"Thanks very much for an excellent event. After 20 years doing Brass Monkeys instead this year has me looking forward to the next Kaikoura. Good venues, well thought out sections, a good Saturday night meal-enjoyed the lot!"…Fred Carter
Fred has just found out what a lot us have known for years. Kaikoura is the must attend event of the year and this year was no exception. Three fantastic days of fun riding and socailising and this year capped off with three fantastic days of weather.
Day 1 was at Barry Schroeders place at Mt Fyffe, which has always been my favourite venue. The day started with the selection (if that's what you call it) of the teams for the Pomes Verse the Kiwis team. The Pomes desperation was evident even then with the selection again this year of a German and I think they may even have included a couple of North Islanders who had been to England once….years ago. You never can tell whats going on when "The Two Johnnies" are involved.
The sections were again all along the creek and this day proved to be the hardest and tightest for the Intermediate and Experts. The clubmans and more importantly for me the sidechair sections were not so bad and were pretty much of a similar level all weekend. Rob and I stepped up to the A Grade sidechairs this year along with Andy and Kendal and it was clear at the end of the day that perhaps some practice and even a little bit of fitness might have been a good idea. We finished the day in 3rd place and that is where we were destined to finish each day.
That night we made our way down to the Lobster for the Spitroast dinner. Unfortunately for us "The Two Johnnies" had beaten us there and there was not much left to eat, so the staff had to go and cook some more. OK there were some other people there with the two Johnnies but I'm sure they didn't eat much!!!
Sunday was another brilliant day weather wise and the sections for the Experts and Intermediates were a bit easier. We were back at the Trewins in Oaro and reusing a lot of sections from previous years with a few new ones thrown in. Everyone seemed to be smiling at the end of the day so I think the sections must have been about right. We even finished early enough to head up the road to the next days venue and check all the sections. It was obvious by now that the Pomes were really struggling and the talk from the Two Johnnies was all about a North Vs South competition. Just as well The Two Johnnies weren't in charge of the Battle of Britain or we'd all be speaking like Stefan now.
The third and final day was at "Snips Place" (sorry don't know the mans real name) where we had recently held the Pioneer vs Top of the South trial. Again we reused some of the sections from the previous trial and added a few new ones as well. After a cold start the weather was again brilliant for the day, something that we were all thankful of. As we discovered last time that particular property can be a different story in the rain. The sections proved to be about right again with lots of smiles about at the end of the day. The sidechair sections included a couple slippery hill climbs which required 3rd gear and lots of noise which is always fun and a couple of hill climbs and descents in the pine trees that got my heart rate up a bit which was also lot's of fun.
At the end of the day we had our prize giving and a bbq. Young John Haynes had held off the challenge of Blake Fox to win the Experts Class. Peter Blaymires managed to pip Tony Cameron by a mere 3 points to win the Intermediates. Gavin Fox took out the Cubman A class by an even smaller margin. He was just 1 point clear of Evan Carter after 3 days. Greg Creagh won the Clubman B class and Brent Downes absolutely embarassed the opposition to be the clear winner in the Classic class. Likewise Paul Dowell was also the clear winner in the Twinshock class. That was the Class that our new President forgot during the prize giving. He didn't forget the Presidents class though and why would he. 2 points on the first day was all he lost all weekend. A brilliant ride on the "old" Triumph. Well done Al. In the chairs Paul (The Rat) and Glenn continued their domination of this event winning the A grade by a huge margin over Andy and Kendal. The latter two just keep improving though and will be challenging the boys for the honors next year I'm sure. And finally there was "The Two Johnnies" who managed to open up enough of a lead on the first day to keep Dave and Brian from overtaking them in the B grade.
Specail thanks need to go out to The Hallies for all their work, The section setters for giving up the weekend before to set it out and of course the property owners. I personally need to thank Rob for the use of his sidechair outfit and for swinging with me. That guy is the bravest man I know………surely he's seen me ride!
All in all it was another Kaikoura like we have come to expect. Lot's of fun, not too serious and of course, the best part, beating Pomes!
"No Andy That's not how you do it………………..This is how you do it……"
Check out the Gallery for more photos of the weekend.