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Sidecar racers clean up at the Southern Classic


Wairarapa sidecar racers Mark Smith and Graham Wilkinson cleaned up at the Southern Classic Festival held at Levels, Timaru last weekend.

The pair won all four races on the Watson BMW sidecar as well as the inaugural New Zealand Classic Sidecar Grand Prix. Smith and Wilkinson were also part of the North team that won back the inter-island trophy, which had resided in the South for the last few years.

The next event will be the Whanganui Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day when the two will compete as adversaries.

Another local, Finn Harman, took first place in the Classic Period 63 350cc at Timaru on a Velocette.


Visitor Ben Twyman took line honours in the annual Athletics Cycling and Masterton [ACM] Rangitūmau run on Sunday.

Twyman finished the gruelling 16km run in wet, slippery and treacherous conditions in parts in an impressive time of one hour six min 29 seconds, but as a non-club member, he was ineligible for the ‘King of the Mountain’ crown, which was taken out by runner-up Darius Simpson, who also won the open grade. Whana Gordon was third.

The men’s 40–49 grade was won by James Inwood in his final hit out before leaving to represent New Zealand in the world 24-hour running championships in Taiwan.

It was a great day for the Gard’ner family, with mum Helen taking out the ‘Queen of the Mountain’ and the women’s 40–49 grade in 1:22:54. In addition, Jack won the 4km event and boys under 18 grade, Charlie took the 2km with sister Maddie second and top in the girls’ under 11 grade.

Other grade winners were Tony Price [Men’s 60–69], Lloyd Millar [Men’s 70 plus], Claudia Baechle [Women’s 50–59], Sue Bankier [Women’s 60 plus], Jacquelyn Murray [Girls’ U18] and Alison Nagel [walk].

The 6 km event was won by Malcolm MacDonald, with Mackenzie Murray and Tim Matthews third.

The final event in this year’s GR series and the club championships will be held on Sunday, December 10, with a mass start at 9 am at the Sportsbowl.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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