Sunday, December 6, 2009

Burt Munro Challenge and my new camera

Last weekend I went to Invercargill for the Burt Munro Challenge. I was pit crew for a couple of friends who came down from the North Island.

The weather was miserable. I thought I'd taken enough clothing to be prepared for anything the far south of New Zealand could throw at me, but I was mistaken. I hardly removed my possum fur-lined jacket (don't throw up your hands in horror - any use we can find for possum fur helps save our native forests and birds) all weekend, and I had to go and buy more socks and another pair of jeans.

I tried out my new video camera, and am very happy with it. I still need a good bit of practice keeping it steady, so I went out and bought a tripod (half price in Kathmandu's pre-Christmas sale) as soon as I got home. The one major problem with it is the difficulty in seeing the screen in daylight, there is no optical viewfinder. Mind you, with my old-age induced long-sightedness I probably couldn't see through one of those either. I can also see how people with big fingers (i.e. men) could find the controls awkward, but they're just fine for me.

Here are my video recordings of the 2009 Burt Munro Challenge.

First of all, a little bit of the Bluff Hillclimb (Thursday) followed by a walk around the Teretonga pit area during practice and some footage of the racing (Saturday):

The beach racing (Friday) was cancelled because of the shocking weather - a howling Southerly wind straight off Antarctica accompanied by horizontal rain:

However the Munro Special was on display. I'm pretty sure this is the replica built for the movie "The World's Fastest Indian":

On Saturday night after Teretonga we went over to watch the Speedway event. None of our team was racing in it, they're not quite that mad. By the end of the evening the light was low enough that I could see through the LCD screen enough to follow whole races.

On Sunday at the Wyndham street races the actual Burt Munro special was on display, minus its cowling. You can see why the authorities at Bonneville were not too keen on letting him ride:

The residents of Wyndham really get behind their annual street race. It's a tiny rural township, and this is one of the few opportunities they get for fundraising. Every church group, school, daycare, the Volunteer Fire Brigade, everyone, sets up a food stall. I had whitebait fritters from the local marae (hangi was available, but I wanted to try other things), a cake (Presbyterian Church), delicious lamb wraps (a pre-school), and would have liked to eat more.

Here's some video of a walk around the pit area and a bit of racing:

And here's some more racing:

My friend Malcolm won the pre-1972 Classics event on his Triumph Bonneville. Luck played a large part in this though - he got two seconds and a first, whereas the person who came first in the first two races fell off in the last and got a "Did Not Finish". Two seconds and a first beats two firsts and a DNF! Malcolm also came third in the pre-1972 Classics at Teretonga, so he was pretty happy. Winning is just a bonus really though, the main reason for racing is being allowed to go as fast as you possibly can.

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