Whangarei has unearthed another BMX talent with a bright future.
Six-year-old Blake Andrews has been impressing on the local tracks and is shaping to be a factor at the next BMX Nationals, held in New Plymouth over Easter Weekend.
Blake is coming off a top performance in Rotorua and Tauranga and is primed to be one to beat at Whangarei BMX Club's Summer Heat meet on Sunday.
The Onerahi Primary pupil said he really enjoyed BMX.
"I really like riding and winning. It is heaps of fun," he said.
"I've been racing since I was about 4. I like to ride around on the track at training and try to get faster doing the gate exercises.
"Finishing in the top three at nationals would be great."
Blake has proven to be too strong in his own age group and now rides against the 8- and 9-year-olds at Whangarei BMX.
Even with the age disadvantage, Blake is usually found in the top three at the end of club races.
Amy Andrews, Blake's mum, said he was very determined on the bike even when he maybe shouldn't be.
"He went down the big ramp when he was 5 he broke his collarbone. I found him two days later in a sling riding his bike so he clearly loves it," she said.
"He's heading to nationals on Easter Weekend in New Plymouth. He finished second at the North Island Champs here last year which was a big achievement."
Blake's immediate focus, however, is on the home Summer Heat meet.
The event doubles as a National Qualifying Meet. Riders wanting to head to nationals need to compete in four of these a year.
Whangarei BMX's Angela Suvalko said attendance was not what they expected but it was still a good effort.
"Numbers aren't as high as had hoped, manly due to the weather but even with that number it still generates business around Whangarei," she said.
"Most of the club have entered, a lot of them this will be their first race other than club night. Also, we have a few new adult racers too.
"As far as standouts we have a few, including Blake, but I think as a club we are interested to see how our newbies take on the challenge."
Other Northlanders to look out for include Tyla Dinsdale, Luke Brooke-Smith, Emily Darroch, Glen Campbell and Lance Dinsdale.
The event marks the official debut of the redesigned track, done by Olympian Trent Jones.
Suvalko said it would be interesting to see how the new track behaved and whether it would affect results and tactics.
Whangarei BMX is back into the swing of things following the holiday break, with club nights bringing out the best riders.
New sponsor MyBike Whangarei have added extra incentive to the club nights, offering a $20 voucher to go with a trophy for rider of the night.