en·dur·ance: – noun
Endurance was definitely the word of the day…. Last Saturday saw the second round of the South Island 2012 Winter Enduro head it’s way North to Caroline bay in Timaru. The course takes riders from the sheltered Caroline Bay out into the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean. This year saw calmer waters than the previous couple of years, but it was still rough enough to test the fitness and stamina of some of the toughest competitors – two competitors were taken away in the ambulance with minor injuries. (both riders are fine now)
The pole ski’s like normal took to the water first up for their one race of forty five minutes, I somehow was talked into helping out with there fuel stops, which gave me a different point of view to normal, the first rider came in for there first fuel stop on lap two, and at this point of the race laps were taking roughly 5 minutes and we were kept very busy over the next six laps with riders coming ashore for there compulsory fuel stop. Meanwhile a couple of riders that were suffering from the tough condition came into the beach to take a rest, proving it is definitely harder than it looks out there.
By the end of the race the pack was fairly well separated out and Daryl Dunbar crossed the line ahead of everyone else, I’m sure his super fast fuel stop accounted for this result. haha, Steve Taylor lead for the first five laps, but due to a fall came in 5th for the day (but still holding on to second place for the series). Both Daryl and Steve are long time winter enduro riders, proving experience is a key in this type of racing. Second in the open class was Trent Brown, which is a name more well know in summer (short course) racing, but Trent is using the winter series to train for this years “Worlds” to be held in the USA in October and third place saw Mark Bainbridge come in, also more well know for summer racing!
The pole 750 class saw Jules Bennett, carrying on the top results from the first round giving him a good lead for the series. Tom Evens rode in on second place followed by long time contender Antony Burtenshaw in third.
Up next was the first of the sit-down ski’s forty five minute races, the track gets extended out for the sit-down skis, but the fast supercharged ski’s can still lap the course in about 4 minutes. The start line saw all classes line up against each other for a seventeen ski wide rolling start. The field gets separated very fast with the larger supercharged ski’s taking the lead very early on. The start line looked like a Kawasaki customer day out, with at least six of them being 300 horsepower Ultra by Kawasaki and a couple of earlier models thrown in the mix. The ski of Team Farnley with Shannon Clark piloting took the lead of the complete feild from early on and held it to the end of the race. Trent Brown (as mentioned above) also riding a sit-down 300x ski took line honours in the open class in front of new comer Shane Hurrell. Leader of the series Phil Barrett was in the position for a placing but a rogue wave court him unaware on turn one and threw him from the ski and took a blow from the handle bars in to his ribs. A similar incident happened in the second race but this time a shoulder was involved.
The end of race two, saw the ‘teams entered’ ski of Farnley’s, with this time Chris riding cross the line in front, followed by Trent Brown taking out open, followed by Shane Hurrell and Robin Oakley all aboard the big horsepower 300x Kawasaki’s.
Meanwhile with in the sit-down race the N/A (Naturally Aspirated) ski’s were battling it out amongst themselves. James Hart rode amazingly strong all day on his Yamaha GPR1300 and held off long time contender Graham Blackmore on his Yamaha VRX and Quintin McDonald coming home in third place.
Very interesting results, and a few good results in none series riders means a complete shake up in the points table has happened and by the looks of it, it could be anyone’s series after the third and final round in Wanaka on the 25th of August.
All in all, another great Southern event, run very well by the Southern Jet Sports Club and Otago Personal Watercraft.
Results are online on the New Zealand Jet Sports Club site here
More info on the South Island Winter series can be found here
This video of me getting kaned off the start line, as you can see at 1:30 I catch back up and pass a heap of other racers.
Video is at normal speed and not edited at all.