Race Report: AKSS Champs Series 2/3 – Riverhead, 26-May-2013

If you had looked at the weather forecast earlier in the week you could have been forgiven for “accidentally” wanting to forget that there was anything remotely going on at Riverhead this weekend.  Lashings of rain and wind were evidently due and while bound to build lots of fortitude amongst the MTB competitors, a warm cosy Sunday inside sounded quite appealing.  Skip forward to the day itself and it was not at all what we had been bracing for.  The sky was blue, the sun was out and the day couldn’t have been better – for spectators at least.  There had still been enough rain to keep the bottomless puddles adequately topped up.  So it was then, that we returned to Riverhead to the familiar sight of an appropriately muddy MTB course – the third time in as many weekends.  The course was actually pretty good by all accounts.  A single loop, of about 5km or so took in a compulsory dismount to climb over a fallen tree, and equated to some quite achievable riding for most, especially if you were good at slippery roots and didn’t mind taking on a little mud. The main hill was Patterson’s Link which evidently was not anywhere near as bad as it could have been.  Even Barlow Return had managed to stay relatively rideable as long as the line and speed were right.

Race briefing was out of the way and so all the riders disappeared to be started down the road at the entrance to the forest.   For this round of the Auckland Secondary School Series, Tauranga Boys College had made a trip away and were riding as guest racers.  This would prove too make for an interesting race.

A couple of minutes later all the Seniors raced up and in to the start / finish village.  Tom Coombes, and Peter Bethell sped past with Tauranga rider Sean Keals giving absolutely nothing away.  The Senior girls were right there as well with Harriet Beaven tracked by Charlotte Rayner, and Sarah Russell.

A two minute wait and then it was the huge field of Intermediate riders with 31 riders in all, lead out by Jack Fisher and Ryan Craggs chased hard by Isaac Schuurman, Aaron Carr and Robin Page.  Kayla Russell led the girls chased by fellow Jafakid Emma Simcock-Smith.

Another 2 minute gap and it was the biggest start yet with 37 Junior riders.  Jake Craggs lead Tauranga rider Jack Wilson through the start and these two looked like they meant serious business.  Jack has recently become the Waikato and Bay of Plenty U15 MTB champion so didn’t want to give too much away and was sticking resolutely on Jake’s tail.  This start had allowed both boys and girls to start together so Jessica Manchester followed by Isobel Welsford-Ackroyd were enjoying racing the boys instead of just chasing them!

As the 85 riders disappeared into the forest it was not long before we saw them loop past the edge of the village and then head back out up the River Trail toward the endless puddles that were keeping Tony Beaven fully occupied as he honed his considerable skills in water drainage techniques to definite positive (if not complete) effect.  Riverhead was at its best. Thanks in no small part to Tony; the course was by no means as wet as it could have been.  However, this being Riverhead, it was still always going to be somewhat muddy.  The mud started taking its toll even before the first lap was completed with a number of retirements – this was just the start which would see almost a quarter of all riders pull out for one reason or other.

Some riders got the start finish area right, while some… … not so much

Some riders got the start finish area right, while some… … not so much

As the Seniors came through to finish their first of four laps it was clear that Sean Keals of Tauranga was here to race and was clearly pushing the pace along with Tom Coombes. A minute later it was Senior girl Harriet Beaven who appeared just ahead of third place Senior boy rider Elliot Wright who was being tracked by Peter Bethell.  Not far behind came the fast charging Intermediate boys with Aaron Carr up front, then Jack Fisher and Isaac Schuurman just a few seconds behind.  A pack of riders went through with Robin Page, Charlotte Rayner and Ryan Craggs all making steady headway.  Kalen Weir, Alex Beaven, and Finn Welsford Ackroyd were all racing closely followed by Daniel Holt-Pederson, and Kerran Tetley.  Making real inroads in to the Intermediate boy’s head start were Junior boys Jake Craggs and Jack Wilson. These two were absolutely locked in battle, wheel to wheel, after the first lap with just one more lap to go.

