It is already regarded as the ultimate test of dirt biking strength, skill and endurance in New Zealand but, unbelievably, the No Way In Hell extreme enduro has just got even tougher.
This year’s No Way In Hell (NWIH) enduro is set for the long Waitangi weekend and follows hard on the heels of the opening round of the New Zealand Enduro Championships and so, if riders’ muscles were not already screaming for rest, they surely will be by the end of this third edition of the big annual NWIH event.
Only four riders finished last year’s NWIH enduro in the allowable four hours, with Auckland’s Mike Skinner (pictured above) celebrating victory ahead of fellow survivors Sean Clarke, of Tokoroa, and Hokianga brothers Mitchell and Damon Nield.
Waitangi weekend will be an exhausting time for the nation’s elite endurance motorcycle riders, with round one of the Yamaha New Zealand Enduro Championships at Oparau, near Kawhia, set for Saturday, February 4.
The following day is reserved for the Hauturu School fundraiser trail ride.
The trail ride starts at 9.30am and it comprises a 40-kilometre main loop and a 10-km short loop. In addition, a small children’s track will be set up near the woolshed headquarters.
With all that “warm-up” activity completed, the NWIH extreme enduro is primed to kick off that afternoon with a five-kilometre “prologue” section, starting at 4pm.
“This will be a mini extreme cross country race,” said event organiser Sean Clarke.
“All riders will start together and the first section is called the Bull Rush, which is a race for about one kilometre up the rocky riverbed in front of the woolshed, and the first one to the top will win the $100 Bull Rush prize.”
The clubmen riders will be expected to complete four laps, the experts will race six laps and the pro riders will do about eight laps.
Clarke said the prologue result will determine the start order for the following day, but also the riders’ times from the prologue will be added to the following day’s overall race time.
The No Way In Hell extreme enduro proper begins on Waitangi Day Monday, starting at 8am with the first 10 riders leaving at one minute intervals and then the rest of the field leaving at 30-second intervals.
The first section is about 44 kilometres long – where the clubmen will then finish – while expert riders continue on for another 22km before they finish.
The Pro riders will be expected to complete a third section of about 20 kilometres.
“For the NWIH, is it very important that riders pre enter as a meal needs to be organised for after the event and also riders that pre-enter will get a small pack of goodies when they sign in,” said Clarke.
“Also, if you can’t make to the prologue you may still ride the main event on the Monday, although you will just get the slowest time from your class in the prologue, plus an additional five minutes added on to your time.
“If bike riders are looking for a great weekend, either competing or just watching, come out and support the local Hauturu School and have a great weekend.”
Oparau Enduro 2012 Information
Round 1 Yamaha National Enduro Series
Round 1 Yamaha Top Trailrider Series
MNZ Licence required (day licences available for top trailrider series only)
How to get there, follow the arrows from SH31 (Kawhia Highway), takes about 45 mins from Te Awamutu.
The Course, 130kms for Seniors 80kms for Juniors. About 3 hrs for the Juniors and 5 hrs for the seniors.
There will be 6 special tests and they will be all pre ridden before they are raced.
The main gas stop is at the woolshed, there is no away fuel as the maximum distance between fuel stops will be 50kms.
Food and drinks will be on sale all day at the sign in area.
Entry fees, Seniors $60 Juniors $45.
After the event there will be a BBQ and prize giving.
Riders are welcome to camp for the weekend, there will be a couple of showers available and toilets.
All rubbish must be taken home with you.
Come along and have a great weekends riding and for any more information call Sean on 0275 996 045 or send a text message.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com