for Jacob Kneebone’s first coaching roadie on the coaching circuit he flew in a day early, getting a ride on the well known Hazeldale Station before picking me up and driving us north through drought stricken Canterbury. With temperatures over 30 degrees C you would be silly to think of anything but the cool river.
Who’s ready to race?
A tad concerned about how my students would handle the heat the following day, I needn’t have worried. Pleasant point lived to its name with a much cooler day.
From James and Harry smashing the inside lines to Remus of Rome following me up every bank and across every ditch, we had a ball. Practice a few starts and carry on south, it was a good day.
Balclutha had grown from one day to two thanks to the Robinson, Tutty and Carter families. While Kruz gained confidence aboard his CRF150R, Matt came to seriously haul around the corner section, while Ryan nailed the big hill. And that was just the prelude.
The Balclutha Southern series track was epic with even Jacob quadding the doubles section. Our borrowed 2013 CRF450R made it almost too easy as you might notice about how it corners also. We loved it, and along with a group started by Isaac Hay and completed through Bailey Kenny there were ruts, sprints and whips aplenty.
Head Over Heels
With no incidents for so long you can start to feel a bit invincible, and I was brought back to earth with the least expected occupation at our home for the night with Fergus Brock and family. Trying to do two laps around the 4km bush track aboard their family mountain bike while they ran one lap, had sounded like a good idea, if only I had known that the track suddenly veered left at the bottom of a fast winding section. Instead I went straight into the bank and then the drain. Not the start I had intended!
Finally it was overnight rain that forced us to the track affectionately known as ‘the Sandpit’, which wasn’t nearly as powdery as I expected. There is certainly no drought in Southland with puddles popping up quickly. By the end of the day they also sank away enough for Brent Scammell and myself to have a good moto, but for most of the day we were restricted to mainly one section, which we hit hard.
There was plenty to work on, from braking, powering and jumping, to ruts and berms in between. Over exaggerating the skills was today’s key which, while it didn’t happen straight away, made many big improvements.
Borrowing Balclutha Honda’s new 450 was a real bonus and we can’t thank them enough. Look out for a new look vehicle for our next trip down, plans are afoot…