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BMX National Age Group Leg 7 & 8 and SA Championships

09 Oct 2017

Race Report by: Sipho Madolo, Sport Programme Manager.

The BMX National Age Group (NAG) Leg 7 + 8 and SA Championships took place in Kempton Park, Gauteng this past weekend and we had two of our BMX kids, Zizo and Lakhanya taking part. With there being no BMX races in the Western Cape, Zizo and Lakhana have been practicing very hard everyday on our track and were very excited to get the chance to race away from home.  

The two boys have had a really good Cross country season, with Zizo winning a few Spur Schools league races in his age group and Lakhanya finishing top 10 in his first year racing in the Spur Schools League. This weekend the two got a chance to line up at the BMX NAG Leg 7&8 and SA CHAMPS. They definitely made the most of the experience and enjoyed both days of racing! Ready to fly!

Nothing beats airport excitement! Photo credit: Sipho Madolo

We arrived on Thursday afternoon in Kempton Park and the weather was not so good! It rained all day on Thursday but we still went to check the track which was closed for practice as it was still too wet. The track was still very soft on Friday so it was only opened after 2pm. This really wasn't good news as we wanted to spend as much time as possible to practice, getting to know the new track as well as getting used to the start gate. Even though Zizo and Lakhanya were not very comfortable with the track they were super excited to start racing the NAG Leg 7 & 8 on Saturday.

Course check

Lakhanya and Zizo check out the rather wet track which was closed for practive. Photo credit: Sipho Madolo 

Saturday – NAG Leg 7 & 8

Unfortunately the race start was delayed on Saturday because of the rain over night. This delay again limited the practice time before the race which I knew would make the racing really hard for our boys. I told them not to take too many risks as they still not sure about the track rather riding cautiously and then give everything on the Sunday at SA Champs. They still raced their hearts out but the racing at the Nationals it's just next level. After three motos on Leg 7 they didn't get enough points to go through to the finals and the disappointment on their faces just showed how badly they wanted the finals. On Leg 8, Zizo made it to the finals and finished 6th in U/14's but most importantly they were both feeling more comfortable with the track and were so looking forward to the SA Champs the next day.

Racing 1 

Racing 2

Sunday – SA CHAMPS

The SA Champs start on sunday was again delayed due to rain but the race went really well for Zizo and Lakhanya even though they were still struggling a bit getting used to the start gate. The main goal for us was to go home with SA Numbers even though it seemed impossible after the Nationals on Saturday.

Lakhanya felt so comfortable with the track and although Zizo was still struggling with the first straight after losing a few seconds at the start gate but they both gave everything and it was so great to see their fighting spirit.

racing 3

Racing 4

After their 3 Motos, they both made it to the finals and got SA Numbers which is really good.

Here are the results from their SA’s  Motos and finals:

SA CHAMPS RACE

Zizo

Motos:

  1. 4th
  2. 6th
  3. 3rd

FINALS: SA NO.7

 

Lakhanya 

Motos:

  1. 4th
  2. 4th
  3. 3rd

FINALS: SA NO. 7

SA no7 Boards 

Proud SA board holders! Photo credit: Sipho Madolo

It was a good experience of racing for Zizo and Lakhanya and also for myself being the first time supporting the kids at a BMX race of this level. It was great for me to understand BMX racing and also to see what we need to do to have the kids racing on a BMX National Level. We definitely need to make a plan to keep BMX alive in the Western Cape so that our BMX kids get more opportunity to compete at home before going to National Level events. 

Thanks to everyone for the support and to my team for making experience a reality for Zizo and Lakhanya. Also huge thanks to coach Darryn Stow for all your hard work with Zizo and Lakhanya and to BMX SA for a fantastic event!