SKATINGS CHARACTERS ( 2 ) Ian McPhee New Zealand


He was effectionatly known as Mr Rothmans & Leopard, that was the man I first was shown at a New Zealand indoor champs, back in the days when there were two skating Federations in New Zealand, our NZFRS only raced indoors on the 100 meter tracks.
Ian was a crafty racer & from memory at 44 years of age won the N.Z. half mile or 880 yards Championships on his regular diet of Rothmans cigarettes & Leopard Beer. A real larger than life character, a cigarette & a Beer before a race & after was common,back in the mid seventies before political correctness arrived & Characters are now much less common.
We used to race with Bostick on our wooden Pine wheels & powdered floors back in his day, then at one stadium they banned Bostick & Powder at the N.Z. champs.
I wondered how some of these Skaters were not slipping, but a pre vrace visit to the toilet, the answer was solved Mac & a few other experienced skaters deliberately peed on the floor & then rolled their wheels in it, to give the white pine wheels a light acid etch & a bit more grip.
For the Kiwi’s always known as great innovators this was classic, but a great Era.

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