All eyes now were on the finish as the Junior girls were expected to finish their single lap.  Sure enough Jessica Manchester was the first girl home and a bit of wild tail whip over the line showed she was happy.  Jessica was followed home by Isobel Welsford-Ackroyd, Charlotte Russ, Paige Weir (still at primary school) and Zoe Callesen.

Jake Craggs, Ryan Craggs, Tom Coombes

Jake Craggs, Ryan Craggs, Tom Coombes

As the riders continued to file through the event village the Senior boys again came in to view to complete their second lap.  The pace was definitely hot now with Tom still in touch.  The Intermediate boys had also been on a rather hot pace with Aaron and Isaac appearing shortly after Tom.  Peter Bethell was still racing for a podium in the Senior boys race and was now being chased by Harriet in the Senior girls and Ryan who was now into third place and flying.

The end of the second lap marked the finish for the Junior boys race which saw Jake come home setting a blistering pace to pull almost a minute on the hard charging Jack Wilson from Tauranga – a great race between those two.  Liam Talbot was next followed by Jafakid Daniel Mackey.

Daniel Finnemore, Isaac Schuurman, Elye Schuurman

Daniel Finnemore, Isaac Schuurman, Elye Schuurman

With the race now into the third lap there were a lot of retirements.  In the Seniors race Tom had to pull out with a severely bent and damaged derailleur.  Numerous punctures and total brake failure were among the more commonly reported problems with mud seemingly eating the brake pads.  Some of the more unusual retirees included James Maxwell from AGS who has managed to damage himself at just about every outing so far this year.  I have personally ran into him several times recently at my local White Cross Accident and Emergency centre and we must both be well on our way to the White Cross equivalent of  platinum status – just not sure if there is a decent club lounge there?   Anyway today it was the ankle – to add to the elbow (still got the pins in it?) and the wrist that put him out of the last race.  Another unusual looking running modification was Ryan’s crank, which now had one pedal drive with the left crank arm firmly secured but not really attached to the other side so that it waved gently in the wind – rather amusing but not very effective at moving the bike along.

Kayla Russell, Alex Beaven, Finn Welsford-Ackroyd

Kayla Russell, Alex Beaven, Finn Welsford-Ackroyd

So back to the race and it was Intermediate boy, Aaron emerging from the single track first to claim victory.  Isaac was not far behind having had a great race.  Harrison Mudgeway and Hemi Jones form Tauranga were next followed in by Jason Callesen.  Jafakid Alex Beaven had managed to get a small lead on Finn, Kalen and Kerran but these three were all within a couple of minute of each other a really strong showing from all these riders.

Peter Bethel and Jared Tetley, Aaron Carr, Charlotte Rayner

Peter Bethel and Jared Tetley, Aaron Carr, Charlotte Rayner

The Intermediate girl’s race was next to finish with Jafakids Kayla Russell and Emma Simcock Smith both taking the top two spots respectively.

It wasn’t long before Harriet Beaven in the Senior girls also sped into view to finish her three lap race.  Not far behind, a hard charging Charlotte Rayner had kept Hatty very honest and would have picked up any spoils had there been any for the taking.  Today though, a hard fought second place was all that was to be had.

With Tom out of the Senior boys race, Peter was left with a mountain to climb in order to get into contact with hard charging Tauranga rider Sean Keals, so in the end Sean took a well-deserved victory.  In consolation as Sean had been riding as a guest Peter still managed to pick up the first placed points for the series which will not hurt his overall standing.

