The NZ Enduro finished it's second day in the rain, just as it had started. The weekend's weather seemed not to be abating either. A full night of rain and waking up to a torrential downpour on Sunday morning meant Sven and Anka had a tough decision to make.
The planned day three was to ride the Wakamarina, one of the top of the south's most talked about trail, it's a 'must do' if you are in the area and have two wheels to hand. To race the trail would have been split into three stages, beginning with a shuttle up to 1,100m and descending the three parts of native, rooty, grade four walking track back to the valley floor at Canvastown.
Cowering under every available overhanging roof in Canvastown was no mean feat for 130 riders in this small settlement, early on a Sunday morning. Sven and Anka had a much more difficult task to hand though, to go ahead as planned or cancel today's racing. Along with their crew of volunteers, drivers and medic's they came to their decision. Sven delivered the verdict solemnly to a waiting crowd - there would be no racing today. Too many factors, including the dire weather, trail conditions, river crossings and limited extractions options should there be an accident made it too risky to send riders up to that height of elevation to race.
The disappointment was clear in Sven's voice, Anka unable to hide her tears, this was not how they planned their first NZ Enduro event. The competitors were in favour of this brave decision, a lone whoop broke the silence as everyone realised they were thinking the same thoughts as the racer next to them - this was a good call. We'd had two blinding days of racing in the most testing conditions both hot, dry, dusty and wet, cold and treacherous, it was time to quit whilst we were ahead.
Gathering in the village hall we enjoyed an early morning beer, raffle and of course the prize giving. Damien Oton took first place in the Pro Men with Mark Scott and Joe Nation in third. For the Pro Women Ines Thoma came first just two seconds ahead of Claire Hassenfratz with British rider Bex Baraona in third. Full results to follow.
We'll leave you with the video edits from day one and two plus a load more photos from day two, see you in 2018 NZ Enduro!
Images: Duncan Philpott, Gary Perkin, Boris Beyer, Digby Shaw.