Veteran biker Wedlake shines at beach races – the Gisborne Herald

RUN TO THE BEACH by Rockie Ellmers

It all happened at the Gisborne Motorcycle Sports Club pre-national beach racing meeting as riders put their machines to the test for the national championships in August.

Despite the threat of rain and cold, a good number of competitors made it to the start line.

In the open senior class it was good to see three road warriors hitting the sand to take on the motocross boys. Steve Allen (Honda CBR1000) had a good run, Dave Campbell (Suzuki Bandit 1100) had traction issues and Brendon Barwick (Yamaha R6) was happy with two thirds. But all the credit goes to veteran beach racer Graham Wedlake (Kawasaki KXF450), who won all three races.

Results: Race 1, Wedlake, Malcolm Rau (Honda CRF450), Barwick. Course 2, Wedlake, Rau, Barwick. Course 3, Wedlake, Rau, Barwick.

In the 0-500 class there were some great battles going on. Wedlake was pushed all day by Kyle Beckett (Kawasaki KXF450). Rau threw everything he had at Dave Wilson (KTM SXF350) He just couldn’t catch up with Wilson but managed to fend off a determined Derek Watson (Husqvarna TC350).

Results: Race 1, Wedlake, Beckett, Wilson. Race 2, Wedlake, Beckett, Wilson. Race 3, Beckett, Wedlake, Wilson.

The ATV (quad) class was over. Graham Strong (Suzuki LTR450) had a good day with three wins.

The real battle was for second place with Natasha Goodall (Suzuki LTR450) and Hawke’s Bay racer Dontage Ifan (Honda TRX450) fighting all day. Results: Race 1, Strong, Goodall, Ifan. Race 2, Strong, Goodall, Ifan. Course 3 Strong, Goodall, Ifan.

The biggest class of the day, 0-250, was also the most competitive – no one gave an inch. Ben Logan (Yamaha YZ250), Buck Atkins (KTM 250SXF) and Jody Engelbrecht (Yamaha YZ250FX) all fought for the top three places. Bryce Norman (KTM SX250) tried to join in the fun but had to settle for three fourth places.

Results: Race 1, Logan, Engelbrecht, Atkins. Race 2, Logan, Atkins, Engelbrecht. Race 3, Atkins, Logan, Engelbrecht.

Graham Wedlake (Suzuki RM370) dominated the Classic Class with three wins.

Warren Marten had to settle for three second places in his trusty Honda XL185.

In the Ladies category there were some good races with Brooke Wealleans (Suzuki LTR450) who had a very successful day with three wins. Natasha Goodall (Suzuki LTR450), Fritha Rau KTM SX300) and Ella Watson (Honda CRF150) certainly did their best to knock Wealleans off their perch but to no avail.

Results: Race 1, Wealleans, Goodall, Rau. Race 2, Wealleans, Goodall, Rau. Race 3, Wealleans, Goodall, Rau.

Henry Watson on his Husqvarna TC125 was the only one entered in the Junior A class, so he returned home with three first places.

On the other hand, there were good numbers in the Junior B class and some difficult races. Jack McNaught (Yamaha YZ85) had a very good run with three wins – Cohen Laing (Kawasaki KX85) just couldn’t catch him. Jordan Fenwick (Suzuki RB85) and Claire Ellmers (Kawasaki KXL140) had some great battles during the day.

Results: Race 1, McNaught, Laing, Fenwick, Race 2, McNaught, Laing, Fenwick. Race 3, McNaught, Laing, Fenwick.

In the Mini 65 class, Corrin Newman and Abby Fenwick, both riding Kawasaki KX65s, went 100 percent to bring out that precious checkered flag. Results: Race 1, Newman, Fenwick. Race 2, Newman, Fenwick. Race 3, Fenwick, Newman.

There was a lot of action and a lot of passing in the Trails class. Troy Englebrecht (Yamaha TTR125) was king of the day with three wins. Lochie Davidson (Yamaha TTR125), Angus Goodall (Yamaha TTR90) and Travis Foss (Yamaha PW80) had a blast on the track, while Gemma and Jade Ellmers, both on Kawasaki KXL10s, took control of their new machines.

Results: Race 1, Englebrecht, Davidson, Foss. Race 2, Englebrecht, Davidson, Goodall. Race 3, Englebrecht, Foss, Davidson.

Makoia Peters (KTM50) was the only rider on a water-cooled 50 in the Mini 50s, the club’s future racers, so he won all of his races.

For the air-cooled 1950s, everything was in place as Aero and Ivy Fenwick, both on Honda CRF50s, battled it out. Arco MacGillvray (Yamaha PW50) certainly had a lot of fun on the sand.

Results: Race 1, Ivy, Aero, MacGillvray. Race 2, Aero, Ivy, MacGillvray. Race 3, Aero, Ivy, MacGillvray.

Next beach racing meeting, August 8.

HAT-TRICK OF WINS: Graham Wedlake won all three races in the senior open class at the Gisborne Motorcycle Sports Club Pre-National Beach Race Meeting in Makorori this month. File photo by Liam Clayton

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