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National Titles Go On The Line In Taranaki

National Titles Go On The Line In Taranaki

OCTOBER 13, 2015: Champions of the past, present and future come out to play in the Taranaki region this weekend.

The challenging grassland venue, on the farm property of Ryan and Katrina Corbett, 860 Wiremu Road, Opunake, will host the two-day event featuring an entry list that reads like a who's who and who-used-to-be-who of the sport.

Sponsored by Mach 1 Yamaha, the popular annual event features many riders who, despite their veteran status, still rate among the sport's elite, while the female side of the sport that shares the race programme is more still a hotbed for rising stars.

Several of the riders who are expected to shine among the women include Taihape’s Sarah Elwin and Eketahuna pair Letitia and Courtney Alabaster, all of them in hot form at recent events.

The 20-year-old Elwin won the New Zealand senior women’s crown in 2013 and she is determined to reclaim that title at Opunake.

It will also be looking out for top performances from riders such as Te Awamutu's Rachael Archer, Tauranga’s Julie Managh and Nelson sisters Tyla, Roma and Skye Edwards, while the bike community welcomes back to action Bay of Plenty rider Mary Wanhill, fit and ready to race again after fighting off cancer.

Taranaki 17-year-old Mikayla Rowe is uncertain if she will race at the weekend after recently suffering an injury, but, if the 2013 national junior women's champion does ride, she is certain to be a contender.

Meanwhile, her father, Mitch Rowe, is expected to shine in the veteran men's competition.

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The former national 500cc motocross champion and now a multi-time national veterans' champion, Mitch Rowe will no doubt enjoy racing in front of a home crowd.

But, even if he produces some of his best form, he will have to be aware of hot performances coming from perennial frontrunners such as fellow Taranaki men Larry Blair, Tony Parker, Greg Ngeru and David Furze, Wanganui's Danny Willemsen, Blenheim's Moston Wadsworth, Tokoroa’s Tony Livingstone, Auckland’s Tony Cooksley and Whakatane’s Darren Capill, to name a few.

In addition, Winton’s Martin Axtens and Nelson’s Bryan Heaphy were class winners at this event last season and should not be counted out this weekend.

Three races are scheduled for each class on Saturday with two races in each class planned for Sunday, winding up with all-in feature races at the end of the day to determine the outright leading riders.

Racing kicks off at 10am both days and spectator entry is free.


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