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Police motorcycle officers hone riding skills in competition at Orchard Valley
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Stockton CHP motor officer Anthony Gionetti leans into the sharp turns at Saturdays police motorcycle competition between regional officers from throughout the northern and central part of the state. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Police officers from Redding to Fresno participated in Saturday’s motorcycle competition at a cordoned-off parking lot at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley shopping center at Union Road and the Highway 120 Bypass. 

Three Highway patrol officers were involved in the competition this year competing with city police traffic officers.  The CHP trio was from the Stockton and Oakland regions honing their skills in the daylong event.  The trials included individual officers riding through orange traffic cone turns and straight away courses, pair-riding with motorcycles tethered together and slow ride events – a true test of balance.

They were judged on the number of cones they hit, their finishing times and whether they went down on the challenge courses during their runs.

Officer Craig Howard of Fresno Police Department took first place in the BMW trials, second went to Brian Bradshaw of Fresno PD and third place was captured by Jack Hatton of the West Sacramento Police Department.

The first place honors in the Harley Davidson part of the contest was won by Officer Casey Bovavich of Redding Police Department.  Second place riding a Harley went to Vince Weyant of Tracy PD and Jared Kissack of Alameda Police Department took third place honors.

Riding Honda police motorcycles were Eddie Chan of San Jose PD and Mario Ysit of Ripon PD.  Chan took first place and Ysit came in second.

The team pair-riding, involving two tethered motorcycles, saw the first place go to Fresno, the second being a tie between San Jose and Redding.  Third place went to West Sacramento Police Department.  In the slow ride contest Officer Craig Howard of Fresno PD took first place.  Second place went to Greg Lang of West Sacramento PD and third went to Officer Brian Bradshaw of the City of Fresno department.

The Manteca police competitors pulled their names out of the standings for any awards because they were hosting the meet.  Had they not eliminated themselves, they would have finished with Chief Nick Obligacion taking third place in the Harley Davidson main event.

Manteca traffic officer David Bright would have won the second place in the main event and second in the slow ride competition.  Officer Bill Walmer would have finished fourth in the main event and in the paired competition of David Bright and Nick Obligacion would have given them a third place.

The departments involved in the annual event other than the hosting Manteca department were Ripon, Oakland CHP, Alameda, Fresno, West Sacramento, Stockton CHP, Redding and San Jose. The Manteca Explorer group was detailed to help officers right their motorcycles when they went down maneuvering through the difficult challenge courses.