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CAPTION: Christchurch's Jules Huguenin, third overall last year, aiming for another podium finish in the Expert grade this season. Photo by Andy McGechan,

OCTOBER 15, 2018: A team of Australians arrive in New Zealand this week with one aim in mind, to rob the Kiwi trophy cabinet.

The 2018 FIM Oceania Trials Championships will be run in conjunction with the New Zealand Moto Trials Championships near Christchurch, this coming Labour Weekend, the first time in 30 years that an international motorcycle trial has been held in Canterbury.

The double-header motorcycle competition runs from Saturday through until Monday and will test riders over three laps on each of the three days –  with each lap including 12 difficult sections – and at three entirely different locations.

This added significance of the event now carrying FIM Oceania status means that the pressure will be on right from the start for the various title hopefuls.

Although last year's winner Karl Clark (Nelson) is not defending his national title in the premier Experts Grade class this year, there are still plenty of contenders to watch out for, including Taranaki's Matt Foster, Christchurch's Jules Huguenin and Wellington rising star Dylan Ball, the 14-year-old who won the 2018 North Island champs in this grade.

Other leading New Zealanders to watch for this weekend include Dunedin's father and son pair Gavin and Blake Fox, Christchurch's Glenn Smith, Wellington's Carl Robson, Ashhurst's Kevin Pinfold, Hamilton's Stephen Armistead, Nelson's Stephen Oliver and Kaikoura's David Trewin.

The Australia team of Kevin Zarcynski (Open Class), Sarah Chivers (Women’s Class) and Tom Woodhouse (Junior Class) will compete against the New Zealand team of Huguenin (Open Class), Hunterville's Hannah Rushworth (Women’s Class) and Taranaki's Daniel Herbert (Junior Class) for the FIM Oceania Trial Championship Cup and Shield that New Zealand won last year in the Barossa Valley, near Adelaide.

Motorcycling New Zealand moto trials commissioner Sandra Hallie said she was "looking forward to the great camaraderie between the New Zealand and Aussie teams and some close competition for the Oceania Cup and Shield".

In addition to the Experts Grade, the competition includes Presidents, Twin Shock, Air-Cooled, Women's and Junior categories, with support classes also catered for in the programme.

Run by the Pioneer Motorcycle Club, day one of this FIM Oceania and National Trial Championship event is set for Living Springs, Governor's Bay, on Saturday (October 20), with day two at Mandelay Farm, near Little River, and it all wraps up with day three at Graylees Road, near Tai Tapu, on Labour Day Monday.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,


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