Tocal Field Days 2019 billy boiling competition is on again

COMPETITION: Allan George with some of the things you'll need to boil a billy in the Tocal Field Days' billy boiling competition. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.
COMPETITION: Allan George with some of the things you'll need to boil a billy in the Tocal Field Days' billy boiling competition. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

The popular billy boiling competition at Tocal Field Days is almost here again.

Are you up for the challenge?

Organisers have confirmed there will be two heats on Friday, May 3 and four heats on the weekend of May 4 and 5.

The test begins with a block of wood, a tomahawk, some matches and a billy with 600ml of water in it, as well as a squirt of detergent.

Then the creativity, and the strategy kicks in.

Each contestant has to chop their wood into burnable pieces, work out how to create the ideal fire that will have their billy boiling in the fastest time.

The best time over the three days will be deemed the overall winner.

Allan George, who has watched many contestants take on the challenge over the years, thinks it can be done in less than eight minutes.

"The block of wood is about 150mm square. From it they cut out some larger pieces to sit the billy on initially," he said.

"They can move it as the fire develops and can stack the wood again to give it enough support as the fire burns around it.

The block of wood is about 150mm square, from it they cut out some larger pieces to sit the billy on initially.They can move it as the fire develops and can stack the wood again to give it enough support as it burns around it,

Billy boiling competition organiser Allan George

"Basically, they've got eight minutes to chop up parts of the wood, get the fire going and boil the water in the billy.

"We put a bit of detergent in the water so it froths up and flows over the side when its boiled."

Mr George said the activity was a fun way to make an old skill relevant in today's modern world.

"There are a few people who have been doing this for a while and they have got it down to an art form," he said.

"There are other billy boiling competitions around the state and some people travel to them, but at Tocal we mostly get local people having a go. Its something different for them to try."

All of the materials are supplied. To compete fill in the entry form on the day.

There is lots to see and do at Tocal Field Days including kissing llamas, watch cheesemaking demonstrations, enjoying a petting zoo and piglet races and a browsing through a range of farming-related equipment.

This story Will you take on the billy boiling challenge at Tocal Field Days? first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.

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