As is often the case, after surviving the storm we were treated to a week of perfect weather the next- always a good thing when we have loads of people on the cards to coach!
Starting out with the first frost of the year made it very tempting to begin coaching the two ladies on the sunny side. Soaking up the warmth of the mini track with its multitude of corners and safe jumps the girls improved throttle control and use of the track in the process of gaining confidence and a surprising amount of speed. Zoe had her technique improved to match her natural skills while Amanda even managed some decent air time on her DRZ250 and just couldn’t get enough.
The progression of the day worked out perfectly as we stepped to a young pair of 65 riders with George on his CRF80. Taine moved steadily upward while Sam showed guts and trust to overcome some difficult hurdles, still trying the skills being taught even when it didn’t seem right and eventually looking like he fully had it sorted. That kind of attitude will carry any rider a long way.
With the mini track working so well we then had a familiar pair of KTM50 riders with two more 65cc riders, only Gisborne is the place we normally see half of them. With their home track being too wet it made sense to make the trip to get coaching on a good track where they will also be racing and while home might still be the favourite for a rider like Keegan it was definitely worthwhile as we stepped up again with Ethan overcoming a slippery off camber and Jack clearing the 11 metre tabletop he’d had his eye on ever since it was built.
Day two dawned for a large group of compatriot 85cc riders brought together by the wonderful Torin of Hastings Honda. Organizing a group is never easy but well worth it for the kids who could make it as proven on the day.
Cameron was the only newbie to enjoy the coaching day at the Valley Road track which was again in perfect condition. Where we started in ruts was most likely his biggest coup, learning to use the front brake in them if you’re not leaned enough and fingers ready on the clutch in case of excessive leaning.
Xavier and Hadleigh excelled on the sawdust, jumping in and doubling bumps in the exciting new addition to the track. The club has done some great work in order to keep it going for their young riders especially. Unfortunately Hadleigh then had the crash of the day on the other new addition, the whoops section which we hadn’t started working on yet. He was ok but it prompted a “How to case jumps” demonstration which then progressed into “Try the double then triple Broxy!” After showing them how to go about judging to see if a jump is possible, it was unanimously agreed that the upramp was too mellow for the CRF250R to triple out from so a new line was formed off to the side to give the impression of the jump. I definitely would not have made it so I’m very glad for the decision not to try.
With this being a full day session we had enough breaks and free time to keep the kids happy and finished with a one lap race after plenty of practice on the start gates and changing gears down the straight. All six riders got a decent start so it was deemed mission accomplished.