Thanks to the generosity of Clive and Nicki Higgie, a new event has been created for the NZ Masters Games in Wanganui for Sunday, February 12, next year.
It's exciting to be part of the team putting the motorbike Classic Trials for 2017 together with Glen and Richard Bullock and local riders. Paloma Gardens is such a unique place and has lots of walking trials around the aboretum that we will use to create the laps of the course. Classic Trials was a new one-day event in 2015 and for 2017 we have added a second day for our sport to encourage more visitors to compete not just from Wellington and Manawatu but other centres.
Classic Trails is strong in Christchurch and Waikato, with smaller groups in Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson & Marlborough. It is our aim to attract at least a couple of new entrants from each region. The NZ Masters Games goal is to have each sport increase its participation by 10 per cent for 2017. Classic Trials NZ's goal is to exceed that sum. With the generous use of Clive and Nicki Higgie's Paloma Gardens at Fordell we have created a new and unique event for the Games which will attract a lot of local and national media interest. In addition to our normal Expert, Intermediate and Novice Grades and age-related medals a new Pre 65 and British class has been introduced for the older and heavier trials-based machines. When two times World Motocross Champion Jeff Smith rode the first classic trial in Wanganui at Easter 2008 there were 30 riders with eight visitors from Waikato and five from Canterbury. The split on machinery then was 17 British, 10 Spanish and three Japanese machines. With timed laps on a mix of tracks and open terrain, plus observed sections spread out, it will be great to hear the sound of a few Triumph twins plus BSA and Norton singles.
Paloma Gardens is an exotic garden, landscaped with plants from all over the world, from the jungles of Asia to the deserts of Africa and the Americas. Paloma has been awarded Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust for more than seven years. The garden is best presented as several distinct zones, including the Palm Garden, the Desert House, the Garden of Death, the Bamboo Forests, the Jardin Exotique, the Wedding Lawn and the two Arboreta. Paloma is home to a number of sculptures including works by Steuart Welch, Ivan Vostinar and Clive Higgie.
The Paloma Roving Trial is inspired by the Scott Trial from Britain, a motorcycle trials competition dating from 1914 when Alfred Angas Scott, inventor and founder of the Scott Motorcycle Company challenged the workers at his factory to ride from the factory in Shipley through the Yorkshire Dales to Burnsall, near Grassington. Of the 14 starters only nine finished. The event was reintroduced after World War 1 in 1919 and although Alfred Scott died in 1923 the event continued to be run by the Scott workers. The event is still one of the major events in the United Kingdom with riders from around the world competing. Our Paloma Roving Trial will be run over a much shorter distance with a four-lap medal course and two-lap recreation course.