0 Toro set for starring role at Wimbledon 2010

Wimbledon.jpgAs 2009 draws to a close, so the countdown to Wimbledon 2010 commences for head groundsman Eddie Seaward and crew.

Having successfully helped the grounds team through the 123rd Championships - which saw tennis superstars Roger Federer and Serena Williams storm to victory in the men's and women's finals - Eddie will once again rely on his fleet of Toro turf maintenance machinery and Toro irrigation system in the run-up to his nineteenth tournament.

Wimbledon's fleet includes 19 Toro Greensmaster 1000 fine turf mowers, three Greensmaster 3250-D triple riding mowers, three Workmen utility vehicles, two HydroJect water injector aerators and a Toro Dingo trencher. Its Toro irrigation system has also recently been upgraded to feature 855S sprinklers and SitePro central control.

Commenting on the courts' performance at this year's Championships, Eddie says: "The mowers performed well all the way through the tournament, helping me keep the courts in good condition in spite of the hot weather." And having met with the All England Lawn Tennis Club's Courts Committee for the official verdict on the playing surfaces, he adds: "Everyone is extremely happy. The comments have been nothing but positive."

But now is not the time for reflection for Eddie - now that he and his 14-strong team of full-time groundsmen have completed their autumn repairs and renovations they start to gear up for next year's tournament. "November is a bit quieter, but after Christmas - particularly when the Australian Open from 18 to 31 January gets underway - that's when preparations for the next Championships really begin," he reveals.

Come June 21 next year, the Greensmaster 1000 mowers will be busy mowing the Club's 19 grassed courts. "Matchday preparation is to mow and mark," Eddie continues. "As soon as one groundsman has cut half the court, another is already starting to mark it. The triples are used on the practice courts. The mowing is run with military precision."

Eddie also says the new irrigation should simplify watering the courts - especially Centre Court. "Thanks to our new 855S precision spray sprinklers we can spot-water - they're ideal around the edges of Centre Court if it's getting too dry as they have a throw of about two metres. They're also wind tolerant, which is important as the fans at the end of the court create air movement."

Eddie, together with irrigation engineer Grant Cantin, chose the Toro system because reliability is paramount to Wimbledon. "We mainly water at night," Eddie explains, "so we need a reliable system to ensure the water goes on. SitePro is great because it can be controlled remotely - you can control different courts and decide how much water to put on without having to be there. You could put it on from the pub if you wanted!"

For more information about Toro turf maintenance machinery and irrigation systems, call distributor Lely UK on 01480 226800, email toro.info.uk@lely.com or visit www.toro.com.

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Contact Kerry Haywood

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