The inaugural South Island Enduro Championship series kicked off at Peraki Bay, near Christchurch, on Sunday with an excellent turnout of nearly 70 riders.
Brilliant weather and some rain the night before, it was shaping up to be a great day of racing.
With more than 20 riders retiring after the first lap, it soon became evident that conditions were treacherous and the tight, Manuka trails were giving many people a hard time. All in all though, it was a great track and the Christchurch Off-road Motorcycle club did a fantastic job of running the event.
Rangiora’s Kelly Paterson (Yamaha WR250F) took the early initiative, narrowly taking the first test win from Christchurch’s Chris Mexted (Honda CRF250R) and Oamaru’s Steven Smit (Yamaha YZ250F).
Terrain test 2 saw Paterson hold off the two young guns who were, this time, in a three-way tie for 2nd place with Gore’s Jason Duff (KTM450EXC)
With terrain test 3 came a new winner, Mexted snuck through to snatch final test honours from Paterson and Duff who tied for second place with Mosgiel’s Jol Hennesey romping home to claim third spot.
At the end of the day’s racing, it was Paterson who came away with the win, the veteran rider returning after a two-year stint off the bike. Mexted came home in second with Smit snapping at their heels in third.
The Expert unders class podium saw the outright standings repeated, with Paterson taking the win from Mexted and Smit. Taking the number four spot in the unders class was Wyndham’s Ryan Mckenzie (KTM 250EXC-F)
© Words and photo by Steven Kelly, www.BikesportNZ.com