Trials Torque Articles
Dirt Rider Downunder - September 2006
Rock Steady Future for NZ Trials (Words -Josh; Pictures - Stephen Oliver)
New Zealand's top Trials rider Warren Laugesen has recently filled the position of Trials Commissioner at MNZ. This position has been vacant for the last couple of years while Trials flew under the radar, without anyone really pushing the sport's profile. And as Laugesen says, "It was time we stirred things up and took Trials into the future."
Riding since the age of 13 Laugesen quickly moved up through the classes making it into the Expert class by 17. After hovering in the top five in NZ for several years he moved to England in 1995 where he competed in Club Trials, the British Champs and World Championship events until returning to NZ and he has since won multiple NZ, Australian and North Island titles.
|Warren shows how it's done|
What are some of the new initiatives you want to put in place?
I'm working with the Australian Trials commissioners to redevelop the Oceanic (trans-Tasman) Challenge and make it more appealing to riders of all skill levels, not just the top guys. We want to move the date from Labour weekend, which is a busy time for events to possibly Easter weekend to amke the logistics of shipping bikes easier. This would also make it a stand-alone event, rather than being part of the NZ or Australian champs.
We are also trying to raise awareness of the sport not only among the motorcycling community but also the general public. We have a few different ways of doing this. DRD has been great on this front giving us coverage since issue one, but we need to get results and press releases out within 24 hours of events happening. We need to be pushing ourselves and promoting ourselves at any chance possible. I think our current class system needs a face-lift to make it easier to follow for outsiders and generally more interesting.
|Warren with members of the HPS|
Tell me about your involvement in the NonStop Trials Academy.
I've been working closely with Stephen Oliver who has put in huge amounts of his own time and money over the last two years to develop an absolutely unreal piece of Trials riding heaven on a property just South of Nelson. I've been working with him developing the high-performance part of the academy. We have a small group of very talented young riders who we fell want to progress in their sport to international level over the next few years. I'm giving them advance training and helping with all aspects of their riding.
What state would you like to see Trials in five years down the track?
I believe there's a huge almost untapped market for Trials. We need to do more to attract newcomers into the sport, families especially. In five years time I would like to see rider numbers doubled, I would like to see an average of 100 riders at championship events. My target is for Trials to become as popular as Enduros.
|HPS training at the NonStop Trials Academy|
Trials Club Contacts:
Northland - Clive Harman 09 405 9742
Auckland - Andrew Kershaw 09 232 8431
Hamilton - Peter Osborne 07 576 1692
Bay of Plenty - Paul McLeod 07 573 5365
Taranaki - Grant McEwen 06 756 8256
Hawkes Bay - Jeff March 06 876 7085
Manawatu - Kevin Pinfold 06 326 8666
Wellington - Steve Wade 04 564 8315
Blenheim - Brendan Wadsworth 03 579 2500
Nelson - Stephen Oliver 03 545 1053
Canterbury - Lyall Sinclair 03 385 0067
Southland - Malcolm Reid 03 476 7735