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The UNE Hero Dirt gets an aerial weed inspection!

posted 19 Aug 2014, 02:50 by Nina Stone   [ updated 19 Aug 2014, 02:54 ]

After a couple of early morning rolls from 'El Presidente', one being the track inspection variety and the second being a carbo loading 'chiko roll' racing was given the go ahead to race a wet track. The predictions of a flooded weekend failed to materialise and what transpired should be viewed as an inspiration to anyone who loves making 'braap braap' moto noises whilst getting their bike dirty.

After the rain, Saturday riders were greeted with a sunny but cool winters afternoon and perfect track conditions. The mud had transitioned into that perfect mix, where moisture and dirt combine into the exact right consistency known as Hero Dirt. You know the stuff, where almost no wrong can be done because traction is unbelievably good. You can ride like a deranged hero and the biggest risk is hurting your face from grinning too hard and too long. The boggy bits down near the creek were just dry enough to keep it upright but still drifting sideways and the corners held enough traction to learn it right over with the throttle wide open. Rumour has it a few 'braap braap' moto sounds may have been heard in the berms...

The first to test the hero dirt were the young brigade of Dirtmasters with all kids having a great time and parents even more so when they all returned safely but covered in splatters of mud and even bigger grins.

In the main race first lap riders were greeted to an unmistakable hum on a unmanned drone hovering over the section usually know for its high level of carnage. Whilst it was not a war zone Matt Benham did have his 'weed inspection' camera mounted on a remote drone capturing footage of the A-line rock and back section of UNE track. A bird's eye view if there is ever one but no one is sure how many noxious weeds were located.

In the racing from the start gun it was young gun Jack Feltham vs the old stager Dave Harris, Dave held off Jack to take first lap honours but mysteriously faded fast on the 2nd (he claims a flat but no one saw it....) and so Jack Feltham took up the helm, with pace to burn and skills to utilise the hero dirt  it was always going to be a hard for anyone to catch him but Andrew Whitehill and Ben Harris, both known for enjoying a bit of sideways drift action set forth in chase. Final results show Jack holding off a hard charging Ben Harris for the win, with Andrew 'Darkie' Whitehill grinning all the way to the line holding onto on to 3rd over Harrison Munday right on his heels, Dave Harris recovered to hold 5th. Pete Harris was seen walking off course blaming the hero dirt ripping his tyre off, but we all know he was just too close to Mt Duval for any other outcome.

In the women's field women another young gun Katherine Hosking was setting a cracking pace with Jo Benham keeping her honest and a truck load of juniors showing us why Mountain biking has such a great future ahead in this region.  Katherine Kosking went on to win U17 women's and also claim the fastest female laps, Jo won open women followed by Jacquie Munday and Lisa Harris. Sport women went to Barb Hosking over Jacquie King and Nina Stone. In U15 female Emily Wooster held of a charging Bella Hosking and Jorjie Ledingham.

In the Sport mens Darren Schaefer was holding forth from a hard charging Gary Eastment before retiring 'a bit tired'. Gary went on for a convincing win from a large pack. In the juniors Rob Butcher cleaned up u 19's, Hugh Munday put the heat on big brother Harrison to take out U17's from Jack Wake and U15's was Sam Davis ahead of Emerson Fittler and Harry Wooster. 

Written by James Harris

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