Tobermory RNLI's Tony 'Kiwi' is new world champion
Tobermory RNLI's Deputy Second Mechanic, Tony 'Kiwi' Spillane, was announced as World Mince and Tatties Champion on Saturday 26 January 2020.
After the All Blacks' disappointing run in the Rugby World Cup last year, New Zealander and Deputy Second Mechanic, Tony 'Kiwi' Spillane, made his home country proud by emerging victorious as the 2020 World Mince and Tatties Champion at the Mishnish in Tobermory. 'Kiwi' has continued in a tradition of Tobermory RNLI world champions with Lifeboat Operations Manager Dr Sam Jones winning the title in 2007 and former Coxswain Phil Higson being champion in 2008 and 2011.
Competitors submit their best plate of mince and tatties to a panel of judges with the winner being declared 'World Mince and Tatties Champion'.
But there was controversy when it emerged that Coxswain David McHaffie and Lifeboat Operations Manager Dr Sam Jones had been two of the three judges and some of the audience claimed that there had been 'a fix'.
Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Sam Jones responded: 'Kiwi won his world title absolutely fair and square. It was a blind tasting and none of us had any idea whose mince we were sampling. We're hoping that at our next training night, Kiwi will cook up his championship dish to warm up the volunteer crew when they come back from exercise'.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.