Round 4 & 5 of the Liquorland National Enduro in Swinburne Free State – hosted by Montrose!
The payback event!
Heidelberg National was a great event BUT we had no results due to an unfortunate timing dilemma. We have all moved forward from this and have finally had the opportunity to give back to the riders for the downfall.
2 months of preparation saw Klint Mills (Powasol MD), Brett Redman (Track Director), Shaun Duckham (Volunteer) and local boykie and son of Montrose “Bossman” (Ralph Luxford) William “Billy Bob” Luxford (in the beginning stages), head out to the unknown in the most amazing mountains and farmlands of a little Free State Village named Swinburne.
If you have ever realised when stopping in at the Montrose Shell Garage, Mugg & Bean, Steers, Debonairs, Biltong Shop, Fish Aways, Milky Lane, Liquorland Express or Protea Hotel that you in fact were in Swinburne then you obviously did not blink when you drove past. Next time stay a night at the Protea Hotel, check in with one of the most amazing staff members Brenda, Ashley or GM Wayne and be sure to wake up fresh and just drive a little towards the Drakensberg Mountains (left out of the garage and left again onto the dirt road), you will be in absolute awe of the natural surroundings of Swinburne. On your way out check out the local historic Hound & Hare Restaurant, some stories can be told there that is for sure.
Friday the 8 September saw the best of the best roll into Montrose – Swinburne with there branded vehicles and bikes looking ready for action.
Top athletes immediately head out to walk the Racing Special tests, most starting with the longer 8 Klms special test sponsored by Kargo National. A Special Test set up to challenge the average rider but to also get the top riders on there toes. Safety coming first and fun second, riders would find themselves starting in a dried up dam at the bottom of the Rensburgkop Mountain range. From here heading into the foot of the mountain
where beautiful massive rocks “fallen from the heavens” would meet them, a relatively fast section which would still test the skill of the faster riders as they weave through this section going as fast and safely as possible.
Soon dropping into a quick downhill “Donga” or soil eroded section where there were a few small drop offs and twisty bits. From the bottom they make there way running next to a dam and through some natural forestry sections.
Then the challenge starts as the riders start there first real hill climb of the day up and over the Rensburgkop Mountain and down the other side. The last 4 Klms or so of this Kargo National Special Test was an amazing “Donga Section where riders would have been tested for fitness, skills and agility. Twisting corners, drop off, crossing gullies, through well prepared single track and to the finish.
The Yamaha bLU cRU MX Special was without a doubt the most spoken about special over the weekend, riders were rubbing there hands together they couldn’t wait to get started. After walking the 3Klms long special test it was decided that this would be confirmed that this would be the spectator point that everyone would run to to catch the most action.
The Leadertread Extreme Special 3 created some mixed feelings at first with rider walking the special in 42klms wind it was hard for them to see the actual track mid way down the mountain as all the Liquorland marking tape had been blown all over the place. None the less the Powasol Eventing Team managed to get the track in order before the Top riders came through on there sighting lap Saturday morning. Then it was guns blazing.
After the decision was made at Riders Briefing that riders would only race Special 1 on lap one due to a questionable section on the Enduro Special riders set off at 8:30am after the hand over of a YZ250F to Marius van der Bank #BurntBike by Yamaha SA GM for Motorcycles Peter Wilkins. A group of companies and individuals chipped in to assist Yamaha SA with arranging a demo model bike to help replace the bike that burnt at a local KZN Racing Cross Country Event. Marius a little emotional after the hand over also joined the start line in the Junior Clubmans Class.
From the start we could see riders where ready to do battle, easing out of the start at Montrose riders made there way to the bLU cRU MX Special where they would be timed from the get go. Teasdale Brother Leadertread KTM rider was the first to twist the throttle, goose bumps was an understatement as the KTM 300 took off like a rocket over the first ski jump around the first right hand sweep corner and over the first table top, follow seconds behind was Proudly Bidvest Yamaha rider Brett Swanepoel aboard his 250FX a bike blamed for tormenting the soul of the unexpected, the aggressive sound of
Brett’s machine is enough to scare anyone not expecting the roar. It was an amazing experience watching riders have so much fun on the track built on the Hound & Hare property. Big jumps, awesome corner track and some massive sweeping berms “Old School MX Style” track.
The top 5 times on special 1
1: Wade Young – Sherco Factory Racing
2: Scott Bouverie – Brother Leadertread KTM
3: Richie van der Westerhuizen – MBE Midas Husqvarna
4: Henco Botha – Orange Brigade Alfie Cox Racing KTM
5: Kenny Gilbert – Kargo Racing Husqvarna
|Throughout the two days of racing it was electric to watch, riders pushing the envelop to the max to ensure top positions. The Leadertread Extreme Section proved to be an amazing spectator point up on the mountain near the Appin Lodge, spectators lined the rock sections for the best spectator points possible. With almost full view of riders racing from the top to the bottom along some of the most amazing terrain. Single track up through the forests, down some rocky sections and along some fast tech sections which kept riders on there toes.|