Kapiti Racers take on the BMX National Champs

Kapiti Racers take on the BMX National Champs

Over the Easter weekend 23 riders from Kapiti BMX Club were competing at the BMX New Zealand National Championships hosted by the Sunset Coast Club at the Puni BMX facility, near Pukekohe.

This is the largest entry for the club in recent memory, with riders spread across all classes from the 5 and unders to the 40+age groups, with many riders competing for the first time at a national level.

Kapiti Nationals Riders. Photo: Gavin Coleman
Kapiti Nationals Riders. Photo: Gavin Coleman

Two big names from the club had extra reason to be focussed with Junior Elite, Liam Perry competing in Superclass and chasing a share of the prize money on offer, and current NZ1 Tipene Kennedy who was defending his titles, and also competing to win a place in the “Mighty 11’s” team.

With many riders having to make it through their 3 heat races, then elimination quarter and semi-finals to get into the last 8 and a chance at claiming an NZ 1 place, ‘Nationals’ was a big step up for many club riders. But step up they did…

The racing was tough in all groups, and Kapiti BMX Club had an outstanding set of results with 14 riders all earning a finals place and a Top 8 NZ ranking:

Cade Manava, 4th in 5 and under
Sam Coleman, 6th in 5 and under
Kerah Leaf-Morrell, 2nd in 6 girls
Briar Gambrill,  7th in 6 girls
Tom Coleman,  8th in 8 boys
Toby Gambrill,  6th, also in 8 boys
Trey Khamphan, 5th, again in 8 boys
Bradley Blakemore 8th, in 16 boys
Luey Cotton, 7th in 15-16 cruiser
Ryan Leyten, 5th in 17-29 cruiser
Jen Blakemore, 5th in 40+ cruiser female
Raelene Bishop, 8th in 40+ cruiser female
Tipene Kennedy, 2nd in 11 boys and 2nd in 11-12 cruiser, and narrowly missed out on a test team place with 5th in the ‘Mighty 11’ trials, but is first reserve.

Liam Perry, 4th in Superclass after a fall early on that threatened to end his day early, but a quick trip to the ambulance had him strapped up and ready for his next heat race.

It was really fantastic to see so many club riders pushing the best riders in New Zealand, and achieving such good results. For those that didn’t make finals, they learnt a lot and I’m sure this time next year we’ll be seeing a few new names in those finals representing Kapiti BMX Club.

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