Monday, April 4

IT’S ONE HELL OF AN EVENT

by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

Ever been told to “go to Hell”?

This is probably the place they meant ... the No Way In Hell enduro, the country’s premier extreme enduro event, run by the man who should know, Tokoroa enduro wizard Sean Clarke.

This year’s Kiwi Rider-sponsored No Way In Hell enduro is just the second time it has been run and, quite frankly, a second time around was perhaps something nobody had planned for ... it’s a surprise anyone survived last year’s inaugural event.

In fact, only two out of more than 60 starters did survive last year’s inaugural race.

Set for Oparau, near Kawhia, on Saturday, April 9, this year’s No Way In Hell enduro will be just a little different, not in terms of its soul-destroying and body-breaking qualities but in the ability for spectators to enjoy witnessing the anguish close up.

“After last year’s successful event, we have decided to make the event more compact for the riders and better viewing for the spectators,” said Clarke, himself an enduro rider with impeccable credentials.

Clarke is a multi-time New Zealand champion and a four-time medallist at the “Olympic Games of enduro racing”, the International Six Days Enduro.

The race will be started by shot-gun (aimed in the air) at 9am and every competitor, regardless of class entered, will be on the same start line.

“Last year we had split starts for the different classes and this spread the field out to much,” Clarke explained.

The start its self will be called the ‘Bull Rush’ and it will consist of a run up the rockiest river bed imaginable for 1500 metres. The first person to get to the end of this section will win the first $100 in prize money being offered.

“After this, the course this year will consist of three laps that will get harder and harder as the event goes on. Mathew and Nigel Scott, the legends from Oparau, are putting a course together that they hope will even test the best of Kiwi talent, including Kiwi international extreme enduro aces Chris Birch (Auckland) and Rory Mead (Taupo).

Multi-time former national champion and world-renowned extreme enduro specialist Birch has indicated that he would make the trip back from his new home in South Africa especially for this event.

“There will be some pretty hard sections to test the riders but these won’t be thrown in until the second and third laps. The course will be changed as the event goes on,” said Clarke.

“Each lap will be about 25-30 kilometres long and, after each lap, riders will be back at the woolshed for refuelling and food.

“Riders will carry an enduro time card this year and this will be marked when they complete some of the harder sections. If a rider can’t make a section and their card isn’t marked, they will be out of the race.

“There will also be a time limit set this year for the completion of the race. The total time for the race will be six hours. If nobody has finished the course in six hours there will be no finishers.”

Back at the woolshed there will be a fantastic viewing section for spectators. In addition, each time the riders return to the woolshed they will have a mini extreme section to complete.

Only five of the more than 60 bikes that braved the elements actually made it around the entire course at last year’s inaugural No Way In Hell enduro.

The winner was Birch, the only one to finish unaided, in a time of three hours 12 minutes. Hokianga’s Mitchell Nield was 2½ hours behind in second place. Then came Taupo’s Mark De Lautour, Mokau’s Adrian Smith and Marton’s Cam Smith, who arrived to finish a race that for them had lasted eight hours and 11 minutes.

Using this year’s stipulations that meant only two riders out of more than 60 starters last year would be recognised as having completed the race.

2011 EVENT DETAILS:


Pre entry fee $60 includes a meal after event.
Entry on day $85
Entries close April 5
Email your entry to foresttrailevent@xtra.co.nz with rider’s name, bike details, race number and the class to be entered, and the organisers will send out payment details.
Camping is available Friday and Saturday nights.
The classes are as follows:
Class 1, Under 200 two-stroke /Under 300cc four-stroke combined
Class 2, Over 200 two-stroke / Over 300cc four-stroke combined
Class 3, Vets 35-45 any bike
Class 4, Vets 45+ any bike
Class 5, Teams 2 riders (must finish together)

For any other information, call Sean Clarke on 0275 996 045