After winning the Canadian Reversible Plowing Championships in Ottawa, August 2016, Tom ramped up his research of what would be needed to compete in World Plowing Championships in Kenya, December 2017.
The first contact was to Barry Timbers of Sunderland Ontario who competed there in the 1995 Championships. Other than the obvious differences in travel and logistics to get equipment organized to get there, the top priority was to address the different soil conditions. The soil has a high level of volcanic ash content. There are rains in the afternoon on a consistent basis during that time of the year. In conversation with Barry, Tom discovered that the use of steel boards was not an option. Severe sticking to anything steel including other parts of the plow caused major problems when he competed there. The 2017 competition site is the exact same site as 1995. To address this problem, plastic boards would be needed. Given the limited availability of plastic boards, Tom decided to manufacture his own, with a revised pattern and of course, since his plow has 4 mouldboards, needed to repeat the process 4 times exactly. The result after hours of design, redesign, and many more hours of shop time to manufacture the boards and the supporting components, Tom was able to get his plow prepared for shipping.
It does help that Tom has a design/drafting skill. He works for Britespan Building Systems in Lucknow Ontario in their design offices. This undertaking put several of his skills as well as developing new skills to design, building moulds, to a custom oven, to pattern construction to welding and piecing 4 identical mouldboards.
With the help and cooperation of Team USA, Gene Gruber and Kevin Albrecht, Tom and his fellow competitor from Canada Jay Lennox are shipping their equipment to Minnesota, USA, to be put into a container for shipping to Kenya.
This might be the only time that Tom needs to use these boards. Even though they are too big (over 4 feet in length) to put as a momento on his coffee table, I am sure that they will be well stored in case he gets the chance to return to Kenya to compete in the future.