One of my first thoughts after breaking my leg just three days before, was for my wife, especially because I knew she would worry about what we would do about one last week of Broxy Academy. With riders coming from so far as Christchurch, it would be a massive disappointment to not be able to do something. The poor kids- and Sarah!
The next day my 17 year old assistant Joel Meikle made a visit and offered to take the lads for at least the first day or two. I was both surprised at his confidence and thrilled at the possibility. He had spent the last two weeks getting a handle on how they ran, but this was a huge responsibility.
Day one of Academy was my second day of waiting since 2am with no food, so to hear that the camp had gone well was a massive relief. Day two of camp was my third day nil by mouth so it was even better news when not only had he kept the coaching going, he had even taken them all to Halfmoon Bay on Lake Rotoiti for a cooling off. There was no doubt that Joel was mature beyond his years.
After five days of not being able to move without my leg bones graunching my operation finally happened and I just needed to get well enough for a discharge. Those last two days went by quickly as I could see the end in sight, but meant that Joel had to finish the camp off by himself. By this time the track was getting very dry and some of my slightly more mature influence might have helped keep the attention seekers in check, nevertheless Joel kept the boat floating with loads of work on how to master ruts along with other things. The lake was visited again and by the end of day four there were five very tired young riders ready to tackle their club races or the Woodville MX GP.
Probably the most outstanding result came from Sam Wall with a sixth place in his class. He was one half of the pair who drove up from Christchurch and while he knew he could have done better with less crashes, I was thrown down memory lane. At around the same age it was Woodville that gave me my first experience of a big race meeting, finishing sixth after crashing at least once in every race. That began a long a happy racing career for me and could very well do the same for him.
Even this effort was overshadowed by the fact that Joel had been thrown in the deep end of running this massive camp by himself, and had taken to it like a duck to water. Keep an eye out for this kid. Hopefully we will be working together much more in the future.