Scenic setting for annual trailride

Riders take part in the annual Te Anau Basin Trailride over Te Anau Downs Station on Saturday. Photo: Chris Watson

TRAIL bike riders in their hundreds converged on Te Anau for the third annual Te Anau Basin Trailride on Saturday.

For the second year in a row, the community fundraiser had an increase in entrants, with 478 riders ranging in age from 5-70 years, taking part in the one-day event.

This year’s trailride was held at the Te Anau Downs Station for the first time. For the past two years, the event covered parts of the Pamu Farming/Landcorp-Mararoa Station, Mararoa Downs owned by the Slee Family, Haycocks Station and Te Mara, owned by the Bolger Family.

Organiser Perrin Brown said there was one serious injury during the event, which occurred when a junior rider left the marked course to jump over a log, resulting in a leg fracture and requiring aid from St John and a medivac.

The event catered for young and experienced riders with 30-40km family loops, advanced and extreme diversions and a peewee track on offer.

Mr Brown said there was plenty of interest from outside the region.

“The furthest travelled was a group from Picton with an estimate of 70% from outside the basin participating in the event.

“Te Anau, Fiordland has some fantastic scenery and as long as we keep adding new terrain, the numbers will keep increasing,” he said.

“The weather with rain on the Friday prior to the event saw conditions slippery in the morning until after 11am when the sun came out and it got very hot.”

For the third year running, Ewan Allan Honda Gore was the gold sponsor, while GWD Motor Group, of Invercargill, paid the full cost of the St John medical team.

Mr Brown leads a non-profit organisation with a core crew of about 20 who are either keen on riding trail bikes or wanting to help raise funds for the community.

Te Anau School was the principal beneficiary of funds raised from this year’s trailride, he said.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Southland Cross Country Series – XCountry was held at  Te Anau Downs Station and run by the Gore and Districts Motorcycle Club as a full MNZ (Motorcycling New Zealand) event, attracting 14 junior racers and 31 in the senior class.

The XCountry was raced in perfect conditions with a bit of dust thrown up on the first lap, he said.

Junior overall honours went to Max Trealoar and seniors overall, Jesse Wright. Juniors raced a fast-flowing 21km course while seniors had another few kms of harder terrain to deal with, resulting in some tired, sore bodies after the two-hour race. The best seniors completed five laps of the 26km course, Mr Brown said.

“There was really positive feedback regarding the riding and the beautiful scenery over the whole weekend.

“We were fortunate to be able to access such a piece of paradise and everyone is very grateful to the Chartres family and the hardworking Te Anau Downs Station staff,he said.

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