She’s fly­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Rianna O’Meara-Hunt is fly­ing the flag for the girls in her kar­trac­ing class.

The Whitby 11-year-old is in her first sea­son of the ju­nior re­stricted 100cc Yamaha class, af­ter 18 months in the cadet ranks. She has a way to go, dad Martin says, but can only im­prove af­ter a ninth-place fin­ish in the fi­nal of the CIK Tro­phy event at Kaitoke last month.

‘‘She was ner­vous at the be­gin­ning of the week­end [ Jan­uary 26-27] but by the end you could see Rianna had found a lot more con­fi­dence,’’ he said. ‘‘ Through each of the races she was al­ways fur­ther for­ward on the grid.’’

O’Meara-Hunt had two qual­i­fy­ing ses­sions and three heats on the Satur­day be­fore a pre-fi­nal and fi­nal on the Sun­day.

It is all great ex­pe­ri­ence in the kart, against older drivers, Martin says. They wanted a top-10 fin­ish and that’s what O’Meara-Hunt achieved, and she ‘‘ ab­so­lutely loves’’ beat­ing the boys.

This year her fo­cus will be on the na­tion­als at the end of March, and the North Is­land champs in Oc­to­ber. Both are in Kaitoke, a fan­tas­tic venue for this re­gion’s kart-rac­ers, Martin says.

In other classes, Takapu Val­ley sis­ters Maddy and Ash­leigh Ste­wart came 13th and 19th re­spec­tively in the ju­nior 100cc Yamaha fi­nal, while Brent Mel­hop from Tawa was ninth in the 125cc Ro­tax Max Light fi­nal.

The meet at­tracted more than 100 en­tries across all classes and high­lights will be shown on TV3 on March 31 and April 28 at 3pm.

Crowd favourite: All Black Sev­ens star Lote Raik­ab­ula showed what he’s made of at a train­ing match against Por­tu­gal at Porirua Park last Wed­nes­day.

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