Harley-Davidson calls off Marlborough promo shoot hours before bridge wiped out

Annie Howe and her husband cross the Maōri Ford bridge on new Harley-Davidson Pan America bikes on Friday. The bridge is no longer there.

Supplied

Annie Howe and her husband cross the Maōri Ford bridge on new Harley-Davidson Pan America bikes on Friday. The bridge is no longer there.

Annie Howe was all set to shoot a Harley-Davidson promo in Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley when one of the worst floods in Marlborough’s history rained on her parade.

The Waihopai Valley resident, and motorcycle buff, had planned to put Harley-Davidson’s new Pan America bike through its paces on-road and off-road, to showcase the touring bike to New Zealand dealerships.

She had two photographers and two riders – her and her husband – set for a weekend of promotional activity when the rain came.

Māori Ford bridge in the Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, wiped out by a weekend of severe rain.

Morgane Solignac/Stuff

Māori Ford bridge in the Waihopai Valley, Marlborough, wiped out by a weekend of severe rain.

Howe did manage to get on the bike for a couple of pictures on the Māori Ford bridge on Friday though.

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On Saturday morning, with the rain getting heavier, the decision was made to postpone the promo. By late Saturday afternoon, the Māori Ford bridge was gone.

This picture of Annie Howe and her husband crossing the Māori Ford bridge on Harley-Davidson Pan America bikes is basically a collectors’ item now.

Supplied

This picture of Annie Howe and her husband crossing the Māori Ford bridge on Harley-Davidson Pan America bikes is basically a collectors’ item now.

A temporary bailey bridge, from Canterbury, is a month away. And a new permanent bridge 18 months away.

Howe said she also had nine brand dealers scheduled to arrive on the Monday for a ride around the Waihopai Valley.

“We managed to do a few photos the day before the flood which was great,” the Harley-Davidson rep said.

STUFF

Heavy rain on July 17, 2021, caused widespread damage in Marlborough.

“We called off the event on Saturday, because there was too much rain and safety comes first.”

Howe said most of her adult working life had been in the motorcycle industry, and it was her “passion”.

For the last three years, she had been contracted to Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand, working with ambassadors and dealerships and attending shows.

Harley-Davidson head of public relations Claire Pope said they had to adapt when the rain hit.

“We can’t control the weather, so we continue to work closely with everyone involved,” Pope said.

A bailey bridge, similar to the one pictured above, will be transported up to the isolated Waihopai Valley. But it will take at least a month, and a further 18 months to have a permanent bridge in place.

Supplied

A bailey bridge, similar to the one pictured above, will be transported up to the isolated Waihopai Valley. But it will take at least a month, and a further 18 months to have a permanent bridge in place.

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About Craig Ballantyne 25656 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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