better mix of luck and weather conditions than that which thwarted his last effort
A world merino shearing record attempt in Western Australia was called off at lunchtime Saturday 26th March
Dwayne Black, a 31-year-old Esperance-based shearer, will repeat his record attempt next Saturday April 2nd, hoping for a better mix of luck and weather conditions than that which thwarted his effort today.
Unpredicted rain fell on near Kojonup overnight before the record and the weather turned unseasonably cold,
making defleecing the required number of merino ewes within the remaining allowed time an unrealistic task.
“We have no doubt we’ve got the right shearer and the right sheep,” said Black’s father and record organiser Peter Black, “so we have no hesitation in trying again.” 
“This is certainly a setback, but it’s also a timely reminder just how hard it is to break a shearing record.
Dwayne shore 104 the first run, 95 and 92 the next 2 runs with some sheep taking close to 2 minutes and others under  50 seconds”
Dwayne Black was attempting to break the world merino ewe nine-hour record of 507 set by Dion Morrell near Tarras in New Zealand’s South Island in 1997.
Black is already the holder of three official world shearing records – nine-hour merino lamb, eight-hour merino lamb and, with Troy Stansbury (Opotiki, NZ), the two-stand eight-hour merino lamb. 

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An analysis of data from Dwayne Black’s 9-hour WORLD RECORD 05-04-05
Kerry McGawley - Sports Clinician, (Human movement University of Western Australia)

Heat stress and intense physical exercise

Previous studies have focused on the ergonomics and physical demands of sheep-shearing and confirm that it is one of the most physically demanding occupations in the world today (Culvenor et al., 1997; Harvey et al., 2002; Stuart et al., unpublished). 
Mining may be considered one of the few other daily tasks that impose a similar level of stress on the body. The environmental severity of mining has been documented, where the average worker is in very thermally stressful conditions, working underground for 10 - 12 hours per day in temperatures of around 30oC (Brake and Bates, 2002). 

The air temperature in the Kojonup region on Tuesday 4th April 2005, during Dwayne’s 12-hour day in the shed was recorded at 30oC ( 
This, combined with the electric heat generators labouring all day to ensure the sheep were kept in optimal shearing condition, would have led to shed temperatures in excess of the average underground mine temperatures. 

Dwayne’s accomplishment was considerably more notable since he performed, under severe temperatures, repeated bouts of extreme physical work for long periods of time. Such attempts to push the body to its physical limits in severe heat were witnessed by many in the Athens Olympic Games of 2004 to cause fellow WR holder Paula Radcliffe to collapse; for Portuguese marathon runner Lazaro, the heat of the 1912 games was fatal.

Fluid loss and performance
An analysis of the data collected during the first of Dwayne’s five shearing sessions highlights the remarkable work intensity that was maintained throughout this 2-hour period from 5 to 7 am. 112 sheep were shorn and Dwayne’s heart rate was elevated to an average of 158 beats per minute, which translates to 84% of his estimated maximum heart rate.
  His body mass decreased by 3.0 kg and he ingested 2.5 litres of fluids, resulting in a total fluid loss, primarily due to sweating, of 5.5 litres. This would be similar to the fluid losses experienced by elite marathon runners such as Stefano Baldini, Paul Tergat and Vanderlei de Lima during competition also lasting around 2 hours (McArdle et al., 1996). Dwayne’s total fluid loss corresponds to a rate of approximately 46 ml per min. 
  By comparison, top state-league team-sport athletes in WA experience fluid losses (measured as reductions in body mass) of only 36 ml per min when exercising at intermittent intensities in hot (30oC), humid (60%) conditions (Duffield et al., 2003). 
Furthermore, these athletes exercised for only 80 min, which is similar to the duration of most team-sport athlete demands. It is almost inconceivable to think that these fluid losses experienced by Dwayne during the first shearing session, the majority of which was completed before sunrise, represent only a fraction of those encountered throughout the whole day. 

No elite marathon runner would consider completing a second marathon in a day; likewise, AFL players are not required to perform in multiple matches on any one day. 

