I went to my first Super X event in many years last weekend, a round in the NZ Championships held at the “Rat Track” at Lower Moutere. I was very impressed: a great track with excellent viewing for the spectators and a high standard of competition. Locals were cheering for their hero, Josh Coppins from Motueka. Josh has performed very well over the years, just missing out on a world title through injury.
I must say I saw something which really impressed me about superstar Josh Coppins. He was sitting quietly in the shade, resting between races, when a father arrived with a host of quite small children wanting autographs. I paused to see what would happen. Coppins was fantastic, talking to the kids and autographing everything they put in front of him. It was clear that he had really made their day. It was nice to see. I missed the shot, but here’s one taken a few moments later:
There were several big jumps around the track, one strategically located at the start/finish line:
#105 is Michael Phillips from Rotorua, here leading the local hero #6, Josh Coppins.
When the racing is tight, you may see several bikes in the air very close together. I guess the second rider needs to have faith that the other guy will make his landing.
They have so much air time, it must feel like flying!
During the pauses for track maintenance, we were given a display of motorbike trials skills by a young local team. The leader was a young local, Jake Whitaker, who is currently the NZ and Australian trials champion. Here’s an example of his skill (balance, throttle and brake control). He’s about to jump up a 2 metre wall, from a standing start off a small ramp. Here he goes:
You can see the height of the jump clearly in this next shot:
His rear wheel seems to just stick to that wall and push him up:
Finally he’s made it:
Jake is raising money to get back to Europe to compete in the World Champs. Good luck to him!
You can find the results for the Super X event here.