Travis Whitten's guidance has helped Hugh McKay to a trip to Europe.LUKE MCMANUS May 8, 2014 3:04am
Travis Whitten’s tutelage is working wonders for motocross protege Hugh McKay.
McKay, 14, claimed outright class honours at the national motocross titles in Wonthaggi last month, winning both races in the CRF150 Cup and an all-expense paid trip to Europe along the way.
The prize will see the young Tasmanian travel to England to compete in the 150 European Championship, alongside his father, Leigh, and his Echuca-based mentor.
‘‘It was a pretty big prize to dangle in front of a young kid,’’ Whitten said.
‘‘I didn’t expect Hugh to bring me anything for another couple of years, so to win something like this is pretty cool.
‘‘Hugh handled the pressure really well. He was mature throughout the races and got the job done.
‘‘There were some really good riders in the field and he had to really earn the win.’’
Up against riders from around the world, the odds of winning the European event are stacked against McKay but opportunities for the up-and-comer ‘‘to turn some heads’’ will be endless.
‘‘Looking at the riders’ list, every country is pretty much spoken for,’’ Whitten said.
‘‘It will be good for Hugh to ride with no expectations.
‘‘The pressure will be off so he can just enjoy the experience.
Whitten discovered McKay’s world-class talents at last year’s junior titles in Horsham, with McKay soon recruited as part of Whitten’s WBR Motorcycles Junior Race Team.
Provided with a bike and accommodation, McKay travelled to Echuca for a two-month stint over the summer holidays to train with Whitten.
McKay has since returned for more training sessions while competing in the Victorian junior motocross circuit.
‘‘He had never lived out of home before coming up here, so it was a pretty big deal for his parents to let him go,’’ Whitten said.
‘‘Because motocross is such a risky sport, things can go wrong, for them to trust me enough and for Hugh to want to come up here is really cool.
‘‘He’s very self-driven. While a lot of kids want all the latest gear and are pushed into the sport by their parents — Hugh’s not like that at all
Over the past six months, McKay’s riding has prospered under Whitten’s guidance and the coach hopes the European championship is the beginning of a long and successful partnership.
Whitten said once McKay progressed through the junior ranks, the Tasmanian would join his senior contingency and aim for an all-important premium class win.
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
McIvor Creek – in and around Heathcote – has gone over its banks with all our recent rain, flooding streets and causing closures and detours.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.