SunLive – BOP Motocross Event Impacted Again By Covid Rules

When the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic snuffs out a sporting opportunity, its impact is felt far beyond the tight-knit sporting community.

This is especially true when it comes to such a popular annual event as the Honda-sponsored Whakatane Summercross and the effect this month’s late cancellation has had on the Bay of Plenty Motorcycle Club (BOPMCC) and indeed , on the entire Kiwi motorcycling community.

Originally scheduled to take place, as usual, on the last weekend of December, pandemic concerns have forced this historic 50th edition of the Whakatane Summercross to be postponed to the following month, January 2022.

Host Bay of Plenty Motorcycle Club promised the wait was worth it and their extensive crews of volunteers continued to drive preparations forward.

But then the New Zealand government imposed red light conditions on the country just a week ago, in a desperate attempt to slow the spread of the virus, and the iconic cycling event which had since been postponed to the 29th and January 30 could no longer go ahead at all.

Well over 500 competitors, plus thousands of spectators and support staff – including administrators, doctors, timekeepers, track commentators, media, food stall operators, maintenance workers such that tractor and digger drivers and food stalls and coffee cart operators – have therefore had their plans for Auckland’s Anniversary Long Weekend thrown out the window.

Motel and campground reservations were hastily canceled and work and family vacations were scrapped.

We can immediately see that for events like this, made entirely possible through volunteer work, donations, club fees and a handful of noble sponsors, it is therefore an extremely disappointing waste of energy and resources. , with no financial compensation offered, when things turn sour.

Longtime motorcycling event commentator Neil Ritchie expresses his sadness that the Whakatane Summercross couldn’t race this time around.

“The Whakatane Summercross is one of the longest running major motocross events on the New Zealand calendar, ranking alongside the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville (which was also canceled this year),” a- he declared.

“When we lose events like these from the calendar, we lose the story and we lose the momentum, but hopefully not the passion.

“The character of the New Zealand motocross community is exemplified by the Bay of Plenty Motorcycle Club and I’m sure we’ll all be bouncing back to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this event in the near future.”

As usual, the Whakatane Summercross was scheduled to take place at the club’s popular Awakaponga circuit near Matata and is once again expected to attract a “Who’s Who” of Kiwi motocross talent.

The event again this year served as a stepping stone for riders heading into the busy part of the season, culminating in the four-round New Zealand Motocross Championships in February and March, although that series was also cancelled. last week by the sport’s governing body in New Zealand.

The mums, dads and larger family groups that provide the strength and character to run such events will no doubt fight back and hopefully resurrect their flagship events such as Summercross in the years to come, but this does not alleviate the sadness and pain currently being felt.

-Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

About Frances R. Smith

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