Big plans for 50th anniversary

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    Southland Motorcycle Club vice-president and Burt Munro Challenge beach race organiser Stephen Winteringham at Oreti Beach during last year's challenge.Big plans for 50th anniversary. Photo: Janette Gellatly

    BEACH bash and a charity auction of a 2017 Indian Scout are among the events already lined up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of motorcycle speed legend Burt Munro’s world record.

    Munro set a world speed record for a Class S-A 1000cc motorcycle with an average speed of 184.087mph on August 26, 1967, at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, in the United States.

    The Southland Motorcycle Club has for the past 11 years hosted the Burt Munro Challenge in late November. However, because of consistently bad weather, the next date for the annual event has been moved to February 2018.

    Beach race organiser Stephen Winteringham said members of the club didn’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate Munro’s 50-year record this year because the challenge had been moved, so Burt’s Bash Out At The Beach was being organised.

    “It’s going to be a full-on day,” he said.

    “We are expecting riders from throughout New Zealand because of the national titles on offer.”

    He was aiming for about 70 riders nationwide to join in the fun on Saturday, August 26.

    The day will kick off at Oreti Beach between 9am-10am depending on the tide.

    As well as the traditional 50-lap race, there would be a one-lap one mile down, one mile return race, the way it use to be, Mr Winteringham said.

    “Because the event is to honour Burt’s record, we are planning to have a Le Mans start, where the riders have to run to their bikes and start them for the race, as it had been done years ago.

    “And the winner of the 50-lapper will have a special badge commemorating the anniversary added to Burt’s 50-lapper trophy.”

    National titles in the 250cc, 500cc, open and quad classes will also be on the programme and Mr Winteringham is also hoping to organise a class for juniors to race for a title this year.

    To also honour Munro’s accomplishment, club licences will be issued on the day so members of the public can ride on the beach in a Have A Go event.

    About 30 volunteers are needed on the day for parking duties, security and beach set up and clean up. Anyone wanting to help could contact Mr Winteringham on 021 484 131.

    More about the celebration read here.

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