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I will be back says New Zealands Strongest Man after North Island Train Town Kawakawa record bid slips up 

May 21, 2009
I will be  back  says New Zealands Strongest Man after North Island Train Town Kawakawa record bid slips up

Levi Vaoga will be back next year to attempt a World Record solo pull of the 1927 steam engine Gabriel at the 2010 Puff Pull Carnival in Kawakawa.

Levi tried twice but was unable to pull Gabriel - he just could not get enough traction on the tarmac, Cheryl Jesen of New Zealand's Destination Northland said today.

But he will come back next year for another go and this time bring some starting blocks, she said.

The crowd was about 4000 and they loved the days events, Cheryl said.

This yearLevi's recordattempt followed community team competitions to pull the vintage engine along the tracks from outside the historic Star Hotel along the main street to the world-famous Hundertwasser Toilets at a carnival which drew a crowd of 4000, Cheryl Jensen of New Zealand's Destination Northland said today.

The public restrooms in the center of Kawakawa, Bay of Islands have been described as gorgeous, creative and democratic.

Designed in 1997 by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, famous Austrian architect, painter and print maker, the colorful restrooms feature smashed tiles and glass in curves and spirals reminiscent of Gaudi.

Bottles embedded in the wall allow natural light to enter.The building is topped off by grass roof.

The Puff Pull Carnival projects excitement and community spirit to raise money for the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust, which is working to restore the 13km Kawakawa to Opua railway, the first ever railway line in the North Island, which includes 12 bridges and an 80m long tunnel.

The fully restored, vintage steam engine Gabriel was one of five built in 1927 and is the only one of her class left in the world.

The Kawakawa Railway Station is registered by the Rail Heritage Trust, and the restoration of the railway is supported by NZ Historic Places Trust.

The railway is unique in that a section of it runs through Kawakawa down the middle of a road that is also part of State Highway 1.

The days events started at 8.30am with Trek the Track, a sponsored 4.7km walk involving 350 local schoolchildren, organised by Sport Northland, along a disused section of railway track between Moerewa and Kawakawa.

Then, at 10am, school teams competed to pull Gabriel along the length of Kawakawas main street to win the Getting up Stream trophy, followed by the contest for the Gabriel Trophy involving adult teams from local Bay of Islands businesses and clubs.

These competitions are a core component of the day and are hugely entertaining for both contestants and supporters.

Levi, New Zealands strongest man and formerly 4th strongest man in the World,will come back again in 2010 tomake a Guinness World Record attempt for a solo pull of the vintage steam engine.

The crowd followed a Highland Pipe Band to Johnson Park where the carnivalcontinued withactivities, stalls, dance and music performances.

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