Over the last nearly four decades, the International Lineman's Rodeo has attracted competitors and spectators from overseas. This year is no exception.
For 2023, lineworkers can meet Jimmy Marinus, the part-owner of Powerlines Hawkes Bay Ltd., a line contracting company in New Zealand. He is making the long trip from New Zealand to Kansas City to learn about the International Lineman's Rodeo and meet new people.
"Our company will be competing in our New Zealand competition next year and I hope to bring some ideas and knowledge back with me that will help us succeed in our goal," he says.
Marinus says the competition in New Zealand has been going on since 2002. The three-day event features four to five events per day completed by a team of three lineworkers and one trainee.
"We do everything from electrical theory testing to installing poles and hardware as well as pole-top rescue and first aid," he says. "Each year the events change slightly to keep everyone guessing. This year, the event had 12 teams from across New Zealand battling it out to see who would be the overall best performers."
The annual event is shared between the north and south island with local network owners putting in proposals to host. This year, it was held in Invercargill and hosted by Powernet. The eventual winners were The Lines Company, he says.
Marinus heard about the International Lineman's Rodeo from other lineworkers.
"I have seen videos and photos online, and it looks like a really great event that is well organized, especially with the amount of people competing," he says. "I can't wait to see it in action and hopefully take some ideas back with me to New Zealand. I'm really looking forward to observing and soaking up all of the action."