Northland's BMX riders have shown their class once again, recording six podium finishes at the Oceania Championships in Te Awamutu last weekend.
Fifteen Whangārei riders went down to attend the competition with 11 of them finishing in the top eight in their respective age divisions. Of the six podium finishes, Luke Brooke-Smith took first in the 11-year-old boys and Lance Dinsdale won the 35-39 male cruiser division.
About 500 riders competed in the event, which featured some of Australia's best riders, giving Whangārei's top riders a chance to go against some of the best.
"I was just astounded with our results as a club," Whangārei BMX club president Rachel Dinsdale said.
"If you'd seen our results three years ago, for us to walk away with so many top eight finishes is just amazing, a testament to the amount of effort and training our members have put in."
Both Luke Brooke-Smith and Lance Dinsdale were dominant in their divisions, with neither rider losing a race on their way to the final. Brooke-Smith was no stranger to the winners circle having won multiple national titles, whereas for Dinsdale, this was his first major title after a decade of riding.
"Lance has been riding for nearly 11 years and for him, hard work has finally paid off, and Luke, he's just got pure natural talent which got him out the front of other riders and he was always ahead of them," Rachel said.
BMX has become a way of life for the Dinsdale family as Rachel and Lance are both senior members of the local club and their children, Tyla and Khloe, both competed in the tournament, finishing third and eighth in the 11-year-old boys and the under-8 divisions respectively.
"I'm definitely happy to see my family do well but I was just as proud of everyone else's results as I was my family's," she said.
The Whangārei BMX club has become a growing sport in the region in the last couple of years. The club now boasted over 80 members, in comparison to about 50 from about two years ago.
Dinsdale said the club's growth hasn't been easy, but she credited their use of social media as to why so many people had joined.
"The closest club is two hours away so we pretty much train our own and we have to rely on the resources of our senior rider vas to train our younger riders.
"As crazy as it is, we've got in behind Facebook to grow our sport and put our riders out there and it's been really successful."
In 2017, the North Island championships were held in Whangārei which gave BMXing a fresh image in Northland. Dinsdale said the club wanted to take advantage of this new-found attention people were giving the sport.
Australian brother and sister, Saya and Kai Sakakibara, claimed the elite titles at the event. It was the first elite title for Saya Sakakibara who is the current world number two ranked female, while brother Kai claimed his second title.
New Zealand riders claimed the Oceania junior elite crowns with Tasman Wakelin from Cambridge winning the male title and Hamilton club's Jessie Smith in the females.
Luke Brooke-Smith: 1st in 11 Boys
Lance Dinsdale: 1st in 35-39 Male Cruiser
Michael Buchanan: 2nd in 35-39 Male Cruiser
Blake Andrews: 3rd in 8 Boys
Mala Suvalko-Thomas: 3rd in 10 Girls
Tyla Dinsdale: 3rd in 11 Boys
Tyla Dinsdale: 4th in 8-12 Mixed Cruiser
Angela Suvalko: 5th in 13+ Female Cruiser
Jacques Chilese: 5th in 35-39 Male Cruiser
Khloe Dinsdale: 8th in 7-8 Girls
Emily Darroch: 8th in 15 Girls
Angus Darroch: 11th in 17-24 Male
Dario Piskulic: 12th in 8-12 Mixed Cruiser
Dario Piskulic: 18th in 11 Boys
Bentley Buchanan: 25th in 8 Boys