Vanessa Susulin still remembers like it was just yesterday when she used to watch her dad, Henry Camacho Sr., and sister Britney race at the former CowTown Raceway Park, flying and clearing obstacles along the course.
It was actually more than a decade ago when her family members were with the thriving motocross community in the CNMI. Britney competed in Mini ATV class and often topped her division, while Henry Sr. was a perennial contender in the veteran class.
Competitions at the raceway had long been gone, but not the memories of Susulin supporting her father and sister, especially at this time when the sport is making a comeback and she finds herself “involved” with motocross again.
Susulin now has her own family joining the Marianas Racing Association-organized weekend races in Marpi where the former Kan Pacific Swimming Pool is located.
“My daughters Harley and Brooklynn are racing every Sunday. Harley is 8 years old and rides a dirt bike and Brooklyn is 4 and uses a 4-wheeler. Watching them navigate their way along the course reminds me of the time I used to come to CowTown to support my dad and sister during their races, cheering them every time they go airborne and helping them fix their gear, and giving them water or food after the rides,” Susulin said.
Henry Sr. still races under the revived MRA and is in fact the one who encouraged his granddaughters to try the sport, while her ever supportive daughter now looks after Harley and Brooklyn on and off the track every weekend, watching the young riders learn their way around the especially-designed course for kids.
“They’ve been riding for two months now and at first they were a bit hesitant and that got me worried but not for long, as I know safety is MRA’s priority, especially for the kids. Their grandpa helped them go through the track. Then after only a few tries, Harley got it right so her grandpa was really proud of her,” Susulin said.
Harley, a third grader at the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School, said she enjoys every ride on her bike and the rush for speed as she works her way along the course. Harley rides a 50cc dirk bike, but recently got a Yamaha YZ 65cc, which is a birthday present from her dad, Rex. The young rider is celebrating her birthday today.
“I had fun with other kids every time we race. I hope to see more kids riding with us. We need more girl riders,” Harley said.
Susulin said that just like how she supported her dad and sister back in the days, she will be with her children all the way if they decide to stick with motocross. For parents like her who have children interested in the motocross, she encouraged them to step forward as there are people in MRA that will share their knowledge in the sport and keep riders safe.