Cliffhanger Mansions


2024’s King of the Cliffhanger Motorcycle Hill Climb took place in the sunny Wairarapa over the weekend of 16-17th March.

After a fantastic day’s racing on Sunday, Sasha Drain from Upper Hutt has been crowned the King of the Cliffhanger 2024 after thrashing his Suzuki GSXR600 (yep, from C2) up the Te Wharau Road in 2 minutes 13 seconds.

In the other classes, Reece Swan took the C1 title with a 2:14 on his 2016 Kawasaki ZX10R and Andrew Boldero was fastest in C3 on his 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 400.

Full results

NE; GM (Not enough, gimme more)

Phew, what a weekend…

Perfect weather for Saturday’s Fun Day and the King of the Cliffhanger on Sunday, only a couple of minor offs during the whole weekend (get well soon Tess!) and loads of runs on Sunday led to a climactic battle for the title; a battle that wasn’t settled until Sasha Drain (C2 – GSXR600), as the last rider up the hill before we called it a day, banged in the fastest time of the event with a scorching 2:13.   In doing so, Sasha scuppered the chances of Reece Swan (C1 – ZX10R) and Daniel Pepper (C1 – GSXR1000) of lifting the KotC title with their 2:14 runs.

The fact that all top three riders (and plenty of others) built their speed up steadily through the day and achieved their best times in the final two runs of the weekend only added to the tension.  The whoops of delight and groans of disappointment heard around Cliffhanger Mansions (the caravan) as the times came in were quite something…

Top threes

Class Position
Entry Rider Bike Time
C1 1= 16 Reece Swan
Kawasaki Zx10r (2016)
  1= 4 Daniel Pepper
Suzuki GSX-R1000R (2017)
  3 60 Tyler Lincoln Kawasaki ZXR750 (1989) 2:15
C2 1 51 Sasha Drain Suzuki GSXR600 (2021) 2:13
  2 82 Jean-Pierre Bouchet Suzuki GSXR600 (2008) 2:16
  3 42 Drew Mair Honda CBR600RR (2005) 2:19
C3 1 96 Andrew Boldero Kawasaki Ninja 400 (2020) 2:32
  2 99 Alex Horvat Aprilia RS250 (1997) 2:40
  3 17 Andrew Ansell Kawasaki Ninja 400 (2022) 2:42

Full results

Honourable mentions

On Saturday Cliffhanger committee member Shannon Dellow smashed out a 2:15 on his very first run of the weekend before following that up with a 2:16 and another 2:15.  He then called it a weekend (much to everyone’s relief).

Tyler Lincoln for keeping the big boys honest on his beautifully prepped, 35 year-old Kawasaki ZXR750.  I remember when…

Daniel Pepper for being a good egg when we elected to give the C1 trophy to Reece Swan who had turned in the same time as him at the top of the big bike class.  The blow was slightly softened by Daniel then winning the raffle for the $150 voucher from Fagan Motorcycles.

Fagan Motorcycles for jumping in and sponsoring the Support Class (in which, somewhat ironically, no-one actually ran this weekend).   The cost of living crisis means times are tough in retail at the moment and nowhere more so than in the area of leisure pursuits like ours.  This has meant that this year industry-led sponsorship has been harder to come by.  So, speak to Rod Carter and the team at Fagan Motorcycles if you’re in the Wairarapa and have a motorcycle itch that needs scratching.  And be prepared to stay awhile; Rod likes a good natter…

Dylan Thorburn for turning in 2:17s on his road-ridden, Yamaha MT10.  Best sounding bike of the weekend too (though Warren Goodin’s Ducati Panigale V4 gave it a run for its money).  Ear-splitting doesn’t come close…

Without Whom…

It takes a fair bit of organisation and good will to pull the event together.  The Cliffhanger Committee would like to thank the following all-round good sorts.

Our major sponsors; STMS, The Greytown Hotel and Sentify

  • Every year, every event, without fail, Ric Shepherd at STMS jumps in and helps organise road closures and lends us loads of his very expensive gear to help with traffic management.
  • Tony Murphy and co at The Greytown Hotel for their more than generous sponsorship in cash and kind.  The marshalls really appreciate it.
  • Chris Wellington, the big cheese at Sentify.  Chris has long-standing family ties to the Wairarapa and his enthusiasm for its people and the events that take place in it is obvious to all that know him.

Our class sponsor, Fagan Motorcycles.  As mentioned earlier, things are harder this year but Rod and the team chipped in…

Matt Patrick.   Matt’s the owner of the fields that we host the Cliffhanger on. He asks for nothing in return and even takes care of the rubbish you lot make.  A legend.

Speaking of legends, Julie and her team of marshals.  This merry band get to spend entire days sat alone by the side of the road helping to enforce the road closure and assist any rider who falls foul of the hill.  It’s no exaggeration to say that without Julie and her team it would be impossible to run the event.

And everyone who turned up to take part, help or spectate.  You all helped make the weekend such a blinder.  Here’s to next year!!!