• Mobil Smiles Reward

Family races together, stays together


Vanessa Susulin, left, secures the helmet of her daughter, Harley, before letting the young rider go through the course in Marpi. (Contributed Photo)

Harley Susulin waits for the start of her ride in Marpi during one of Marianas Racing Association’s regular races every Sunday. (Contributed Photo)

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.

Henry Camacho Sr., center, poses with his granddaughters, Harley, right, and Brooklyn after completing their respective races. (Contributed Photo)

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.

Harley Susulin navigates the course. (Contributed Photo)

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 Susulin gets a pep talk from dad Rex before heading out to the course. (Contributed Photo)

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.

Vanessa Susulin, left, secures the helmet of her daughter, Harley, before letting the young rider go through the course in Marpi. (Contributed Photo)

“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.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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