BMX bik­ers’ back on the track

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

BMX: Wet weather wasn’t enough to fur­ther post­pone Proserpine BMX Club from host­ing its an­nual Su­per Satur­day Car­ni­val.

This year the event was named the Keith Bir­kett Me­mo­rial Car­ni­val af­ter the Proserpine BMX veteran who died on Jan­uary 18.

Bir­kett fundraised and ac­quired the land for the track.

Win­ners on the day for the Su­per­class open com­pe­ti­tion for the women’s cat­e­gory was Katie Van Zan­den and Ash­ton Johns for the open men’s.

Bir­kett’s grand­son By­ron Chauntler, 15, came sec­ond in his Su­per­class cat­e­gory.

Two other grand­chil­dren, Am­ber Hin­schen and Chloe Chauntler, com­peted.

Win­ners re­ceived the me­mo­rial tro­phy.

Riders trav­elled from far and wide to com­pete in the wake of wet weather.

Pres­i­dent Kristy Puck­ridge said the threat of Cy­clone Iris and rain al­most again post­poned the car­ni­val which was meant to be held in Fe­bru­ary.

Per­sis­tence and team work to get the track up to scratch gave ea­ger riders the op­por­tu­nity to qual­ify for big­ger events later in the year.

“It took three days to get the track ready thanks to the help of the lo­cal com­mu­nity and their tire­less ef­forts,” Puck­ridge said.

“Riders trav­elled to com­pete from Townsville to Rocky.

“I was stub­born and didn’t want to give up.”

Riders ranged in age from two years to over 50.

“There are a lot of good riders here to­day, we even have a few state riders and the top two in the 15 year old boys cat­e­gory,” she said.

For Mackay lo­cal Clau­dia De­silva it was her first big ride af­ter 12 months out due to a se­vere ill­ness.

Af­ter only be­ing cleared to ride in Fe­bru­ary, the eight-year-old was keen to get back on the track in Proserpine.

Clau­dia said “rid­ing around the track and meet­ing new friends” was a high pri­or­ity for the day.

PHOTO: TAMERA FRAN­CIS

CRACK­ING PACE: Num­ber 74 By­ron Chauntler leads the pack in his race at the Su­per Satur­day Car­ni­val hosted by the Proserpine BMX Club.

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