Yet Dwayne went on to complete four more sessions after the first 2-hour period, almost identical in both duration and physical intensity. Over the 12-hour period Dwayne’s body mass was reduced from 94.0 to 90.0 kg and he ingested 12 litres of fluids, resulting in a total fluid loss of 16 litres during the day. Assuming that fluid loss occurred only during his 9 hours spent shearing, the rate of fluid loss was around 1.8 litres per hour. 

This rate is more than three times greater than that of ultramarathon athletes who are one of the few athletic groups exercising for similar periods of time and who rarely lose more than 0.5 litres of fluids per hour (McArdle et al., 1996). These figures clearly highlight the extreme exertion and remarkable effort of this WR feat.

Exercise intensity and physiological responses

Chris Judd is considered a prime athlete and is likely to earn in excess of $500,000 per season ( as well as national stardom for his physical capabilities. 
However, in many respects his efforts during an AFL game don’t come close to those exhibited by Dwayne during his latest WR attempt. AFL players work at an average exercise intensity of around 70 - 75% of their maximal capacity during a competitive game. Dwayne, however, recorded an average exercise intensity of 84% of his estimated maximal heart rate during the first 2-hour session. Furthermore, his average exercise intensity for the entire day was 78% of his estimated maximal heart rate. 
Despite working for a duration equivalent to 5 consecutive AFL games, he still appears to have been working at a higher, overall relative intensity than the average AFL player.  
This highly intense level of physical exertion is also greater than average intensities exhibited by elite soccer players, who work at around 70 – 80% during a game (Bangsbo, 1993; Reilly, 1996). So, while Ben Cousins and David Beckham receive celebrity status for their exhibitions of intense work, a world sheep-shearing champion appears to match, or exceed, such intensities for more than five times the amount of time!  
It may be argued that football and soccer players combine skill and technique with these physical capabilities; the same can be said, without question, for shearers.

Lance Armstrong will spend the majority of his days during the Tour de France working at his lactate threshold: that is, at an intensity that prevents an excessive build-up of lactate in the working muscles. 

At his lactate threshold, Armstrong is working at an equivalent of 76 – 85% of his maximal oxidative capacity (VO2max) (Coyle, in press). While we do not currently have a measure of Dwayne’s VO2max, we know that he spent 9 hours working at 72 – 84% of his maximal heart rate, which is an alternative measure of relative work intensity. 

Furthermore, it appears from his post-session lactate measures (3.3 – 4.0 mmol per litre) that he would have been working close to his lactate threshold. 

Laboratory tests scheduled to take place this week in the School of Human Movement at UWA will determine both VO2max and lactate threshold values for Dwayne. 
However, even without these measures it seems fair to suggest that for the duration of Tuesday’s sheep-shearing record, he would have been working at similar relative intensities as Armstrong does during a day on the world’s most gruelling road cycling race, the Tour de France.

Calorific output
The daily energy cost of an average shearer, who completes around 250 sheep in an 8-hour day, has been calculated to be in excess of 5,000 kilocalories (Stuart et al., unpublished). This is beyond the maximal permissible limit for daily energy output for men working at the same task on a year-round basis, suggested at 4,800 kilocalories. Compared with these figures, Dwayne’s potential energy output becomes quite astounding. 
If we double the energy expenditure during his shearing hours (since he completed more than double the number of sheep compared with the average shearer used in the above example), and add a constant for basal metabolism, his energy cost for the day could have been around 8,000 kilocalories. 

This is greater than the energy expenditures of males following a 45-km ski-alpinism race (alternating up- and down-hill running and cross country skiing), which lasted 7 h 21 min, and a 100-km ultramarathon race, which lasted 15 h 27 min, where the estimated energy expenditures were 5,000 and 7,000 kilocalories, respectively (Zaccaria et al., 2002).

Dwayne’s food intake was reasonably low over the course of the day, probably due to the intense nature of the task and the extremely hot conditions in the shed. Since carbohydrate intake is directly related to the performance of enduring athletic events as displayed by Ironman athletes (Kimber and Ross, 2002), it may be possible to produce further improvements in performance through a carefully prescribed dietary plan.


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