Category Archives: 03. News & Views

Time Penalties:- The Hot Topic

Time Penalties – The Hot Topic 

After the commotion at the recent Wellington round of the North Island Champs, time penalties have become the hot topic for discussion. For what it’s worth here’s what I think.

I think the system is the best solution we’ve ever come up with. I think it’s fair for everyone and stops people who have had a problem during the day being excluded from the results. It also stops people mucking about and taking their time for no reason. The alternatives weren’t great and always a bit unclear. Pulling the sections at a set time seemed ambiguous, was it starting at section 1 or all the sections at once? How do we get the section at the end of the valley to pull his pegs at the right time? Do we let the riders in the queue ride or send them away? No, my feeling is this is the best way. It’s the same for everyone and it’s very clear what the penalties are for not finishing on time.

I think there are a couple of other issues that we should be addressing. Firstly this obsession with trying to finish a trial in the middle of the day and then there’s this seeming acceptance that, even though it’s contrary to the rules, it’s O.K. to “take a five” without attempting the section.

I don’t know why it is, and we see it at our club trials as well, but everyone seems so keen to get finished packed up and go home. At Wellington the organisers wanted to finish at 2.30pm. Why?? I know some people have to travel a long way home but that’s not an issue for the organisers; that’s for the individual to worry about. The event shouldn’t be tailored to suit the travel arrangements of a few. I doubt we’ll ever see the All Blacks walking off the field 20mins into the second half because they’ve got a plane to catch. I think we go out for the day and not ½ a day. A 3.30/4.00 finish should be the norm. I don’t think riders will stay away from an event because it finishes 1 hour later.

Now, this “taking a five” thing. I am against any rule change to make this within the rules. The rules are quite clear; if you don’t attempt the section it’s a 10 point penalty. To change that rule goes against the spirit and objective of the sport. That is “To attempt to ride your motorcycle through a section without footing”. Any rule change that would allow you do anything else is contrary to that basis. What reward would there be for actually attempting the section? And in some cases why would you bother risking damage or injury or wasting energy when you could just opt out completely?  No I believe that we should be enforcing that rule not removing it. That means (if you want to “take a five”) sitting in the queue and putting your front wheel through the start pegs. If you’ve had an accident or breakdown and can’t finish then you should get a DNF. If you’re running late then you should get time penalties. If there’s a big queue at a section (like in Wellington) then you have to sit there just like everyone else or you could “take a Ten”. If you do anything else you’re cheating someone else out of their correct placing. And remember if everyone waited in line as you’re supposed to the time penalties become less of a problem because everyone will have some, not just the few that observed the rules. Just a foot note to that we should also bear in mind that a trial is supposed to be a reliability test as well as a test of skill, so if you do breakdown well……..  that’s trials.  

As far as riding sections in order, well I’m a bit undecided. It does seem a bit pedantic to me but if we think back to the Wellington experience would it really have helped to remove that rule. Even if we all skipped section 7 and went and rode the rest eventually we were all going to end up back there in a queue (probably a bigger one). I rode in the Australian champs in Sydney a few years back where they don’t have to ride sections in order and to be honest it made no difference, there were still queues at the tougher sections.  

It’s a shame the Wellington round ended under a bit of a cloud because it was really a great event. The Ixion  club should be proud of the great work they did in very trying conditions.

Well that’s my 20 cents worth, take more time and stop bending the rules so everyone finishes. I know other people have different views, I’ve seen a few varying ones already, so now’s your chance to have your say, let us hear your opinion. Post your comments here.

Derek Scott

Nelson S.I. Champs Update


This is just a reminder that the final 2 rounds of the 2008 SI Champs will be held in the Nelson Area on the 6th and 7th of September. 


The event will be held at Punawai Farm in Eighty Eight Valley. Punawai is approximately 7 km from the township of Wakefield on SH6. The same venue will be used for both days.  Directions and a map are included at the back of the attached Entry Form. Punawai is a massive property that we are very fortunate to have access to. This is the same property where Day 1 of the 2006 NZ Champs were held. A couple of the sections will be held over “semi natural” terrain and the rest set up the creeks, in the trees and on the hillsides. 


It would be appreciated if you could return you entries sooner rather than later. As in Rounds 3 & 4, the Presidents lines will follow the Blue markers plus one Green marker in each section. Please ensure your name plates are clearly marked with Green tape.  In an attempt to boost numbers, We will also be setting out and running a Social Class…. without compromising the technicality of the sections. 

