Racing through the streets of Whanganui on Boxing Day has become a longstatnding institution with generations of hometown families competing at the hugely popular Cemetery Circuit motorcycle meeting.
For the past 12 years the meeting has been the final leg of the Suzuki International Series that is again swamped with potent, world-class riders throughout all categories, but it is the local stalwarts that make the Boxing Day leg so special.
This season there are around 40 Whanganui riders competing, and although many of those have also entered the Suzuki Series encompassing the first leg on Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo this weekend and the penultimate round at Manfield on December 13-14, the majority are keen just to race on their home track.
Longtime Suzuki Series and Cemetery Circuit raceday organiser Allan "Flea" Willacy said it had always been that way.
"Whanganui riders, including myself, have traditionally come out in their droves to race the Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day. I began my racing here in 1978 and now my son Sam is in his fifth or sixth season," Willacy said.
"There are many generations of the same families that have come through this Boxing Day fixture and the series. It all boils down to people simply loving to race on the Cemetery Circuit.
"We now have a new breed of local coming through to replace those guys from the old days and many of them just happen to be sons and daughters."
The attraction for locals and visitors alike is the classics.
"Whanganui and the Cemetery Circuit is the only round that includes the classics and that is a definite attraction for many," Willacy said.
While there were hundreds of regulars that went before him, one of the longest serving surviving Whanganui riders still racing is Craig "Cudge" Scott.
Few know the inner workings of the Boxing Day Cemetery Circuit better than Scott.
"Mum took me to my first meeting in a pushchair before I was one and I've been every year since," Scott said. He is now in in early 50s.
Scott headed the track set-up team, a job he had for more years than he can remember before retiring a year or so ago.
The track set-up team is just one involved pre-race, during the day and pull-down day.
More than 200 volunteers lend their services to the Cemetery Circuit meeting making up the programme sellers, crash crews, marshalls, security, set-up and pull-down crews.
The motorcycle mechanic has also ridden at the Cemetery Circuit for most of those years, although he did miss racing for about six seasons.
Only two of those racing years was on road bikes, the rest were all on motocross machines before there was a specific class known today as the 450 Moto class. His name is among the entries again this year in the supermoto class.
Meanwhile, Willacy said tickets were now available from i-Site in Whanganui at $25 saving $10 on the $35 gate charge on raceday. Spectators can also save money by purchasing
"early bird tickets" through Ticketek online and they'll also go in the draw to win a Suzuki Gixxer 150 bike.
Whanganui riders entered this season
Jayden Carrick, ZX10 Kawasaki
Tarbon Walker, Kawasaki ZX6R
Jeff Croot, CBR600
Richie Dibben, GSXR600 L7
Luca Durning, KTM 390
Ton Hirini, KTM690
Caleb Gilmore, R3
Marc McKenzie, CBR400
Godfried Swartz, GSX750
Jeff Croot, ZX7R
Tony Sklenars, CBR600
Blane Hannah, Suzuki GSXR600
Jason Bardell, BMW S1000RR
Sam Willacy, Suzuki GSXR750
Ash Payne, GSXR750
Daren Bendle, Triumph 675R
Dwayne Bishop, Aprilia RSV4RR
Rowan Houlahan, Buell XB12
Stephen Leggett, Aprilia RS4 RF
Rowan Houlahan, Buell XB12
Scott Dowman, TM450
Tony Hirini, CRF450
James Clarke, CRF450R
Wilson Woods, RMZ450
Marc McKenzie, CRF450
Godfried Swartz, RMZ450
Mark Oliver, CRF450
Richard Dibben, RMZ450
Craig Scott (Cudge), CRF450
James Daniels, FC450
Luca Durning, Gixxer 150
Caleb Gilmore, Gixxer 150
Lucy Dowman, Gixxer 150
Emma Dowman, Gixxer 150
Cameron Goldfinch, Gixxer 150
Peter Dowman/Brian Greenlees, Yamaha RD700
James & Lucy Dowman, Yamaha XS650
Bryan Stent & Tracey Bryan, BMW
Tony Sklenars & Marc McKenzie, Hillman IMP
Richard Hood & Mark Thompson, Norton
Daren Pate & Lynne Herring, BMW R90s