Rally campers arrive

Burt Munro Rally excitement builds

REBECCA RYAN
Last updated 11:16 23/11/2011

Nelson motorcycle enthusiast Merv Lightfoot talks about why he loves the Burt Munro Challenge.

Merv Lightfoot
JOHN HAWKINS/The Southland Times
SETTING UP: Merv Lightfoot, of Nelson, was the first camper to arrive at Oreti Park in Invercargill.

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Excitement is building at Oreti Park in Invercargill as the first bikers begin to arrive for the 2011 Burt Munro Challenge.

Among the enthusiasts braving the wet weather was 74-year-old Nelson man Merv Lightfoot.

Mr Lightfoot, the first to arrive at camp, had made his fifth trip down to watch what is one of the biggest motorcycle rallies in New Zealand.

Mr Lightfoot, who had to choose just one of his 30 bikes to travel down on, said he left Nelson a week ago.
He said he made "a real trip" of his journey south for the 2011 Burt Munro Challenge, making an appearance at the Winchester Magpie Madness Rally on his way.

Getting to know people and sharing stories at the camp was what the rally was all about, Mr Lightfoot said.
"That's why I keep coming back,'' he said.

However, it was not just the regulars who had arrived.

Burt Munro Challenge first-timer Colin Duncan, of Westport, said the challenge was a great opportunity to catch up with friends.

Mr Duncan, who had stopped in Methven, Geraldine, Cromwell and Gore before reaching Invercargill, said he hoped to catch a glimpse of world champions Barry Briggs and Ivan Mauger, two "huge drawcards'' to this year's event.

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