Girl tractor builders seek equality
A group of girls from Coachford in County Cork are preparing to take on the male dominated sport of ‘Tractor Building’. The eight girls are in training for their first competition on August 21st when they will pitch themselves against the current World Champions and five time All Ireland Champions, Broomhill Tractor Builders who are also from the Mid Cork Village.
The girls, known as the ‘Socket Rockettes’ will form two teams of four and each team will attempt to strip and build a Ferguson 20 tractor in under 12 minutes at this year’s festival. The girls have been in training for the last number of weeks and are anxious to emulate the boys .
“We are very proud of what the lads have being doing over the years , building the Ferguson 20 tractor and competing in championships and we were anxious to have a go so a few of us got together and then a few more came on board and now we have eight of us training on Tuesday and Thursday nights to ensure that we are ready for this year’s festival.” Said Nicola Doherty. “ it took us a while to get to know the parts of the tractor and we have had some hairy moments in training figuring out how tight we should tighten the nuts and getting all the knobs and rods in the right places but I think we have it almost mastered.”
All three teams will build on the Sunday and while it would be unfair to compare the men’s and women teams it will be interesting to see how the ladies will handle the physicality of the building process. Team manger, Jer O’Sullivan said “the girls did find the lifting an issue at the beginning but on the other side of that they have an advantage when it comes to opening the nuts as they have smaller hands and can get into tighter places.”
“We are really looking forward to seeing how the girls will do up against us at the festival. They are great Craic and we’re thrilled that they have decided to build. I have watched them in training and I can honestly say that not one of them would be out of place on our team. It’s going to be a great spectacle as the teams show what they can do”, said John Joe Dennehy , Captain of the men’s team.