Start Times


08:45 hrs Check-in                       

09:45 hrs Riders Briefing                       

 10:00 hrs Start 


08:45 hrs Check-in

09:15 hrs Riders Briefing                       

09:30 hrs Start 

Prize Giving

Prize giving will be held at the venue immediately after the event. A BBQ and drinks will be provided.  


It is suggested that those of you coming from out of town book yourselves into the Brightwater Motor Inn (03  542 3607). This is marked up on the attached map. This will be very convenient for the event. They have ample offstreet parking, a large “sports bar” and a reasonably priced restaurant. We intend all meeting here on the Saturday evening… drink driving issues! As of today, the Brightwater Motor Inn has 15 units available for that weekend.

Rates are as follows:– 

14 ea Studio units, $90/night, queen + single,  or 2 x single, options available.– 

1 ea Family unit, $120/night for 2 adults, up to 4 additional adults at an extra $15/night each.  

Other suggestion are:

Parkside Motel, Richmond, 03 5446564,   $110/night/2 bed unit

Destiny Motels, Richmond, 03 543 9954           $ ?? 


As this is the last round of the SI Champs, would the 2007 holders of the permanent trophies please make sure they bring them along to the event, or send them with someone….should you be dying and unable to attend!  

See you all on the 6th 


Gordon Anderson

Wellington August 2008


It seemed such a good idea way back in about March this year when, at a club trial down here in Christchuch a certain Mr.Derek Scott came up with the wonderful idea of going up to Wellington to ride a couple of North Island Champ rounds. Well, as the months past and some South Island rounds came and went, Kaiakoura 3 day came and went, things were looking quite promising. Right up until about a month prior to the event. It started raining. And quite frankly didn’t stop. So there we were last Friday morning heading north towards Picton, 6 of us in two vans, driving through torrential rain, roadworks with Stop/Go men and temporary traffic lights at all the major landslips along the way. The thought of 2 days riding in these conditions was not very appealing. Amazingly there were no major delays and we arrived in Picton with hours (literally) to spare. The crossing was as calm can be. After more torrential rain during the night we awoke to more rain, we headed out to the venue and missed it by about 20kms. Finally arriving at the right place the first challenge was to descend the steep farm track to the parking area. ‘This’ll be fun on the way out’ I thought, ‘wish I’d bought that 4WD Hiace now’. The trial got under way and all the sections were a reasonable ride away along narrow, muddy (funny that) farm tracks which, on the first lap were fine but very quickly turned to something akin to an ice rink only worse. Plus with a couple of steep climbs and descents thrown in made for very interesting travelling to and from the sections.  The sections themselves were mainly in and out of rocky streams, up and down greasy banks. Number 9 and 10 probably the most slick of them all. But, considering the weather in the weeks previous they were on the whole very rideable and still taking points. And the rain had stopped. Day 2. After more rain overnight we awoke to blue sky and sunshine. Arriving at the venue, early this time, we were told that the organisers had eased off some sections due to MORE rain. Music to my ears. They had been snowed on the previous evening whilst getting the sections ready for Sunday. After briefing we were off. No long muddy tracks today, just a short loop crammed with 10 mostly muddy sections. The first lap condions were pretty good but very soon about half of the sections became extremely slick. Full credit to those riders that seem to be able to find traction on such terrain. The sections had quite a variety. A steep hill climb, a rather large rock for Intermediates/ Experts and slippery logs. But, nothing dangerous AND the sun was still shining. Plus a few spectators had made their way out. All us South Islanders finished in one piece which is always a bonus in my books. A big thank you to the Ixion Club for putting on an excellent trial especially considering the weather they had to deal with in the weeks prior. I for one will be back for more…….. Cheers  John Regan Quote of the Weekend:  ‘Too Much Throttle – Nink Um Poop’………..(you needed to be there….!)


Follow this link to the Ixion Website to veiw the final results.

Wellington August 2008 results

2007 New Zealand Championship Update

The venues for the 2008 Nationals have now been been finalised and confirmed.                                                                                                                                                          They are:

Day 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Louis McGregors Property                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chapman Rd Alexandra

Day 2 & 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Harry Roberts Property                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Earnscleugh Station                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hawley Rd Alexandra

Directions and maps to both properties have now been posted on The Pioneertrials Directions page

We have also confirmed 10 more sponsors for the event as well.

