Words: Chris Koira | Photos: Richard Reeve
Wow…what a loop!
They pulled out all stops this year and cut an entirely new track. Some amazing work was done, Ryan Nothard has excelled. Basically a dozer width track winding it’s way up hill and down dale. Some great little jumps and many series of woops where you strived lap after lap to find the rhythm and keep the front wheel up for one, two or three holes. Great stuff. Grip levels could not be bettered. No logs to cross, but many roots were exposed throughout the proceedings. There was a few damp patches but this only gave you a small opportunity to get it crossed up, there was no quiet bits at all and had me focused hard all day to stay at a fair clip. The top sections near the hilltops were much drier (2-3″ rain during the week and then 3 days of sunshine and a breeze) and started to dust up a bit but by then I was in the groove with my lines well sorted, grip was still abundant.
There was 75-80 entrants and some grand looking bikes everywhere, many models represented and quite a few that debuted. Riders were flagged away at 30 second intervals at whatever order the riders wanted to go at….easy done! I was given a medallion and a 2013 sticker so I presume everyone got them. I did 7 loops and figured my limit was found in both tanks….mind you I may have lost a bit when lying at the base of a tree. I think it got to 29c and the breeze had vanished…..a cold frothy was too tempting when I went to reserve and I gingerly completed the loop…with a flourish, there was a great dry creek crossing at the end with the perfect mono angle on the up.
Highest lap count was 13 as far as I heard at least. A YZ400 with lights I think! There was a huge array of bikes with a lot more PE’s and green meanies than years past….a good showing by all the enduro marques. Quite a few traillies made a good show of themselves…one or two maybe not so (bad luck gsr). Personally, a big thanks to Poppy for picking me up and dropping me back home again in a most gentlemanly manner. We got there about 1.30pm and only Ryan and Julian (Tate?) made themselves visible, apparently there was someone else there too…..anyway, we got some good news about the track conditions and started setting up camp and I settled back with a bourbon (or six Shocked ) as the happy campers dribbled in.
Place was fairly busy come dark and soon the fire was the focal point, I left the rampant…..talk….and headed to my tent about 10pm. Only gripe for the night was the M n’ M snorers camped at either end of the camp site for all our enjoyment…. Refreshments were provided on the day and the place was soon packed come briefing time. There were applause for the organisers and then riders were away for a great day, I’m sure everyone will agree the event was a pearler and up there with the best. Big thanks to all involved, I had a fantastic time.