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Veteran biker Wedlake shines at beach races

BEACH RACING by Rockie Ellmers

It was all on at the Gisborne Motorcycle Sports Club pre-nationals beach racing meeting as racers put their machines to the test in preparation for the nationals in August.

Despite the threat of rain and cold weather, a good number of competitors made it to the start line.

In the senior open class it was good to see three road warriors hit the sand to take on the motocross boys. Steve Allen (Honda CBR1000) had a good run, Dave Campbell (Suzuki Bandit 1100) had traction problems and Brendon Barwick (Yamaha R6) was happy with two thirds. But all credit has to go to veteran beach racer Graham Wedlake (Kawasaki KXF450), who took out all three races.

Results: Race 1, Wedlake, Malcolm Rau (Honda CRF450), Barwick. Race 2, Wedlake, Rau, Barwick. Race 3, Wedlake, Rau, Barwick.

In the 0-500 class some good battles were going on. Wedlake was pushed all day by Kyle Beckett (Kawasaki KXF450). Rau threw everything he had at Dave Wilson (KTM SXF350) He just could not catch Wilson but he did manage to hold off a determined Derek Watson (Husqvarna TC350).

Results: Race 1, Wedlake, Beckett, Wilson. Race 2, Wedlake, Beckett, Wilson. Race 3, Beckett, Wedlake, Wilson.

ATV (Quad) Class was all go. Graham Strong (Suzuki LTR450) had a good day with three wins.

The real battle was for second place with Natasha Goodall (Suzuki LTR450) and Hawke’s Bay racer Dontage Ifan (Honda TRX450) who were battling it out all day. Results: Race 1, Strong, Goodall, Ifan. Race 2, Strong, Goodall, Ifan. Race 3 Strong, Goodall, Ifan.

The biggest class of the day, 0-250, was also the most competitive — no one gave an inch. Ben Logan (Yamaha YZ250), Buck Atkins (KTM 250SXF) and Jody Engelbrecht (Yamaha YZ250FX) all fought hard for the top three places. Bryce Norman (KTM SX250) tried to join the party but had to settle for three fourth placings.

Results: Race 1, Logan, Engelbrecht, Atkins. Race 2, Logan, Atkins, Engelbrecht. Race 3, Atkins, Logan, Engelbrecht.

Graham Wedlake (Suzuki RM370) dominated the Classic Class with three wins.

Warren Marten had to settle for three second places on his trusty Honda XL185.

In the Ladies class there was some good racing with Brooke Wealleans (Suzuki LTR450) having a very successful day with three wins. Natasha Goodall (Suzuki LTR450), Fritha Rau KTM SX300) and Ella Watson (Honda CRF150) certainly tried their best to knock Wealleans off her perch but to no avail.

Results: Race 1, Wealleans, Goodall, Rau. Race 2, Wealleans, Goodall, Rau. Race 3, Wealleans, Goodall, Rau.

Henry Watson on his Husqvarna TC125 was the only entry in the Junior A class, so went home with three first placings.

By contrast there were good numbers in the Junior B class, and hard racing. Jack McNaught (Yamaha YZ85) had a very good run with three wins — Cohen Laing (Kawasaki KX85) just could not catch him. Jordan Fenwick (Suzuki RB85) and Claire Ellmers (Kawasaki KXL140) had some good battles during the day.

Results: Race 1, McNaught, Laing, Fenwick, Race 2, McNaught, Laing, Fenwick. Race 3, McNaught, Laing, Fenwick.

In the Mini 65 class, Corrin Newman and Abby Fenwick, both racing Kawasaki KX65s, put in 100 percent to take out that prized chequered flag. Results: Race 1, Newman, Fenwick. Race 2, Newman, Fenwick. Race 3, Fenwick, Newman.

There was plenty of action and a lot of passing in the Trails Class. Troy Englebrecht (Yamaha TTR125) was king for the day with three wins. Lochie Davidson (Yamaha TTR125), Angus Goodall (Yamaha TTR90) and Travis Foss (Yamaha PW80) really had fun on the track, while Gemma and Jade Ellmers, both on Kawasaki KXL10s, were coming to grips with their new machines.

Results: Race 1, Englebrecht, Davidson, Foss. Race 2, Englebrecht, Davidson, Goodall. Race 3, Englebrecht, Foss, Davidson.

Makoia Peters (KTM50) was the only racer on a water-cooled 50 in the Mini 50s, the club’s future racers, so he won all his races.

For the air-cooled 50s it was all on as Aero and Ivy Fenwick, both on Honda CRF50s, battled it out. Arco MacGillvray (Yamaha PW50) certainly had a lot of fun on the sand.

Results: Race 1, Ivy, Aero, MacGillvray. Race 2, Aero, Ivy, MacGillvray. Race 3, Aero, Ivy, MacGillvray.

Next beach racing meeting, August 8.

HAT-TRICK OF WINS: Graham Wedlake took out all three races in the senior open class at the Gisborne Motorcycle Sports Club’s pre-nationals beach racing meeting at Makorori this month. File picture by Liam Clayton

  1. Steve Allan says:

    Na, something wrong there, young Becket won the first senior race with Wedlake second and Steve Allan 3rd ..
    Second race was Steve Allan first, with a hard fought race with Becket 2nd and Wedlake third …

    Footnote response from Rockie: As with motorsports these days, the Gisborne Motorcycle Sports Club uses a MyLaps lap-scoring system. This is a system where riders have a transponder attached to their bike, so when they cross over the start/finish line their lap and time is recorded by a timing loop over the track.
    Some riders choose not to use transponders as they just want to race for fun and not points – so even if they are first across the finish line, their win is not shown in the official MyLaps results.