Race Report: AGS Winter Series Round 4/4, Woodhill, 19-August-2012

by Nigel Craggs

The conclusion to this year’s AGS Winter Series was again held at Woodhill MTB Park and a great event it turned out to be.

From a foggy start the skies soon cleared to reveal a bright, if not scorching, winters day.  The weeks damp and wet weather had set the course up perfectly, so the sand was hard packed but not too wet and not too dusty-dry either.

Riders and supporters gathered in the bottom car park for registration and the pre-race briefing.  The course took the road up to the main car park and then headed up Powerball to the top of the hill.  From here the riders launched into the first half of Thai Massage before peeling off and heading back down the forest road to join Big Mumma for the long lap.  Half laps bypassed Big Mumma and carried on to the crossroads where the long and half laps joined again as the riders went into Nudie Run, followed by a last small loop of cookie before heading back up the side of the road.   Riders crossed the road at the top of the hill to storm down Book-A-Bach then hanging a hairpin left down the hill back to the bottom car park to complete the lap.

The senior boys were first away chased hard by the next group of intermediate boys with Tom Coombes vying for the lead and being chased up the hill by the other Jafakids riders; Robin Page, Kim Wright, Isaac Schuurman and Kerran Tetley.  The intermediate girls were led up the hill by series leader Jemma Manchester looking for a clean sweep of 4 wins from 4 starts. In the junior boys, Kalen Weir and Jake Craggs (riding as an underage guest) were representing Jafakids in fine style with them both looking good away from the line.  In the junior girls Jessica Manchester (also an underage guest rider) was also looking good setting a pace none of her compatriots could keep with up the hill.

By the end of the first lap it was Tom Coombes battling it out with Cosmo at the front of the intermediate boys, both of whom had pulled out a small lead over Robin Page in third then a short gap back to Kim and Isaac who were in turn being chased by Kerran.  In the intermediate girls Jemma had pulled out a lead on her rivals but was being raced by Jake down Book-A-Bach with Jake also having pulled out a substantial lead on the other juniors.  Kalen was still running but clearly not feeling 100% back in third behind Owen Chung from AGS.

Into the second lap and the juniors had just half a lap to do while everyone else had one full lap still to complete – the seniors had another two and a half to complete.  While all the seniors and intermediates were busy doing their big lap, Jake managed to sneak past in the half lap he had to do and managed to finish just ahead of the leading and flying Intermediate boys with Tom Coombes just taking the win on the final sprint to the line. Robin came home in fourth followed by Isaac and Kim with Kerran chasing them in.  In the intermediate girls, Jemma made her win look easy again taking her clean sweep of first places and never seeming to be troubled by Howick team mates Charlotte Rayner and Sarah Russell.   Jessica also rode home in fine style in the junior girls race to win her second (out of two) races in the series, chased home by Kayla Russell of Howick.  In the seniors race they had a gruelling two and a half laps to complete with AGS rider Logan Griffin just beating team mate Elliot Wright and Logan Callesen (also from AGS) finishing in third.

Presentations for the series saw Cosmo Bloor take out the overall intermediate boys title with Tom Coombes and Kim Wright also on the podium in second and third places respectively.  In the intermediate girls Howick College were dominant again this year taking all three podium spots in the series placing’s with Jemma Manchester taking the top spot, despite being at the bottom of her age group this year.

In the juniors category the winners were dominant, though they did have some real competition from the fantastic performances of a couple of young Jafakids guest riders; Jake Craggs and Jessica Manchester.  In the junior girls Jessica managed two wins in the only two races she entered to provide some extra incentive for Kayla Russell who will next year probably be a school mate.

In a similar vein Jake managed to challenge Kalen and ended up tied up equal on points though Kalen deservedly took the title.  A nice touch was that both Jake and Jessica were awarded consolation medals as they were not eligible this year for the actual titles – next year will be interesting!ung Jafakids guest riders; Jake Craggs and Jessica Manchester.  In the junior girls Jessica managed two wins in the only two races she entered to provide some extra incentive for Kayla Russell who will next year probably be a school mate.


In the overall schools rankings Howick College dominated the competition to win the West Cup for the best Girls team.  In the boys competition Auckland Grammar, who had some stiff competition this year, managed to secure the Lord Cup for the boys title.

All riders and marshals got a complimentary Jafakids Sausage which seemed to go down very well indeed – at least mine did!

Photos from the event by Deane Tetley can be found here.

Jafakids Results are highlighted below in Jafakids Blue


U14 Junior Boys
1st  Jake Craggs ( – Not at High School  – Guest Rider)
2nd Owen Chung (AGS)
3rd Kalen Weir  (Avondale)
4th Sam Radford-Park (AGS)
5th Sam Hewitt (Botany)
6th Daniel Holt-Pederson (Howick)


U14 Junior Girls
1st Jessica Manchester ( – Not at High School – Guest Rider)
2nd Kayla Russell (Howick)

U16 Intermediate Girls
1st  Jemma Manchester (Howick)
2nd Charlotte Rayner (Howick)
3rd  Sarah Russell (Howick)
4th Aimee Hallen (Macleans)
5th Breena Langford (Macleans)


U16 Intermediate Boys
1st  Tom Coombes (Massey)
2nd Cosmo Bloor (AGS)
3rd  Aaron Carr (Howick)
4th  Robin Page (Pinehurst)
5th  Kim Wright (Massey)
6th  Isaac Schuurman (Massey)
7th  Jack Fisher (AGS)
8th Chris Joliffe (Macleans)
9th Dylan Lee (Macleans)
10th  Kerran Tetley (AGS)
11th Jason Callesen (AGS)
12th George Watt
13th Alex Bunting (AGS)
14th Tyler Morunga (AGS)
U19 Senior Boys
1st  Logan Griffin (AGS)
2nd Elliot Wright (AGS)
3rd Logan Callesen (AGS)
4th Cody Langford (Macleans)
5th Hunter Flatz (AGS)
6th James Anderson (AGS)


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