Photos & Musings: Miscellaneous

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Kini Motorsport Gala, 1987

This photo of Claire riding a KTM, with me in hot pedestrian pursuit is one of my favourites. It was taken at Heinz Kinigadner's Motorsport Gala in 1987.

Heinz was a really cool guy, and he held a couple of fantastic weekend-long parties at the season's end. We were fortunate enough to be invited at the end of the '87 season.

Heinz really knew how to throw a party to remember. The weekend started with a celebrity ice hockey match between motocross guys and other famous Austrian sportsmen, like world championship rally star Walter Rohl, soccer stars and Olympic skiers. This was a proper event, with paying spectators and TV coverage! Of course, none of us knew how to skate, let alone play ice hockey, but that didn't bother Heinz. "Perfect!" he laughed.

The weekend progresssed with various other events such as archery, mechanics races and all sorts of cool things like that. Evenings featured superb meals, fine entertainment and a few beers. (It was the off-season!).

All of this was on the house, courtesy of Kini's amazing ability to bring in corporate sponsorship from the likes of KTM and Isostar. Remember, this was a party he was getting sponsored...!

Highlight for Claire was the race for wives and girlfriends (WAGs as I guess they are called these days). Claire had never ridden a bike in her life. She said she wanted to have a go and I was eyeing up a little 80 that was lying around. However, this was snapped up from under my nose by Lisa Nicoll and so Claire was left with a 125. Bit of a handful for a complete beginner I thought. Unperturbed, I gave her a 2 minute lesson and she was off to the line.

She tootled round the 2 lap race in first gear and I ran alongside her the whole way, partly to shout advice, but mostly because I was convinced that she would crash and die!

In the end she came fourth, against some high class GP competiton:

1. Fabienne (Georges) JOBE
2. Lisa (Kurt) NICOLL
3. Marietta (Kees) VAN DER VEN
3. Claire ANDREWS
4. Susanna (Maurizio) DOLCE
5. Wanda (Arno) DRECHSEL

Pretty impressive names for her debut race!

Jack Burnicle was there too and he covered the celebrations in his 'Burnicle's Beat' column in Dirt Bike Rider magazine, scans of which you can find to the right. Please click on the thumbnails for a larger version of each page.

Claire makes her racing debut on a 125 KTM at Heinz Kinigadner's Motorsport Gala. Enlarge image

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