Riders test skills on unforgiving terrain
CHE BAKER IN ALEXANDRA
Central Otago's rocky terrain is expected to provide the perfect setting for the New Zealand Moto Trials Championships in Alexandra this weekend, and the Hibbs family from Invercargill are hoping to make their mark at the event.
Event organiser and competitor Graeme Hibbs said more than 50 riders from all over New Zealand would be taking part in the three-day event, including himself and his two sons, Brad, 28, and Jason, 30.
Jason will compete in the A-grade event and Brad will try his hand in the expert category, competing against five-time reigning champion Jake Whitaker, of Wellington.
Whitaker will be a tough challenger after collecting his third consecutive Moto Trials Championship crown in Australia last month, making him a champion on both sides of the Tasman.
The sport does not emphasise speed but riders aim to conquer the terrain without touching their feet on the ground or falling off. Points are lost for these "faults", and the rider with the lowest score wins.
Hibbs has been involved in the sport for several years, passing on his passion to his two sons.
"They've been on motorbikes since they were 4 and 5," Mr Hibbs said.
Alexandra proved to be the "magic terrain" to host the event and the event would have six grades of difficulty, he said.
Competition starts today and will take place on farmland in Chapman Rd before moving to a property in Blackman Rd for the final day on Labour Day.
Spectators to the free event can expect to be "up close to the action" and anyone interested in helping out was urged to contact organisers.
- © Fairfax NZ News