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Rowe Family Scoop National Titles

Rowe Family Scoop National Titles

DECEMBER 2, 2013: Taranaki’s Mikayla Rowe reaped the reward for her tenacity and determination and for her bike’s reliability when she won her first national motocross title at the weekend.

It was a racing career highlight for the 15-year-old New Plymouth Girls’ High School pupil as she took her Yamaha YZ125 to the top of the junior women’s class at the annual Veterans’ and Women’s Motocross Championships near Te Awamutu on Saturday and Sunday.

She was in runner-up spot overall after the first day of racing, behind fellow Taranaki rider Taylar Rampton, but when the engine on Rampton’s bike seized solid in one of her races on Sunday, Rowe suddenly found herself on top of the points table.

Rowe was consistently among the frontrunners all weekend, winning one race and finishing no lower than third in the others. 

“I didn’t think I had a chance of winning after being beaten in every race on Saturday,” said Rowe.

“I thought second was the best I could hope for and I would have been satisfied with that. But for luck to swing my way and hand me the title ... that was a dream come true.

“I really feel sorry for Taylar (Rampton). It must have been devastating for her. She’s really fast and probably deserved to win.

“The result has given me real inspiration and I’m more motivated than before now to train hard ahead of the nationals next year. I’ll certainly be much better prepared than I was this year.”

Keeping things in the family, Rowe’s father, Mitch, clinched titles in two separate categories in the veterans’ segment of the event, winning both the 45-49 years’ over-300cc class and the 45-49 years’ under-300cc class as well.

The 48-year-old Mitch Rowe raced a 1985-model Yamaha YZ490 to clinch the over-300cc title, an unusual choice of machine because it meant he was not only a veteran rider but he was also riding a vintage machine.

Mitch Rowe also won the veterans’ champion-of-champions all-in feature race at the end of the weekend.

Other class winners were Te Puke’s Robby Stewart (30-34 years’ over-300cc class); Inglewood’s Nathan West (30-34 years’ under-300cc class); Cambridge’s Damien King (35-39 years’ over-300cc class); Hamilton’s Dwayne Rameka (35-39 years’ under-300cc class); Christchurch’s Dean Baird (40-44 years’ over-300cc class); Nelson’s Bryan Heaphy (40-44 years’ under-300cc class); Waimauku’s Mark Buxeda (50-54 years’ all-capacities class); Te Kuiti’s Wayne Strachan (55-59 years’ all-capacities class); Te Awamutu’s Graham Adams (60-64 years’ all-capacities class) and Palmerston North’s Peter Palmer (over-65 years’ all-capacities class).

In the women’s championships, Turangi’s Oceania Hardwidge (junior women’s class 1, 85cc two-stroke and 150cc four-stroke); Taihape’s Sarah Elwin (senior women’s class) and Te Puke’s Mary Wanhill (veteran women’s, over-30 years).

Words by Andy McGechan,


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