Burt Munro fans flock to the beach

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 18:34 23/11/2012
Peter Haimes
NEIL RATLEY/Fairfax NZ

REPLICA: Peter Haimes, from Wellington, enjoys climbing aboard a replica of Burt Munro's Indian motorcycle as his friend Craig Stricker looks on at Oreti Beach.

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Burt Munro fans flocked to Oreti Beach to soak up the atmosphere of the New Zealand Beach Racing Championships tonight.

For many fans and riders, the beach racing is the highlight of the Burt Munro Challenge.

There was a treat for fans of the Invercargill motorcycle legend when a replica of his record-breaking Indian made an appearance.

Friends, Graeme Wrenn and Craig Stricker who arrived in town from Wellington, with a group of 27 riders, in time for the beach racing took the opportunity to climb aboard.

''This is fantastic. There is something really unique about the beach racing and after coming down once before when the beach event was cancelled because of the weather, so it's great to experience,'' Mr Wrenn said.

The beach and the speed the bikes get up to were a link to Burt Munro's legacy, Mr Stricker said.

''I suppose it's in ifThe World's Fastest Indian nf and is something fans can identify with,'' he said.

The pair said riding down the South Island had been a fantastic experience with the large group of riders welcomed all along the way.

Peter Haimes who was part of the 27-strong group said they zig-zagged down the back roads and whenever someone asked where they were going, mentioning the Burt Munro movie set them straight.      

For Invercargill residents Rosemary Dick and Jackie Weir it was not as far to travel but they were equally excited to be at the beach races while their husbands were at work.

Both women recalled living on North Rd, a few streets from Burt Munro's place on Bainfield Rd, as youngsters and Mrs Weir said her husband still told the tale of helping Burt Munro fix his old bike in his famous shed.

Southland Motorcycle Club president Craig Hyde said after being cancelled last year it was fantastic to see the crowd building for one of the highlights of the challenge.

Follow the Burt Munro Challenge with the Southland Times on Twitter #burtmunro

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- The Southland Times

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