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.
Thirty-five tonnes of tomatoes from Murchison's Vraca Produce was pelted at participants of Saturday's Tomato Battle in Melbourne.
Local football talent Dan Howe played well in his first game for reigning AFL premiership club Hawthorn last Thursday night.
A dairy cow has died from the disease anthrax in the Tatura region.
Murray Shire will spend the next five days seeking the collective will of the electorate ahead of the NSW Government’s review of local government.
The inaugural Rochester Mural Festival is in full swing with hundreds of cars stopping to check out the talent.
Elusive small man re-signs with club
Federal Government contributes $200 000 towards strengthening historic timber bridge.
The NSW Coalition government will not waver in its approach to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
Red balloons adorned fences, letterboxes and verandah posts across the district on Saturday as the community thanked its firefighters for keeping them safe.
Local sporting talent was celebrated at the Sports Star of the Year awards night last Thursday at Barooga Sports Club.
McGregor takes 6-21 to lead Hay to DDCA premiership.
Fruit Growers Victoria plans to give fruit growers in Victoria more on-farm support as a result of its organisational restructure.
Betty Summer walks 6 kms in a round trip, three times a week to go to the gym. She hates people asking her age, but couldn't keep it secret when she hit the big nine-oh.
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.