Woodville track is a real treat

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 24/01/2013
Wade Wilson
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

MULCHED AND MOWED: Wade Wilson lends a hand with his lawnmower near Woodville where the Honda International Motorcross 2013 NZ Grand Prix will be held this weekend.

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Bring your weed whackers, wheelbarrows, and water bottles - the "Woody Working Bee" is well under way, readying Woodville for an influx of international visitors this weekend.

The Tararua town is preparing for the 52nd annual Honda International Motocross New Zealand Grand Prix, set to start on Saturday, so the community has taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to prepare the track.

The week-long working bee is tackling the task of transforming a Woodville farm into an international motocross circuit.

Organiser and lead lawnmower Wade Wilson has a team of volunteers doing the dirty work and admits to taking over grass trimming responsibilities.

"Today I did the lawnmowing and it feels like I've mowed bloody miles."

Among the jobs on the list are clearing the land, mulching the grass, slashing the weeds, mowing the pit stops, banging in waratahs - a type of fencepost - and stringing up safety netting.

But it doesn't stop there - the biggest job is lining the track with more than 700 directional pegs.

They need to be placed, "doofered" - as opposed to using a sledgehammer which splits the pegs - and painted, all before Saturday's starting gun goes off.

It's worth the man hours, Mr Wilson said, because the unique course being pieced together would help create a "close racing" circuit for the weekend's events.

"The track is never ridden any other time except for the Woodville Grand Prix."

With more than 500 riders signed up, competitors from England, Australia and the United States are expected to front.

And, the international riders are in for a treat with a real taste of rural New Zealand to greet them. "This year the farmer's kept the cows in the paddock a bit longer, so we've got a bit of cow [dung] on the track, which the bike riders probably won't like."

More than 50 people have pitched in over the week and although Mr Wilson thought there may be an ulterior motive for some people's help - a prime pit stop position - the more the help the better, he said.

"I've had guys from Hawke's Bay and guys from way down in Southland and Timaru ringing up for pit areas, and you'll be surprised what they're offering. I've more beer coming than anything, so we'll have to have a party when this is all done."

Organisers are inviting anyone and everyone to come help set up for one of Woodville's biggest weekends.

If you're willing to help out visit the Manawatu-Orion Motorcycle Club website, momcc.co.nz.

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- Manawatu Standard

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