The Bakery                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Resene paints                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alexandra Tourist park                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Southernwide Real Estate Central                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alexandra Holiday Park                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Kapiti Motorcycles    

Jason Baker Sherco

MobilGarage Alexandra   

The New Zealand Community Trust                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and  The Nelson Marlborough Trials Centre

We thank these people for their generous support and hope you will all make an effort to support them whenever you can.

Cheers Hibbsy


South Island Championships Christchurch 2008

South Island Championships Christchurch 2008

Disappointingly only thirty-three riders turned out for the 3rd and 4th round of the South Island Champs in Christchurch.

Day one was held at a new venue which was a great property but the weather turned on us resulting in everyone returning high scores and two or three sections becoming un-ride able. The sections setting was challenging for all grades with a mixture of rocks and grassy hillsides. Thanks to Derek who had a big off and couldn’t complete the day he managed to take some photos that will be posted on this website. 

 Brad Hibbs

  Day two the weather was brilliant but the rain from the previous days meant the sections were still very difficult. Back to the familiar Kaituna Valley but with some new sections. The sections were based around creeks, slippery rocks and greasy banks. The terrain allowed the competitors to rev out their bikes especially on section 6 where the spectators gathered.

Overall we found the weekend to be very challenging but enjoyable with good results for our riders as the results will show.

Southern Trials Group

P.S. Where are all the riders and why are they not turning up?

Change of Venue

Having lost access to the Van Asch property we have moved the next trial to a new property at Graylees Rd. This property becomes available to us through the efforts of Bruce Bayliss. Our thanks go to Bruce for his work on our behalf.

The property is on the corner of Graylees Rd and the main Akaroa highway about 4kms on from the "Blue Duck Cafe". See our directions page.

Championship Classes for 2009

Warren has sent out these ideas for classes for next years Championship rounds. Here's your chance to have a say, just click on the comments tag and let us know what you think.


Hi All 

Championship Grades 

During the Trials workshop held recently at the MNZ AGM in Nelson I had an item for discussion regarding Championship Grades. The Item was discussing the possibility of changing some of our existing support grades to receive full Championship Status. 

To achieve this we all need to come up with a sensible/workable structure that recognises true Champions in both age and ability classes. I then need to present it to the MNZ board for their approval or not and generally will act on the recommendation from me unless it goes against the MNZ constitution or policy.  

The simple option would be to just issue all existing grades as full Championship Grades with the exception of Social Grade. But with a little discussion we came up with a proposal that although a little different from our current Classes it could work well.  

For some time now there has been discussion about the need in NZ for a Masters class as they do in Australia. This is for 35 years + riding the Yellow (Intermediate) line. There was full support at the meeting for this class to be installed and felt that the positives for it out way any negative reaction that it might have on the existing Intermediate Grade. All riders who make this age group are automatically put into the Masters class and removed from Intermediate. The feeling was that we needed to have a separate grade to cater for those older riders who are either coming back down from the A Grade and those experienced riders in Intermediate to have a good class to compete amongst themselves in. This then leaves all the up and coming younger riders to fight it out for a title with out the others getting mixed up in it. 

So with that in mind it was decided that this grade would be given the full Championship status over the Presidents as this is the higher class of rider in the same age group category.  

So we have seven Classes with the following titles: 

New Zealand Expert Champion

New Zealand Masters Champion

New Zealand Junior Champion 

National A Grade Champion

National Intermediate Champion

National Clubman Champion

National President Champion 

The three NZ Champ classes represent the very best in ability at the top level and each of the two age groups. Then the four National titles represent all other grades. 

It was thought that the top three grades get full Championship status as they do now and the other four could be recognised at a lower level, basically receiving MNZ certificates but not Medals.  

So now the question is what do you think of this format? Do you want a Masters grade? Should we give all seven classes’ full recognition? (I am sure MNZ would supply another 4 medals each year).  

We also briefly discussed that in the future if (and hopefully we will) we get to a situation of having good junior numbers coming through the ranks from Junior into Intermediate that we would shift the Junior Championship to this level where it recognises the achievements of these better riders and the Blue line riders would become Youth riders who are just beginning in the sport. Obviously as I said we cannot do this yet until we get better numbers for these grades so it was decided to keep Junior as it is at the moment.  

Unfortunately we did not discuss the current trial under way in the North Island with the Presidents riding one Yellow gate per section. I think at this point we will continue this system if the organising club wishes to run with it and we will all need to make a call on it later in the year for next year. This is almost a whole different topic and will leave it at that for now. 

Please as usual pass this around and send back any comments to me for evaluation.