Prize giving in the sunshine was a generous affair with almost every rider taking home some trinket or other. As the series now moves to its conclusion at Woodhill on 30th June we look forward to more superb racing …

Left, Senior Boys:  Elliot Wright (4th), Cody Langford (3rd),  Sean Keals (1st), Peter Bethell (2nd) Right, Senior Girls: Sarah Russell (3rd),  Harriet Beaven (1st), Charlotte Rayner (2nd)

Left, Senior Boys: Elliot Wright (4th), Cody Langford (3rd), Sean Keals (1st), Peter Bethell (2nd)
Right, Senior Girls: Sarah Russell (3rd), Harriet Beaven (1st), Charlotte Rayner (2nd)


Left, Intermediate Boys: Harrison Mudgeway (3rd), Hemi Jones (4th), Aaron Carr (1st), Jason Callesen (5th), Isaac Schuurman (2nd) Right, Intermediate Girls: Ashley Maher (3rd),  Kayla Russell (1st), Emma Simcock-Smith (2nd)

Left, Intermediate Boys: Harrison Mudgeway (3rd), Hemi Jones (4th), Aaron Carr (1st), Jason Callesen (5th), Isaac Schuurman (2nd)
Right, Intermediate Girls: Ashley Maher (3rd), Kayla Russell (1st), Emma Simcock-Smith (2nd)

Left, Junior Boys:  Jack Wilson (2nd), Jake Craggs (1st), Liam Talbot (3rd), Daniel Mackey (4th) Right, Junior Girls: Isobel Welsford-Ackroyd (2nd),  Jessica Manchester (1st), Charlotte Russ (3rd)

Left, Junior Boys: Jack Wilson (2nd), Jake Craggs (1st), Liam Talbot (3rd), Daniel Mackey (4th)
Right, Junior Girls: Isobel Welsford-Ackroyd (2nd), Jessica Manchester (1st), Charlotte Russ (3rd)


Unofficial Results Below with Jafakids highlighted in bold


Official results will be posted here:

Timing is overall time from start of first (seniors) race start.

Actual Intermediates times will be ~ 2 minutes less

Actual Juniors times will be ~ 4 minutes less

Senior Girls

Pos Name School Time Points for this race Overall Points in series
1 Harriet BEAVEN Parnell College 1:12:25 30 60
2 Charlotte RAYNER Howick College 1:18:50 24 48
3 Sarah RUSSELL Howick College 1:50:40 19 38
DNF Brittany MCCRYSTAL St Cuthberts College 0 0
Danielle VANDERMEER Pukekohe High School 0 15
Aimee HALLEN Macleans College 0 12

Senior Boys

1 Sean KEALS Tauranga Boys College


2 Peter BETHELL Michael Park School


30 45
3 Cody LANGFORD Macleans College


24 36
4 Elliot WRIGHT Auckland Grammar


19 43
5 Nicholas HEBSON Macleans College


15 15
6 Andrew McMURTIE Rosehill College


12 12
7 Tobi McLEOD Rosehill College


10 10
DNF Tom COOMBES Massey High School 0 19
DNF Thomas HALWRIGHT Rutherford College 0 0
Cosmo BLOOR Auckland Grammar 0 30
  Liam PADDEN Albany Senior High 0 10
Sahand  Pourjafari-Shotorban Macleans College 0 9
Sam LANCASTER-ROBINSON Albany Senior High 0 8

