CAL Baker knows the best way to carry a woman.
The 19-year-old former Grafton resident won the inaugural Australian Wife Carrying Titles at Singleton, in the Hunter Valley, with his friend, Kelly Smith ? upside-down on his back.
On Saturday, Smith, 21, of the Central Coast, and Baker won $2000 and the opportunity to compete at the world championships at Finland in July.
The pair beat 11 teams and set a record of 1.01 minutes on the 200 metre obstacle course.
"When she got off I was a bit sore, my legs felt like jelly," Baker said.
"Some couples fell over and one didn't finish."
Smith wore exercise weights to make the 50 kilogram weight minimum.
She said she shut her eyes through the race, except when they fell over in the water obstacle.
"I didn't want to look down in case I fell," Smith said.
"I planned to hold my breath through the water, but I panicked and got a gulp of water."
Smith said she went to Countryfest, which included a ute muster, rodeo and the wife-carrying, at the spur of the moment.
"I have never been to a rodeo and thought it would be fun," she said.
Baker said the Clarence Valley should consider hosting a similar event at the Lawrence or Coutts Crossing rodeos.
"It would be something different," he said. "The crowds loved it ? there were thousands of people there."
Second place went to 2005 winners Angela Moore, Baker's house mate, and partner Anthony Partridge.
Baker also won $384 the rope and tie event in the rodeo on his palomino gelding Travis.