CAPTION: Kiwi international Roma Edwards, formerly from Nelson, has perhaps provided some of the inspiration for the inaugural MXLadies Motocross Championships in two weeks’ time. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
JULY 01, 2023: Women’s motocross racing in New Zealand will be getting an extra boost this coming Matariki Weekend with the inaugural MXLadies Motocross Championships.
Created several years ago by Nelson woman Simone Dacombe, her MXLadiesNZ group is receiving help from the Marlborough Motorcycle Club to run this event at the Marlborough Motorcycle Club track at 8/452 Northbank Road, Blenheim, on Saturday, July 15.
“The group started in October 2020 and was named ‘MXLadies – Top of the South’. About 180 riders from Nelson, Blenheim and the West Coast were all active in our on-line group and we had merchandise made – tee-shirts and hoodies, etc, which everyone wanted.
“Then we had girls contacting us from all over New Zealand asking to be a part of our group, and asking if they could buy a hoodie, etc, so we changed the name to ‘MXLadiesNZ’ after that.
“Now we are New Zealand-wide with an on-line following of about 700.”
Dacombe said the aim of her MXLadiesNZ group has been to try to help evolve the women’s motocross scene in New Zealand, something that has already been a growth area in recent times thanks to Motorcycling New Zealand’s Women’s Commission and obviously inspired also by the international success of Kiwi riders over the years such as Courtney Duncan, Rachael Archer, Roma Edwards, Katherine Prumm, Tania Satchwell and Shelley Hickman, among others.
Up until this year, the MXLadiesNZ group has held Fundays and Training Days in the top of the South Island, but now it was decided the time is ripe to step it up a notch.
“This year we have collaborated with the Marlborough Motorcycle Club to hold this big event, our first Motorcycling New Zealand-affiliated motocross race, with additional support from MTF Finance and many other sponsors.
“We have lots of classes and are catering to Mini Ladies, Junior Ladies and Senior Ladies (including beginners). We are also offering half price entry to all North Island riders,” she said.
The various classes have some novel names, such as Wonder Woman, Average Jane, New To The Dirt, Wonder Girl, Super Girl and Mighty Minis, perhaps also signifying a fun and family approach to the sport.
“We are also opening the track up the following day to all dads, brothers, husbands … the supporters … to have an open track day, for a small track fee, so this event will actually be inclusive of everyone.
“I myself only started racing in 2020, when I was 33 years old, and I really jumped in the deep end, with no formal training. I classify myself still and a beginner or intermediate rider, but I really do love it.
“I think this coming Matariki Weekend will be a fantastic weekend.”
The venue will be signposted from Northbank Road, where it turns off from State Highway 6.
President of the host Marlborough Motorcycle Club, Chris Mealings, said his club, and also the Nelson Motorcycle Club, was “right behind women’s motocross 100 percent”.
“My wife does not really race motocross, but she does ride well and is one of those up-and-comers in the sport and we really want to encourage women in motocross.”
The online entry form can be found at this link: www.sporty.co.nz/viewform/236015 and any further event updates will be on the Marlborough Motorcycle Club’s Facebook social media page.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