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Greg - HMCC#2 Flag Marshall ReportHuntly MC Club Winter Series Rnd #2
Flag Marshall Report
The alarm went off at 7:30am and it was raining outside so I got up and woke Alex "It's been raining last night and is still raining now, and forecast is for rain all day, do you still want to go to Huntly today?"
"Yep, you bet!" was the response so off to Huntly we went.
We signed on and took a walk around the track, we'd had 5mm of rain in Te Kauwhata overnight, and Huntly would have been similar but the track looked pretty good, a few puddles, but a hard base underneath a few centimetres of soft stuff.
Not many people had turned up at that time, so I put my name down for flag marshalling at point 2 (it was a good decision!) and made sure Alex was all set to go. Jane had lent me her long oil skin coat last used at the great NZ trail ride (horses not bikes) smelling a bit strange but reasonably dry at the flag point.
The wind was coming from the North West and looked to be easing, but it turned to the South East and got worse plus cooler during the day, luckily the action on the track kept me nice and warm. Point 2 covers a steep downhill jump into a high banked left hand bowl which needs power on to climb up a steep hill to the next section.
In the first practice rounds quite a few riders slid off putting on a little too much power and mostly low-siding (sorry if that road racing term isn't right) or fish-tailing across the bottom of the bowl in order to gain momentum to get up the hill. As soon as they went down I'd jump in front of the on-coming riders and wave my yellow flag in their faces. Later in the day the mud became too thick for the junior riders struggling up the hill and Alex came and held the yellow flag for awhile. I was then able to help pull out some of the bikes stuck in the mud. Sorry to all those guys that looked to me for help when I was on my own, but I couldn't leave the flag point then! (even when Alex fell off at the bottom).
I learnt a lot watching the fast guys negotiate that section of track. Not being a MX'er I could see the skills needed are quite different from road racing. One of the senior guys #911 was super fast but amazingly smooth and consistent, just watching him it didn't seem he was going that fast, but he pulled out a major lead over his competition. He consistently rode around the very top edge of the corner bowl without sliding or much apparent wheel spinning which gained him lots of speed and momentum up the muddy exit hill. His 4 stroke motor sounded like it was at a constant speed the whole way. I think the 4 strokes had a distinct advantage over the 2 strokes that day.
The rain didn't stop and conditions deteriorated, so only 2 rounds of racing were managed by about 3pm and it was called a day.
I was cold and wet by then but it was worth it as the action was great (almost made me think about doing it), and when I got back to the pits and loaded Alex's bike away Bronwyn gave me $50!!! Yes, I had won the $50 helper's draw! So to all you would be flag marshaller's out there, take it from me, even on a wet day it's worth it and you also might save someone from being hurt.
Hope to see you there next time, cheers, Greg P.
Thanks to our sponsors, Haldane Motorcycles, WEBDES.CO.NZ, and SSSLodge and to HMCC for putting on another great round.