Whitaker blitzes rivals for NZ title

Champion moto trailer Jake Whitaker showed his best form in Alexandra yesterday, winning the expert title at the New Zealand Moto Trials Championships for the sixth time.

Event organiser and competitor Graeme Hibbs said more than 50 riders from throughout New Zealand, including two women, took part in the three-day event held on the rocky terrain around Alexandra.

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.

Whitaker cleared every stage with ease, blitzing the course and making no faults during all three days of the competition.

He was the pick of the bunch and won the title, after last month collecting his third consecutive Moto Trials Championship crown in Australia, making him a champion on both sides of the Tasman.

"He's just gifted," Hibbs said.

Whitaker was closely followed by Karl Clark, of Motueka, but it was third position which proved the most tightly contested spot, with John Haynes, of Rotorua, being the third rider on the podium in the expert event.

Yesterday, riders took part in the final 10 stages, having four rounds to better their scores.

No-one was seriously injured during the event but one rider did lose a toenail in a crash, Hibbs said.

The Southland Times