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.
When teenage sensation Jack Hammond arrived in Tongala with his dairy farming family in January, his name sparked interest in several coaches across the district.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons have secured a vital win over Wangaratta Magpies at JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
On Wednesday, April 22, 11 walkers from Shepparton Adventure Club travelled to Strathmerton then on to Ulupna Island.
Uniformed police are being plucked from the district’s 16-hour stations to work with one-member stations so officers are not patrolling on their own.
A Rochester woman who stole more than $250 worth of money, cigarettes and food from her workplace of four years has been convicted and fined $500, plus court costs.
The final 25 players have been chosen to represent the Goulburn Valley Football League in their quest to regain the number one football ranking in country Victoria.
A 640 000 bird proposal finally gets the green light from Strathbogie Shire Council.
Record cattle prices were recorded at the Finley Saleyards on Friday
People in rural and remote areas are significantly over-represented in the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Barooga will host an information forum on the National Disability Insurance Scheme on Tuesday night.
The Deniliquin Rodeo Arena was in full swing for the recent Deniliquin Classic Barrel Race.
GrainCorp has announced an investment of $50 million to increase oilseed crushing capacity and efficiency at its Numurkah facility in Victoria.
Mark Soyer represented Australia at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Canada.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.