Penny-farthing rider hoping to race in Tasmania

Oamaru penny-farthing enthusiast Noel Andrew cannot wait to take on the Australians.

Mr Andrew (27), who has been racing penny-farthings since 1995, is desperate to get to the Australian penny-farthing championships.

The event is being held at the Evandale Village Fair in Tasmania in February.

Mr Andrew has been trying for many years to get to the championships but has been unable because of a lack of funding.

He needed about $2500 so he could take his own cycle and was looking for sponsorship.

He has been in contact with organisers who were "dead keen" to have him compete.

New Zealanders had competed at the championships, but not for a few years, he said.

Mr Andrew took part in the New Zealand penny-farthing championships in Oamaru last month but had a "bad run", with his best placing being fourth in the open championship.

However, he had learned some lessons from it and enjoyed the competition.

He was confident he would do well at the Australian championships and bring back some medals.

"I've got youth on my side," he said.

The Australian championships, now in their 27th year, were much more competitive than the New Zealand event.

"Being Australians, they are very competitive, especially if New Zealanders are involved," he said.

Mr Andrew rides his penny-farthing often, and if he is not riding that then he is on an ordinary bicycle.

His penny-farthing was designed for racing and complied with the strict conditions set by the organisers of the Australian championships.

He enjoyed the adrenalin rush of penny-farthing racing.

"It's the speed and the fitness. I've got a real sheer passion for the sport and penny-farthings in general," he said.


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