Intermediate Girls

1 Kayla RUSSELL Howick College


30 60
2 Emma SIMCOCK-SMITH Diocesan School


24 48
3 Ashley MAHER Mahurangi College

19 19
4 Breana LANGFORD Macleans College

15 27
Gabrielle WRIGHT Diocesan School 0 19
Charlotte BROWN Saint Kentigern 0 15

Intermediate Boys

1 Aaron CARR Howick College


30 60
2 Isaac SCHUURMAN Massey High School


24 24
3 Harrison MUDGEWAY Tauranga Boys College

4 Hemi JONES Tauranga Boys College

5 Jason CALLESEN Auckland Grammar


19 38
6 Alex BEAVEN Parnell College


15 15
7 George PAYNE Tauranga Boys College


8 Finn WELSFORD-ACKROYD Mt Albert Grammar


12 20
9 Kerran TETLEY Auckland Grammar


10 12
10 Kalen WEIR Avondale College


9 16
11 Sam RADFORD-PARK Auckland Grammar


8 14
12 Jack BOYD Auckland Grammar


7 10
13 Dan FINNEMORE Takapuna Grammar


6 7
14 Owen CHUNG Auckland Grammar


5 6
15 Tyler MORUNGA Auckland Grammar


4 9
16 Brad O”BRIEN Howick College


3 4
17 Mitchell GALLAGHER Howick College


2 2
18 James KIRKHAM Mt Albert Grammar


1 2
19 Freddy TRESIDDER Auckland Grammar


2 Laps 1 1
20 Cameron FISHER Macleans College


2 Laps 1 2
21 Curtis HUNG Auckland Grammar


2 Laps 1 2
22 Taylor BONE Macleans College


2 Laps 1 2
23 Xavier PIANTA-PRICE Auckland Grammar


2 Laps 1 2
DNF Robin PAGE Pinehurst School 0 24
DNF Ryan CRAGGS Auckland Grammar 0 12
DNF Daniel HOLT-PEDERSON Macleans College 0 10
DNF Hayden SCHUURMAN Massey High 0 9
DNF Elijah WHYTE Takapuna Grammar 0 4
DNF Jack FISHER Auckland Grammar 0 0
DNF Chris HEBSON Macleans College 0 0
DNF James MAXWELL Auckland Grammar 0 0
Kim WRIGHT Massey High School 0 15
Hayden WOODHEAD Macleans College 0 1
Andrew BOTES Albany Senior High 0 1
Avi SHARMA Westlake Boys High 0 1

Junior Girls

1 Jessica MANCHESTER Howick College


30 60
2 Isobel   WELSFORD-ACKROYD Mt Albert Grammar


24 48
3 Charlotte RUSS St Kentiern College


19 19
4 Paige WEIR Rutherford Primary


5 Zoe Jane CALLESEN Epsom Girls


15 34
6 Sophie SKELTON Botany Downs College


12 12
7 Harriet NAISMITH Parnell College


10 10
8 Dayna Safia HAYTHORNE Epsom Girls


9 9
9 Angel Shania HILL Epsom Girls


8 8
Kate HASZARD Macleans College 0 15

Junior Boys

1 Jake CRAGGS Auckland Grammar


30 60
2 Jack WILSON Tauranga Boys College


3 Liam TALBOT Macleans College


24 31
4 Daniel MACKEY Auckland Grammar


19 34
5 Jayden FLEMING Glendowie College


15 39
6 Nat SHARP Kingsway School


12 12
7 Sam BEERE Macleans College


10 14
8 Alec STEWART Sunderland School


9 17
9 Elye SCHUURMAN Massey High School


8 17
10 Jeremy KING Mt Albert Grammar


7 7
11 Jared TETLEY Auckland Grammar


6 11
12 Gene WANG Auckland Grammar


5 11
13 Whitiora ROLLESTON Glendowie College


4 6
14 George FURNISS Bucklands Beach Int.


15 Zac SAUNDERS Auckland Grammar


3 3
16 Hamish BURDEN Takapuna Grammar


2 3
17 Benjamin GRANT Glendowie College


1 1
18 Quinn JOHNSON Macleans College


1 2
19 Gareth BOLLAND Elerslie Primary


0 0
20 Dougal BURDEN Takapuna Grammar


1 2
21 Ju-Seong CHOI Bucklands Beach Int.


22 Thomas MOORE Takapuna Grammar


1 1
23 Tom BARKER Parnell College


1 1
24 Edmond LIU Macleans College


1 2
25 Cullen NEALE Bucklands Beach Int.


26 Joshua DEED Pukekohe High School


1 Lap 1 1
27 Cade CONNELL Pukekohe High School


1 Lap 1 1
DNF Matt MCFELLIN Auckland Grammar 0 0
  Liam BETHELL Michael Park School 0 19
Jack HARRIS Westlake Boys High 0 12
Rhett CROWTHER Macleans College 0 10
Soul O’REILLY Auckland Grammar 0 3
Joshua ROSA Westlake Boys High 0 1
Oliver BROOKS Auckland Grammar 0 1
Hamish BEATTIE Glendowie College 0 1
Degan VILJOEN Macleans College 0 1
Jacob PENNY Rosehill College 0 1

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