The 21-year-old boat-builder wrapped up his maiden New Zealand Enduro Championships title in July, as well as finishing runner-up in the New Zealand Cross-country Championships that wrapped up near Taupo in May, and now he's just added the North Island Enduro Championships title as well, his latest outright win without him even being in attendance for the final race.
Reardon (Yamaha YZ250FX) is currently overseas, preparing for his debut in the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC) in the United States, and so was unable to contest the sixth and final round of the North Island enduro competition near Masterton at the weekend. But that didn't matter because Reardon had already won the premier expert grade trophy with a round to spare. He eventually won the North Island series by three points from fellow Yamaha ace Josh Hunger, of Stratford, with Cambridge's Beau Taylor (Husqvarna TE250) claiming the third podium spot. His American adventure is already underway – the intrepid Kiwi contesting the final two rounds of the GNCC series in West Virginia and then Indiana.
His campaign in the US may perhaps pave the way for him to follow in the wheel-tracks of fellow Kiwi Paul Whibley. Taikorea's Whibley twice won the GNCC title in the US, in 2009 and again in 2012 and he was a record six-time winner of the parallel Off-Road Motorcycle and ATV (OMA) series in the US as well. If Reardon can impress during his abbreviated US campaign this month, it is possible that he could earn a placement on a professional team there for the 2020 season. His first race, in West Virginia at the weekend, did not quite go to plan with him finishing only 15th overall in the XC2 (250) class after he completed just two laps of the race (while fellow Kiwis Dylan Yearbury, of Cambridge, and Liam Draper, of Howick, finished the day fifth and 13th overall respectively in the same class). "I had a good start going into the trees. Then, about half way through the first lap, I went over the handlebars and landed right onto some huge rocks, spraining my wrist and bending my front disc, causing me to lose most of my front brakes," Reardon explained. "We swapped wheels and I tried to go out for another lap, but it was too rough on the wrist. I had to get an X-ray and luckily it's not broken."
Reardon remains optimistic for his racing at the final round in Indiana on October 27. "I am just going to carry on and train hard for the next round," he said. Meanwhile, Reardon also currently leads the New Zealand version of the GNCC after finishing runner-up and then first at the two rounds run thus far, in the Woodhill Forest in July and at Taikorea, near Palmerston North, last month. He plans to return to New Zealand in time for round three, set for Matata on November 9.
Reardon is supported by Yamaha-Motor New Zealand, BluCru Yamaha NZ, JCR, PWR, Yamalube, JW Seatcovers, 24/7 Beancounter, W&W Construction, Axiam, Qwest, Boss Engineering, Possum Flooring, Swartz Tyres, Edmonds Painting, Masterbuilt, Pulse Performance, Ryan Construction, Hiremaster, Jurgens Demolition, Action Drainage & Construction, Attrill Agriculture, Tyre Shield, Monahans Barbers and the Higgie family.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan