Few titles describe its event in just three words this well. I had no idea what to expect so gleaned what knowledge I could from the locals. Basically this is a drag race from start to finish, traffic lights and finish line included. Making it interesting is a boggy straight, full of ruts and 400 metres long. Imagine four rugby fields end to end on a rough Saturday morning. Then brake as hard and as late as you possibly can, try to stay tight on a 180 degree corner and get as much speed as you can off the 30 metres of dry soil that forms the jump before hanging off the rear guard again for another three and a half rugby fields of moto-head mire.
What machinery do you need?
An 85cc will do for the little bikes class. If you want to win the whole thing how does a nitrous CR500 sound? Or a 1000cc supercharged monster quad, spoiler included?
Entering all the classes I could, my practice CRF250R and a CRF450R kindly lent to me from Ross Taylor should do the trick. Both Dargaville Honda and Planet Honda supplied some chunky Pirelli tires that I would replace soon after. The rest would have to come down to effort, quick decisions and a healthy dose of adrenaline.
Practice ok, racing much better
At first I was just wanting to make it through the first round without being knocked out early. This is man on man, if you don’t beat your competitor you are out. I made it through the rounds, always getting the right hand lane. It came down to Jessie Wiki and I for the final, this time he had the right hand side. He had been getting a wicked launch every start on his 250 and this was no different, into the first corner he had a good lead. But he braked a bit early and left a metre or two on the inside for me. I took the offer and squeezed through with a bump – for a brief moment there was a chance to win this. He opened the gas and boosted first, a risky move that paid off, shooting through for the win.
The 450 class my main goal!
I discovered super digger mud tires hook up like crazy in that terrain and when combined with the powerful fuel injected 450 I had a weapon in my hands. This time I was lined up against Jessie in the very first round but was pretty sure his starts wouldn’t be as good on the big bike. I beat him, then Nick Saunders who was last years overall winner. Come the Final it was Mike Cotter to beat. I drew the left hand side again but this time got a mad run down the straight and was well in front for the first corner with the inside line covered. All was in the bag I thought, probably my fatal mistake as the front end washed out. On getting back up I still had a chance until the clutch wouldn’t stop driving me forward even though it was in and I couldn’t run quick enough to keep up.
Okay, go for the Open class…
Definitely pretty gutted but there was still the Open class left. Again I fought my way through well, beating the CR500 along the way. With the lead in a three way shoot out with Jessie and Shaun Fogarty I again braked late but Shaun was too classy. He managed to get up my inside and bumped me wide, Jessie getting through as well.
A mad hour of fun
Having done very well but never closing the deal was disappointing but Jessie deserved the win. It will make great motivation to be on top of my game for future bouts but the day delivered much more than expected with a mad hour of fun. Well done to all those that got wins on the day, including Lochie Sidwell for winning the 85 class and to Tom Duder for battling his way confidently into the top three in the 250’s.
How did the Monster Quad go?
It stalled in its first race, practically 100 metres in front of his rival. That thing was incredible to watch and it was probably a good thing I didn’t have to verse it in a final!