Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 20:32 UK

Speed attempt lawnmower unveiled at Pendine sands


Driver Don Wales and project leader Stephen Voikins say they hope to drive the lawnmower at speeds over 100mph

A machine that carries British hopes of shattering the world land speed record for a lawnmower has been unveiled at a beach in Carmarthenshire.

The specially made mower has been put through its paces at Pendine sands.

Called Project Runningblade, the team will return next month to try and power past the 100mph barrier.

The mower is driven by Don Wales, whose grandfather Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record at the seven-mile long beach in 1924.

The current mower record is held by American Bob Cleveland whose home-built lawnmower reached 80.792mph on Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, in 2006.

The British attempt is the brainchild of 49-year-old Stephen Vokins who has worked at The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, for more than 25 years.

Don Wales testing the prototype lawnmower at Pendine sands
Basically to meet the criteria it has to be fundamentally built from lawnmower components
Clare Hensley-Boyd

He underwent major heart surgery, and the record attempt is being used as a way to raise awareness and money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children and Wessex Heartbeat.

Communications director Clare Hensley-Boyd said they had already tested a prototype at Pendine but the machine unveiled on Friday would be the one used for May's record attempt.

They are aiming to go more than 20mph faster than the current world record.

"Basically to meet the criteria it has to be fundamentally built from lawnmower components, " she explained.

"It will be the first time many in the team will have seen it - it's quite exciting.

"It's a test run to see how it copes with the sands."

To qualify for the record, the team will have to demonstrate their machine is still capable of cutting grass, which it must do on the same day it takes the record.

The actual record attempt is scheduled for the weekend of the 22 and 23 May.

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