The Hamiltons are a family who have had a big impact on the local mountain biking scene.

Dave and Gerry are both riders and their two sons, Louis and Connor, have represented New Zealand at the very highest level in downhill racing.

Dave has translated his love of the sport into event organisation.

"He really is the modern godfather of downhill in New Zealand," says Lester Perry, a leading part of the country's mountain bike community since the early 2000s. "He's been the key in keeping it running over the last few years, for sure."


As well as organising everything from national rounds to Descend Rotorua club events, Dave's also been an important cog in the Crankworx wheel since the world's biggest mountain bike festival first landed here in 2015.

"Dave's the backbone and driver of New Zealand downhill and the heart and soul, too," says Tak Mutu, from Crankworx Rotorua.

"He's an integral part of that scene becoming world renowned and has helped young groms become professional athletes. We're lucky to have him in Rotorua and as one of the amazing Crankworx Rotorua crew."

That's a view shared by Dave Donaldson. He's a New Zealand MTB legend and his contributions to the sport since the mid-1990s are too many to list. His latest role is chair of the Crankworx Rotorua board of directors.

"I tautoko [support] Tak's comments, completely," he says.

"In his other life, Dave is a fulltime police officer and, in that role, he also finds time to organise Police Mountain Bike Champs. In everything he does, he's cheerfully supported by Gerry and they've raised two of the better downhill riders in the country."

Gregg Brown is another leading light in the local mountain bike community. He's past president of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club and former chairman of the Trails Trust.

"Dave Hamilton's made a massive difference to the fabric of the sport in our town and across the country," he says. "Two words to sum him up? Passionate and likeable."


Dave expresses that likeability with a cheery hello and a broad grin.

However, an element of his success has to be the quiet and calm authority he brings to bear, something that's often crucial to event management. When Dave speaks in that broad English accent of his, it's best to shut up and listen.

He and Gerry are very proud of Louis and Connor. The feeling is mutual.

"Early morning alarms to be first man on the hill with a spade, microphone, timing … or all of them at once," says Louis.

"And, don't forget, last man off the hill collecting race tape, portaloos, shuttle vehicles and trailers. The dedication, annual leave and time he gives to create the 'Descend Rotorua' vibe at national and international level is incredible."

Dave has also managed New Zealand mountain bike teams at World Championships.

"And he'll find time to weld bike trailers from scatch and be the first to put a hand up for trail working bees," Louis continues.

Gerry has the last word. "I love Dave dearly and support him all the way. And, of course, behind every great man is an awesome woman."

True that.

The action at Crankworx 2018 continues over the weekend at Skyline:
Dave will be event directing Sunday's downhill. Give him a wave and thumbs-up.