MOTORSPORT

Put Your Feet Up this Weekend

Friday 2 March 2007, 9:26AM
By Infonews Editor
251 views


WELLINGTON

Sounds like a nice way for the 33-year-old Levin man to spend his time away from the busy nursery he manages during the week.

But don't be fooled, Laugesen's weekend will be anything but quiet and relaxing, although keeping his feet up will still be his aim.

This weekend he starts the season by tackling a double-header motorcycling event, the first two of 10 rounds of this season's North Island Trials Championships, at Moonshine Hill Road, near Wellington on Saturday.

Round two is nearby, in the Maungakotukutuku Vallery, on Sunday and Laugesen is the man everyone will be aiming to beat both days.

Laugesen is the national champion in the sport, a branch of motorcycling that requires extraordinary balancing skills as competitors ride motorcycles over extreme terrain and lose points each time they "dab" their feet on the ground, fail to conquer a section, stall the bike or fall off. Though typically not a high-speed motor-sport, delays in completing the course can also be costly.

"I expect the cream of New Zealand talent will be there," said Laugesen. "It's a shakedown event to start the season, to blow out the cobwebs.

"I'm expecting a strong challenge from 15-year-old rising star Jake Whitaker (Wellington) and possibly (national No.2) Jason Baker, from Blenheim, will also be there."

This weekend's double-header event signals the start of a busy trials season.

The 2007 season comprises a 10-round North Island series, a six-round South Island series, each of them double-header weekends.

The three-day national championship meeting is set for Hawke's Bay on Labour Weekend and there will also be a three-day social trials event at Kaikoura over the Queen's Birthday weekend.

2007 TRIALS CALENDAR:

North Island Champs:

Rounds 1 and 2, Wellington, March 3-4.

Rounds 3 and 4, Tauranga, April 7-8 (also the Oceania Trials Champs).

Rounds 5 and 6, Manawatu, May 19-20.

Rounds 7 and 8, Hamilton, June 23-24.

Rounds 9 and 10, Taranaki, August 4-5.

South Island Champs:

Rounds 1 and 2, Christchurch, March 17-18.

Rounds 3 and 4, Blenheim, July 21-22.

Round 5 and 6, Alexandra, September 8-9.

New Zealand Trials Championships, Hawke's Bay, October 20-22.

Kaikoura three-day social trial, June 2-4.