Winter Series wraps up

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Ronel Cook negotiates a tight corner during the final race in the Southland Mountain Bike Club's H & J Winter Series race held at Sandy Point on Sunday.

THE sixth and final race in the Southland Mountain Bike Club’s Winter Series last Sunday concluded another successful round of mountain bike competitions.

The annual series, which runs from May to October, is supported by H & J Smith.

Club president Lawrence Kees said an average of 200 competitors took part each month, an attendance that continued to prove the popularity of the series.

“It [the attendance] is great support for the series and especially to see so many kids coming through.”

Stewart Island resident Letitia McRitchie said she and her two children, Ryan and Isabella McRitchie-King, travelled to the mainland each month to take part in the series.

It was the best opportunity for the two children to have a go at mountain biking, she said.

“They both love it.”

Even though first-time entrant Emily Rose Evans (4) was last in the children’s “race” on Sunday, she “loved it”, her grandfather Tom Callum said.

Also on hand was Josh Burnett, who recently returned from the world junior mountain bike championships in Switzerland last month. Unfortunately a puncture put paid to his competition in Switzerland.

“It was a crazy experience. A big learning curve, but I loved every part of it,” he said.

Burnett was the leading contender to win this year’s Winter Series open male section, and once again took first place in the final race on Sunday to clinch the series win.

He thanked the club for its support in assisting him to compete in the junior worlds and for organising the Winter Series.

The next event for the Southland Mountain Bike Club is the cross-country championships in both expert and sport sections on the Bluff Hill circuit on November 4.

A “Kids Skid” event will be held at Sandy Point on the morning of December 2, followed in the afternoon by a four-hour enduro supported by Wensley’s Cycles.

Single-speed enthusiasts can look forward to a special event on December 14, supported by Ride Cycles.

Winter Series results:

Expert: Open female, Cathy Jordan; open male, Josh Burnett; under-19 female, Imi Blance; under-19 male, Dylan Holland; veteran female, Ronel ook; veteran male, Carey McDowall.

Single speed: Three laps, Steve Wilson; two laps, Chris Wilson.

Sport: Open female, Kate Wilson; open male, Daniel Alexander; under-15 female, Rachael Cunningham; under-15 male, Reuben Heslip; under-19 female, Sophie Squires; under-19 male, Connor Douglas; veteran female, Ange Burnett; veteran male, Darryl Haggerty.

Recreational: Under-12 female, Lily Keast; under-12 male, Cain Wilson; under-15 female, Olivia Ballantyne; under-15 male, Tane Wilson; under-19 female, Olivia Horton; veteran female, Philippa Horton; veteran male, Robert Boekhout.

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