Three-time cherry spit champion Colin Lacee of Edmonton watches as his cherry pit rises into the air, not making it far enough to beat this year’s new champion, Jesse Ashworth of Ucluelet, who had a record breaking 36.5 foot spit. Steve Kidd/Western News

Naramata cherry pit spit competition draws international crowd

A new champion crowned, a new record set

It may not be the South Okanagan’s biggest sporting event, but the Naramata Cherry Spit Contest draws every bit as international a crowd as the Gran Fondo or any of the big August triathlons.

Canadian cities west to east were represented — Ucluelet, Edmonton, Toronto —but so were Spain and Norway.

The competitors were there for a simple contest, to see who could spit a cherry pit the farthest. This year, the ninth annual cherry spit, saw a three-year champion taken down and a new record set.

Colin Lacey of Edmonton has been the reigning champion for the last three years, setting a record with a 35-foot spit in 2016. But that incredible distance was shattered this year when Jesse Ashwell of Ucluelet managed to propel a cherry pit 36.5 feet from the toe line, while Lacey only managed 33 feet.

“This has been going nine years, since 2010,” said Cherry Spit emcee Craig Henderson. “A celebration of local cherries, local harvest. It’s wonderful that the Latin cherries come from just down the road, the Van Western cherry farm, all these years.”

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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