Trio rock back to enjoy yearly Munro challenge

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012
Bruce McCormack
DOUG FIELD/Fairfax NZ

EASY RIDERS: Invercargill friends, from left, Bruce McCormack, Tony Burtenshaw and Dave McDonald relax at Oreti Park after travelling a ‘‘wee way’’ to be part of the Burt Munro Challenge. The trio have for the past seven years used the challenge as an excuse to take a break from their Invercargill homes.

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Three campers settling in for the Burt Munro Challenge at Oreti Park have brought the kitchen sink and lounge suite.

Dave McDonald, Bruce McCormack and Tony Burtenshaw, from Invercargill, were among dozens of early arrivals for the first event of the challenge last night, the New Zealand Longtrack Championship and Grand Prix at Ascot Park.

The three Invercargill men said they would even sneak home for a shower each morning.

"That's the benefit of living close to the Oreti Park camping ground," Mr McDonald said.

The three mates said they had set up camp at Oreti Park every year since the first Burt Munro Challenge in 2006. And this year they had upped the ante.

"We've brought down a caravan which we have converted into a lounge with fine views across the field and a marquee to hold the freezer, cooker and sink," Mr McDonald said.

The trio said, as they kicked back in the sun, the reason they travelled a "wee way" and left the few remaining comforts of home was because they wanted to be part of a fantastic event.

The Burt Munro Challenge was New Zealand's United Nations for motorcycles, Mr McDonald said.

Mr Burenshaw said the next few days would be more than just about races. It was an event Southland could be proud of, he said.

The three friends would have the flounder net out during the event and were looking for volunteers to help drag in the fish.

Earlier, several competitors at this year's challenge took the chance to hone their skills under the guidance of former Superbike legend Aaron Slight and current New Zealand Supersport Championship rider Jeremy Holmes at a training session at Teretonga Raceway.

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- The Southland Times

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