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Super Trucks kick off Big Year


Super Trucks kick off Big Year for Central South Island

The New Zealand Super Truck Championships near Timaru this coming weekend kicks off a big year of events for the Central South Island region. More than 10,000 people are expected at Levels international raceway to see the country’s fastest super trucks in action. Timaru and district people has become used to big crowds, as they witnessed during the Richard Pearse centenary flight celebrations last year. The Pearse celebrations boosted tourism numbers to the region.

Visitors to the Timaru Information Centre alone climbed by more than 40 percent last year to 123,136 people – up from 87,643 in 2002.

World media focused on South Canterbury last year as aviation enthusiasts from around the country were drawn to the Central South Island for the big centenary air show to mark the feats of pioneer aviator Richard Pearse. The celebrations were the finest ever seen in the South Island and were held almost 100 years to the day eyewitnesses saw Pearse lift his plane off the ground for the first time.

Pearse is still regarded as one of the first people in the world to achieve powered take off.

The other event which gained national interest last year was the unveiling of a life-size bronze statue of one of the New Zealand’s greatest ever sportsmen Jack Lovelock at Timaru Boys’ high School.

Lovelock was dux, head prefect and athletic champion of the school at the school the late 1920s before going on to win the 1500m gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

He is the only New Zealander to have held both the mile and 1500m track world records, a feat that eluded Peter Snell and John Walker.

His 1936 gold medal 1500m run was one of the highlights of the Berlin Olympics.

The bronze statue in the grounds of Timaru Boys’ High is a match for the Bob Fitzsimmons statue that graces central Timaru. Fitzsimmons was a world heavyweight boxing champion. Also in the Central South Island this weekend is the annual Mackenzie Muster Naturist Festival near Lake Tekapo. The Mackenzie Bares Cross Country Fun Run and the Nude Golf Tournament are the two cornerstone events of the four day clothes-free festival which, after the success of the inaugural festival in 2001, has become an annual event.

The New Zealand New Zealand Secondary Schools Maadi Cup Rowing Championships will be held at Lake Ruataniwha in March.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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