Oceania Champs isn't an event that rolls into town every day. Run once a year, but alternating between Australia and NZ, the event provides an opportunity to race against off-shore riders that many wouldn't usually get. For 2018, the circus rolled into the student and party mecca of Dunedin, New Zealand, but this time with an apparent lack of Australian riders.
In the weeks leading up the race weekend, the start lists began to look something like a World Cup with all the big name Kiwi riders signed up to race. However, as the weather forecasts became more reliable, the invites for a street race in Chile came in, injuries started happening, the and the Pro Elite field started dwindling.
Signal Hill has long been the main trail centre in Dunedin, boasting some 300m of elevation and home to one of the better DH tracks on the Kiwi roster. It was a well-welcomed venue for such a prolific event and provided more than enough challenge for the riders.
The course conditions between practice and race day were complete opposites. As the forecast suggested, the rains came in overnight and on Sunday riders were meet by an almost entirely different track. With the track on Signal Hill being a mix of rock and clay, but also extremely hard packed, the course turned into a complete mudslide.
Thankfully the local fire department were on hand to provide suitable wash down facilities
1st - Sam Blenkinsop ( 3:13.65 )
2nd - Wyn Masters ( 3:29.77 )
3rd - Gareth Burgess ( 3:30.63 )
4th - Bryn Dickenson ( 3:31.74 )
5th - Rupert Chapman ( 3:35.34 )
1st - Vinny Armstrong ( 5:28.60 )
2nd - Shania Rawson ( 5:42.91 )