Arriving at the new Ruakaka track was a momentus occasion. I have been wanting to coach here ever since the Whangarei MCC built the place, and making it even better was the multitude of racing tents and keen mini riders spread all around. This was a great start to three days of coaching north of the Auckland Harbour bridge.
The number of mini riders in the Whangarei area recently exploded, thanks no doubt to a dedicated group of parents that helped make it something to be excited about. Trudy Laird happened to be the organiser of this event although I know many others have been involved in that whole process. Whatever the case it was a good thing that Joel Meikle could join me on this trip. We were going to be very busy.
Two Places At Once
Splitting the riders into two groups saw Joel taking the standing section while I got the turns and braking. After each group had their turns Joel supervised their jumping and I got stuck into their starts. By that time we had completed four sessions and the boys were understandably stuffed, so we finished with prizes and a group photo that capped things off just right.
Staying at the McCullum family B&B that night we began three sessions at the Maungaturoto track. 85 and 65 machines headlined the first group, and the bikes got smaller from there. By the time our third group began I basically left the coaching up to Joel, the first two groups having given me all the excitement and fun that I could handle.
Fortunately day three was held in the dreamland of Callum Hay’s private property near Kumeu. As one parent commented, it was odd to have an MX track fit so smoothly into what looked like a golf course.
Under the shade of pine trees I was able to encourage Jack into the transition on to a two stroke with the clutch control and body position that he needed so much. While his CRF100F had allowed him to get away without these things before, a race bike like this was not so forgiving.
Finishing up the trip were the Preece brothers. Their age difference became obvious later in the session as the younger was ready to finish much earlier than the older. Wheel size would have contributed in this for sure, the main difference between the 110 and the 85 machines on the ripped and sometimes rutted surface. But we trooped on, fuelled by homemade pizza thanks to Dianne Hay, finishing strong for the north.