If it hadn’t been my birthday halfway through “Auckland Week” then I would’ve had enough bookings to coach right through. As it was we still had three days worth of skids and radults to enhance.
Strangely there was a massive bomb with the first two sessions not arriving, so it was with relief that Daniel and Connor arrived with enthusiasm. These two are always great fun, this time also having improved massively in confidence, which they quickly proved. We hit the mini track, hills and trails before getting the CRF125F and CRF150R out for them to go even faster on, to a mixed reaction of joy and fear from the women folk.
Waking up to a magical morning for day two in Whitford, I was completely spoilt with the chance to enjoy some time in the harbour. Our track was truly waterfront, and we even enjoyed a salt water swim halfway through the big group that morning.
It was a chance to recharge after all the hard work the boys had done, followed by some sprint laps. We made it through to the standing skills required for kickers and stutters, adding that to the impressive corner speed I could already see. These kids like their berms, as they proved by leaning into the corners until well below the 45 degree angle mark.
That afternoon a brother and sister team began with clutch control before getting their standing styles hammered, but not without some high octane excitement. Seeing that I had the camera on him, Zander jumped bigger than ever, which was fine, except that his arms went straight for one of those “Whisky throttle” moments that will get any parents heart racing. He miraculously saved it, thanks in part to the openness of the track, quickly getting back on the job again. It took us a wee bit longer to recover though.
After that it was a quick trip home for the birthday celebrations before tripping back up to Patetonga where a pair of brothers had their turn. They learned so quickly that I was able to push them with the challenge of kicker jumps and ruts. It was obvious that they will soon be hitting the MX track a lot more.
Ruts continued to be a major theme as we rolled into a one on one with the wandering star named Robin, who’s journey on this subject in recorded elsewhere in this months newsletter. He also needed help with his jumping, something we continued to work through the following day at my track where my step up stole the show, with both him and our friend Rhys Kelly conquering the jump that had been their nemesis.
Back to the orange clay of Patetonga, we finished with a group that are perfectly summed up as “The lads”. They were great fun, and along with continuing our rut work, we also made great progress with their jumping thanks to some whip practice.
Keeping their arms bent was not negotiable. How far they leaned into their “Turn” while jumping was up to them, although of course the goal was to get the most lean that they could.
Arcing off the ramp became the safest way to jump, especially proven when they hit any kicks off the upramp. They were a happy crew when we finished, I only wish I had gotten some photos of their whips and smiles that followed.