There we will see champions of the past, present and future go into battle at the annual New Zealand Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships on farmland property at Riversdale, midway between Lumsden and Gore.
The challenging course at Peter Dale’s property, 807 Mandeville-Kingston Crossing Road, Riversdale, will host the two-day event featuring an entry list that reads like a who’s who and who-used-to-be-who of the sport.
Run this season by the Gore And District Motorcycle Club, the popular annual event will feature many riders who, despite their veteran status, still rate among the sport’s elite, while the female side of the sport that shares the race programme is more still a hotbed for rising stars.
The event again presents real value for money for spectators with racing over two days for both the elite females, in both the junior and senior grades, and intense racing also for the country’s top male riders aged over 30 years.
Several of the riders who might be expected to shine among the women include Motueka sisters Roma and Skye Edwards, Hamilton sisters Amie and Brianna Roberts, fellow Hamilton pair Mikayla Rowe and Nikita Goodwin, Invercargill foursome Charlotte Clark, Bella Earley, Sophie Flay and Amber Flay, Hastings rider Halle Cox and Milton pair Indy Barrett and Tayla Gold, to name just a few.
In the men’s competition, stand-out riders might include Motueka’s former world championship No.2 Josh Coppins, Masterton’s Johnny Burkhart, Lower Hutt’s former New Zealand 500cc champion Corrie Sargent, Nelson’s Bryan Heaphy, two-time former New Zealand motocross champion Mike Cotter, from Cambridge, Winton’s Brent Scammell, Blenheim’s Steve Lange, Balclutha’s Dean Bond, Otatara’s Greg Baynes, New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe, Whakatane’s Darren Capill and Winton’s Marty Axtens, although any number of the equally talented riders entered could be in the running for a podium finish.
Auckland-based former Swiss international Gaudenz Gisler and Pukekohe’s Tony Cooksley could also easily steal away with the glory in their respective classes.
Even riders who would not normally consider motocross as their prime sport, men such as former Otago rugby captain David Latta and Wellington’s two-time national superbike champion Sloan Frost, could spring a surprise or two on the motocross track this weekend. Motorcycling New Zealand president Noel May, from Timaru, is also entered and he will ride his son’s Honda CRF450 in the veterans’ 50-54 years’ class.
Gore And District Motorcycle Club president Brendon Stevens said his club was “really looking forward” to hosting the event.
“It has been a long time since we’ve hosted anything as big as this. With more than 150 riders entered, many from the top of the North Island, it is very encouraging. We really appreciate the riders all making an effort to come.”
The event is jointly sponsored by Beatties Collision Repair Centre, Aitken Joinery Ltd, Andrews Transport, Yamaha Agricentre, Ewan Allan Honda, David Stevenson Auto, Mataura Licensing Trust, Abernethy Contracting, Community Trust of Southland, McHaffie Building Ltd and T&E Motorcycles.
© Words and photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
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