This year was the 20th anniversary of this event. Spectator turnout seemed to be down a bit, probably due to all the recent wet weather. But it was a good day for racing. I got a lot of good pictures, far too many to post here. I’ll put them up on my pBase site over the coming week. (Yep. Here they are now)
The meeting was dominated by Dennis Charlett of Christchurch on his superfast Suzuki GSXR600.
It’s always fun to contrast the various riding styles. Look at these two completely different ways to go round a bend. First the Formula 1 bike:
Now the Supermoto, here ridden by local hero Josh Coppins:
Josh showed superb control, sometimes drifting in the corners as the track dried out, or pulling a wheelie down the whole length of the back straight after winning.
(Yes, I know. That’s not the back straight. But I missed his big one.)
Another feature is the range of bikes racing. For example, this ancient machine was really fast, finishing well up in the Classic section.
It was a “Denelt Montlhery 500”, raced by Peter Jones of Christchurch. I’d actually never heard 0f that brand, but ‘Sheldon’s European Motorcycle Universe’ explained that the name comes from founders Dunford and Elliot back in the 1920s. Montlhery is a French track. This machine seemed to rev at half the rate of the other classics, but had power to burn! Must be interesting to ride though – note the girder forks and rigid back end.
The Manx Norton 500 of Bruce Verdon is beautiful to watch and even better to listen to. (I had been regretting putting my hearing aids in that morning, at least until this bike went past.)
My neighbouring onlooker (whose daughter lent me her chair for a while – thank you!) got very enthusiastic about this new Norton Commando 961:
Teenager Scout Fletcher of Christchurch is one of few women racing, doing well on a Suzuki 150:
It’s fairly easy to get good, sharp shots with a long lens if a very fast shutter speed is used. Trouble is, the bikes look as if they are standing still, not racing. The best shots come from using a fairly slow shutter speed and panning the camera to blur the background. I found I was rather out of practice this year, my proportion of ‘keepers’ was way down. That’s where a programme like ‘Lightroom’ really comes into its own, speeding up the editing process no end.
I’ll try to get a representative selection covering as many of the entrants as possible up on the pBase site, www.pbase.co/kiwi_g . It will take a few days yet though.