Saturday saw the inaugural running of the Go Native Enduro, the brain child of Kimmy McVicker and Jeff Carter of South Star Adventures. A solid crew of Spoke staff jumped at the event as soon as the course was announced, two stages on the epic Ranga trail on Rotorua's Rainbow Mountain and a mega high speed blat down to Lake Okataina for the final stage. From the get go the whole event has shaped up a little different than most, a cooler than usual poster, amazing trophies that are most definitely not chainrings stuck in hunks of wood and New Era flat brimmed hats for the volunteers.
The whole thing kicked off at Kerosene Creek where riders picked up numbers and timing chips, shit was talked and then buses were boarded for the first shuttle up to the (almost) top of Rainbow Mountain. All eyes were on early favourites Byron Scott and Matt Walker with both embracing the spirit of (Italian) enduro and sneaking in some pre-race day runs! After the first run Byron had the lead for the men and Jenna Makgill for the ladies, stage two ( a repeat of the first stage) would see Matt take the win but not by enough to move Byron from 1st after the two stages, Hayden (sizzle) Lee took 2nd and Bryon, after a crash, finished the second stage in 3rd. Jenna won again.
After an epic liason stage involving home baking, more buses, cars and a 45 minute push, everyone planted themselves at the top of Stage 3 on the Western Okataina Trail. The push up this relatively wide open track put the fear in a few riders with just how much speed would be safe, but again it was a battle between Byron, Matt and Hayden, in fact that was the order in which they finished, giving Byron the first win in what's set to be a big mark on the New Zealand Enduro calendar . Jeff, Kim and everyone else involved put on an amazing event that straddled the seriousness of racing with the good times of a casual trail ride with your buddies. Nowhere was this more evident than in the fact that four of the main sponsors also all raced; Torpedo7's Lester Perry even finished 4th overall!
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Results can be downloaded here...