No spills in Munro Challenge hill climb

Spectators watch as Butch Woods from Alexandra motors his 1970 Norton Commando 750 up the first...
Spectators watch as Butch Woods from Alexandra motors his 1970 Norton Commando 750 up the first straight of the Bluff hill climb. Photos: Giodano Stolley
Johnny Lewis from Mahana sets off on his 2018 Ducati V4 1103cc.
Johnny Lewis from Mahana sets off on his 2018 Ducati V4 1103cc.
Bluff's port behind him, Byron Clothier from Katikati powers his 1946 Norton ES2 up the hill.
Bluff's port behind him, Byron Clothier from Katikati powers his 1946 Norton ES2 up the hill.
Bruce Aitken on his 1962 Triton T120 races past spectators.
Bruce Aitken on his 1962 Triton T120 races past spectators.
Nigel Lennox from Auckland powers his Kawasaki ZXR400 up the last straight of the hill climb.
Nigel Lennox from Auckland powers his Kawasaki ZXR400 up the last straight of the hill climb.
Watched by marshalls, Cole Scammell from Dunedin, prepares to set off.
Watched by marshalls, Cole Scammell from Dunedin, prepares to set off.

Flagstaff Rd on the Bluff was packed with bikers, motorcyclists and motorcycling enthusiasts as the hill climb race of the Burt Munro Challenge was held yesterday.

Kevin Ryan, of Greymouth, accelerates his 1966 Triumph MLC 800 up the hill in the Burt Munro...
Kevin Ryan, of Greymouth, accelerates his 1966 Triumph MLC 800 up the hill in the Burt Munro Challenge's hill climb on the Bluff. PHOTOS: GIORDANO STOLLEY
There were very few corners or spaces not covered by enthusiasts watching a whole array of motorcycles compete to be the best in their category up the 1.4km course.

The oldest bike that raced up the hill was a 1946 Norton ES2, ridden by Byron Clothier.

However, it was not all about winning according to Nigel Lennox, who raced up the hill on his bright pink 1989 Kawasaki ZXR 400.

"It's just fun, that's all it is. We go back [home] with a smile and hopefully in one piece."

While there was rubber being burnt and some riders may have had a momentary lapse of concentration, there were no spills or crashes.

Over the loudspeaker system it was reported that only two spectators had been treated by paramedics for minor ailments, one of which happened when a person injured themselves as they slipped down a bank.

Contestants in the hill climb segment of the Burt Munro Challenge prepare for a test lap up the 1...
Contestants in the hill climb segment of the Burt Munro Challenge prepare for a test lap up the 1.4km course, before the races start.
There were seven categories of motorcycles racing, from the classics to the latest, as well as the quad bikes.

Stalls at the base of the hill did a brisk business providing food and refreshments.

During the course of the day the sun stayed out and the notorious wind stayed away.

All that was to be heard was the roar of motorcycles consecutively making their way up Flagstaff Road at top speed.

RESULTS

Fastest up the hill was Seth Devereaux, of Tapanui, in a time of 42.85 seconds. That was in the open 601cc and above category.

Next fastest was Richie Dibbe, of Wanganui, on a Suzuki GSX-R 600 the open category for bikes up to 600cc with a speed of 44.59 seconds.

For the fans of classic bikes, Bruce Aitken from Warkworth on his 1962 Triton won with a time of 52.42 seconds in the pre-1962 category, while Christchurch rider Vince Burrell on his 1972 Moto Guzzi V Sport 998 won the Post Classic Pre-1972 category in a time of 50.72 seconds.

Chris McMeeken from Invercargill won the the Post Classic Pre-1982 category in a time of 49.03 on his Suzuki GS 1000.

The Post Classic Pre-1989 category was won by another Invercargill rider, Jon Rawcliffe, on his 1989 Yamaha FZR 1000.

Ian Newman from Gisborne won the ATV Quad category with a time of 49.82 seconds.

 

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