You may not have heard of the event, the sport or the riders, but be reassured that one of the most thrilling events in NZ motorcycling is about to erupt in North Canterbury – The Value Cars Nut Buster Extreme Enduro near Oxford this Saturday.
The event will see riders haul their 100kg enduro motorcycles through forest, over logs, bogs, creeks and waterfalls in an arduous test of riding skill that requires gladiatorial endurance.
For the first time in its four year history, the 2013 Nut Buster kicks off the national KTM extreme enduro series. Consequently, the event is attracting the big names of extreme enduro, including New Zealand’s most successful extreme enduro rider Chris Birch.
Birch has ridden everything that the extreme enduro world circuit has to offer, Red Bull Romaniacs, Red Bull Last Man Standing, Hell’s Gate, Extreme Legares, Erzberg Rodeo, The Dakar and the Roof of Africa.
This year’s event will be the first for Birch and a great honour for the organisers, the Christchurch Off-Road Motorcycle Club.
The increase in severity of the 2013 Nut Buster will likely determine who dominates on race day. The riders best equipped to get themselves out of trouble quickly will lose the least time to the demanding course. The rider bringing the technical skills will be multiple NZ and Australian trials champion Jake Whitaker.
A relative newcomer to the seated bike, Wellington’s Whitaker has already ridden the toughest event on the world enduro scene, the Erzberg Rodeo.
Bringing the extreme toughness will be last year’s winner, 46-year-old Goliath Sean Clarke, of Tokoroa.
Clarke has the skill and the physical strength to manhandle his 100kg machine around the course. If the organisers have made the course too challenging for the big enduro bikes, then expect to see multiple national moto trials champion Warren Laugesen, of Napier, on a sub 70kg trials bike weaving his way through the mayhem. Another former NZ trials champion, Laugesen has already taken a win at a KTM national series event in 2012, the Te Puke Enduro Cross.
Organisers are encouraging spectators to make the journey to Woodstock for the 2013 event. Entry is free, as is a map of the course so that spectators can access prime viewing spots.
Darfield School will be fundraising with refreshments. Bring your most practical footwear, some water and your camera. Allow just over an hour to drive from Christchurch to Woodstock Heights, Trig Road.
The event will be signposted from Oxford and the Gorge Bridge. If you want to see some of our most talented motorcycle riders compete in one of the most unpredictable environments that Canterbury can throw at them, then this is a must-see event.
Racing Starts at 10am, Saturday, September 28.