Sun, sand and sunblock all went hand in hand at the 2018 Indian Motorcycle NZ Beach Racing Champs held on Friday afternoon.
The beach race is perhaps the most iconic event of the Burt Munro Challenge due to its close connections to Burt Munro himself who used to race along the beach as practice.
Craig Hyde, who is part of the organising committee for the beach race said that the event always draws a good crowd,
“It’s definitely a crowd favourite,” Hyde said.
Hyde believed that the weather had played its part in encouraging more people to come out to the beach with the overcast weather good for the riders and spectators alike.
A huge crowd built up as the warm-ups came and went and people were still streaming in as the first races were thundering into action.
First-time rally-goer Mitchell Bond, 18, from Dairy Flat in Northland, said him and his dad and a few of his "old riding mates" were taking in the event as part of a 21-day trip.
"It's really awesome. It's amazing to see all of the stuff and the cool atmosphere."
He rides a BMW 650 Single and said the group were planning to head to Milford Sound after the Burt.
"Invercargill is an interesting place, it's good to walk around, and everything is easy to access."
The international following for the event was clear with people from all over the world in the crowd enjoying their first ever Burt Munro Challenge.
Mark Reimers from Queensland was impressed with the crowd atmosphere and the overall running of the event,
“Great event, I love to see the old bikes running on the beach,” Reimers said
Bronwyn and Ollie Logan, also from Queensland Australia were enjoying their first ever time at the Burt Munro Challenge while staying at the rally site.
“We are loving the kiwi hospitality, and can’t believe the majority of over 50’s attending and still riding their bikes,” Logan said.
The riders themselves were also enjoying the chance to race like Burt Munro had years ago.
Bianca Bonner, from Australia, fulfilled her wish of competing in the beach race at the Burt Munro Challenge,
“It was good fun, different, but fun,” Bonner said.
Bonner was also impressed with the crowd turnout,
“The crowd is amazing, everyone is so friendly,"she said.
Bonner is part of an Australian group of riders at the Burt Munro challenge who are here with Aussie Bike Tours.
She is competing in all events at the Challenge aside from the speedway and enjoys showing that women can race in what is a fairly male dominated sport.
“It’s good to be able to encourage and promote girls riding,” Bonner said.
Event organisers will be pleased with the turnout for the beach race and will hope the good weather continues to encourage others to attend the events to come over the weekend.