It didn’t take Australian brothers Tom and Mike McCormack to adapt to the Kiwi Lifestyle.
First-timers in New Zealand, the two teenagers arrived with the entire family, including mum and dad, Lorry and Brad, and sister Beck, to throw themselves right in the deep end as they lined up to tackle the opening round of this year’s Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships at Waimiha at the weekend.
From Byron Bay, near Brisbane, the two boys regularly make waves in the Australian enduro scene, but they didn’t know what to expect at the hot, dry and dusty course in the King Country, just down the road from Benneydale in the central North Island.
But the nerves didn’t take long to settle and 17-year-old Tom was soon on the pace, taking his Yamaha YZ250F to finish a very creditable seventh outright in the race packed with international stars such as United States GNCC No.3 Paul Whibley, of Pahiatua, extreme endurance specialists Chris Birch (Auckland) and Rory Mead (Taupo), and recent ISDE heroes for New Zealand’s three-man Wellard Yamaha Club Team, cousins Chris Power and Karl Power and Mokau’s Adrian Smith.
The result meant Tom McCormack also finished fifth overall in his under-300cc four-stroke class.
His 16-year-old brother Mike (on an identical YZ250F) battled his way to fourth overall in the intermediate class.
The day was won by Kiwi international Whibley (Yamaha YZ450F), the man the motorcycling community knows affectionately as “the Axeman”, and he led a Yamaha 1-2 to the finish, with Mead (Yamaha YZ250F) coming home second overall.
The next round of the six-round enduro nationals is set for Oparau, near Kawhia, on January 29.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com