Wednesday, September 30


Your eyes do not deceive you - that is Andrew Stroud on the grid on an F4 or "bucket" race bike, taking part in the inaugural Mel Jackson Memorial Bucket Extravaganza. Mel's not actually dead, merely resting, so some cunning individuals from the VMCC organised a tribute "race" and asked the Bucketeers to provide bikes. Despite pining for the fjords, Mel was entered along with some of New Zealand's top racers, including Hayden Fitzgerald, Glen Skachill, and of course the ever green Andrew Stroud.

And now a word or two from the VMCC Vice-President, Clive Banks, VMCC Secretary Andrew Presant, and Bucket Race Meeting Organiser Chris Cattermole.

Over to you chaps:

"Some bright spark on the VMCC exec had decided that it would be a bit of a laugh to entertain the punters with an invitational bucket race as part of our farewell to Mel Jackson. Departing Club President and stalwart Clerk of Course for many years. Knowing of my pathological fear of buckets it made sense that I would be invited. Sadists the whole bloody lot of them.

Now, I've never ridden one of these things but am convinced that people make a fundamental error when they assume that they are safe because they are small and slow. Trudi (one of a growing number of female bucketeers) talked me out of my hiding place by offering me a ride on the mighty Rangi. The term life-changing doesn't really do the experience justice. I swear that the last time my perineum had such an expert workout was in Thailand. I can now honestly say that I have raced Andrew Stroud and come in a credible fifth."


"Dee (VMCC Vice President - Social and Clerk of the Course) decided we should give Mel Jackson a send off he won't forget. We arranged a few Bucket's from the Wellington Bucket Group (thanks to Nigel, Trudi, George, Chris, Andy, myself and Glen Skachill). How we kept it quiet from Mel I'll never know but we did. Lunch was called; then a call for a few riders... Andrew Stroud, Hayden Fitzgerald, Aria Lawrence, Glen Skachill, Mel Jackson... etc. We had a true 'bucket' entry from Steve Bagshaw of Moto Academy. Unfortunately he forgot to fill it.
Everyone enjoyed themselves - especially Mel who 'beat' Andrew Stroud to second place. I think the crowd enjoyed it too."

"An email went out to us "bucketeers" asking if we would be so kind as to lend our buckets out for some top riders to have a go on at Manfield for Round 5. I heard Andrew Stroud would be one of the riders but never figured he’d end up on my bucket. After all, he’s an NZ Championship-winning racer who’s more used to a GSXR1000 (or even a Britten) than a 92kg 14hp bucket racer made from 24 different bikes.

How did he cope with the finicky handling or the method of starting it that can be tricky at times?
Plus the fact that it vibrates your hands to sleep when you’re pulling top revs all day.
Still, I guess the Britten issues were never solved in one day,…oh hang on, am I comparing my bucket to the Britten….???
I am honoured that Andrew Stroud rode my bucket racer to a third place at Manfield, even though I think Mel was supposed to come first."

1st Glen Skachill
2nd Mel Jackson
3rd Andrew Stroud

Photos used with the kind permission of Nigel Manning and Avalon Pictures.

More information on the Victoria Motorcycle club can be found here: Victoria Motorcycle Club