Aussie rider wouldn't miss it for the world

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2010
Doug Wood
JOHN HAWKINS/Southland Times
STREET APPEAL: Australian rider Doug Wood competes at the Wyndham Street Race yesterday. Wood has made the trek from Melbourne to Southland for every Burt Munro Challenge since its inception five years ago.

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Burt Munro Challenge

Street racing and whitebait patties Are you part of the Legend? Southern hospitality a winner for victor Close racing entertains keen crowd Two motorcyclists suffer serious injuries Challenge draws big bucks Competitors take on Teretonga Two challenges, nine bikes and cheap beer Riders from all over NZ take up Challenge Baynes wins the Burt

Melbourne rider Doug Wood reckons the Burt Munro Challenge is the finest motorcycling event in Australasia – which is why he's more than happy to make the annual pilgrimage each year.

Wood competed in the first Burt Munro Challenge five years ago, and had such a wonderful time that he has returned every year since. This year, he brought even his wife and two children along to soak up the experience, and said it had been a blast. "This is world class. There's nothing in Australia that compares to it. This is my fifth year here. I love it."

This year's trip had taken on extra significance for Wood after the death of his close friend and fellow motorcyclist Matt McMillan at the Phillip Island circuit.

McMillan was due to head to Southland with Wood to ride in this year's festival and said he had aimed to do well this week to honour his late mate.

Wood raced in the Bluff Hill Climb on Thursday and Saturday's Teretonga Sprint, but saved his best form for yesterday's Wyndham Street Race, in which he placed third in the pre '89 class.

"The Hill Climb was really interesting. Teretonga was absolutely glorious and the Street Race here would have to be my favourite," he said.

The Australian barely had time to draw breath at Wyndham after also racing in the Formula Threes and the open class events.

He produced one of the most exhilarating moments of the day after his final race when he entertained the crowd with a huge burnout.

"I thought I'd give them a bit of a show," he smiled. "The crowd has been ... absolutely awesome. I've had an absolute hoot."

The number of Australian riders competing in the Burt Munro Challenge seems to grow each year and Wood said it was starting to develop a real reputation across the ditch.

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- The Southland Times

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