Friday, November 28


By Michael Esdaile at Oreti Beach

FOR the second year running Invercargill’s Greg Baynes has won the Burt Munro Trophy – by taking out the 50 mile race on Oreti Beach.

A happy Greg Baynes (right) with his family after winning his third Burt Munro Trophy.
Once again he was up against his old rival, Southand-born, Christchurch-domiciled Jason Feaver, a man who has won the race numerous times and knows what it takes to get the job done.

This year he came armed with a Honda CRF450 bored and stroked to 525cc and with enough compression he had to get a tow to get it started.  His left shoulder recovered from a major break early in the year, Feaver warmed up for the big one by taking out the New Zealand Open Beach Racing Championship on another Honda hot-rod, his 600cc CR500 two-stroke.

This was decided over two eight lap races.  Feaver won both, with Baynes runner-up each time.

Jason Feaver and his 600cc CR500
which took him to another NZ Open
Beach Race Championship.
In the Burt Munro Trophy, Feaver got his Oamaru Honda CRF450 out front by the end of the first of 50 laps, and from there proceeded to race away from the field, building a half lap lead.

Behind him, Baynes had to fight his way past a group battling with Whyteline Suzuki’s Mark Whyte before he could even think about chasing down Feaver.

He didn’t give up the chase though and started to close the gap, fro 25 seconds down to 23 seconds, then 22 seconds and before long it was just 20 seconds.  Then Feaver came racing down the beach and instead of braking for the bottom turn, he carried on around to his pit, and retired.

Jason Feaver leads from Ross Bergius (121), Greg Baynes (311) and Mitch Rowe (5). When Feaver retired, it left Baynes to lead a KTM sweep.

“I felt the engine start to tighten up.  It wasn’t pulling as hard as it had been, then it started locking the rear wheel when I rolled off the throttle, so rather than keeping on and wreaking it, I pulled out,” Feaver said.

His retirement left Baynes in the lead and from there to the finish he controlled things, despite having already lost fifth (top) gear then later on first gear.

Mark Whyte's chances of victory were ruined by

having to stop for fuel.

But even with just an effective three-speed gearbox, Baynes kept at it to win his third Burt Munro Trophy, with one of his customers, Ross Bergius taking the runner-up spot, 26 seconds adrift, with former winner Mitch Rowe third, another ten seconds back.

That gave KTM a clean 1-2-3 sweep of the podium places with Mark Whyte fourth on his Suzuki, 45 seconds down on Baynes after having to stop for fuel.

Of the 21 starters, only ten finished, and Whyte was the last rider still on the same lap as race winner Baynes.