The Rock Farmers – the back bone of our event, the Track Directors. The Rock Farmers a group of mates or locals that just love “BIKE”, and everything that Off Road biking represents.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane… Peter Woodburn whilst out scouting for new track for the 2016 Event fell and damaged his back, which as a result put him in hospital and flat on his back for 4 months. This didn’t stop the dedication of the Team, they pulled together and still managed to get Pete around in his vehicle with staff from the local community to help prepare
galleys and terrain.
Micky Hayter, son of Timber Farmer Peter Hayter, with an unlucky broken leg at last years event was fired up for Round 2. Micky spent many hours with his staff cutting and preparing track in and around there Hayters Timber Plantations plus Micky himself riding a Honda CRF230 assisting with riding lines prepared by there staff
Some YouTube clips were circling with Micky dressed as a proud Farmer in his Khaki get-up, helmet-less and smashing the trails with ease. Then William Pitout, the third Musketeer a seriously skilled weekend fun rider with a serious passion for Off Road riding, helped by bringing the final touch and finesse to the tracks, the marking and the bunting. These mates put together a track that won’t be forgotten for years to come. Riders couldn’t stop bragging about the quality of the track saying it was by far the best Extreme Event ever.
Friday 1 July was the day that everyone came together – 8 months of preparation all into one event. The riders started rolling in from as early as 11am Friday with huge smiles on their faces. They knew that they were at the best event yet for 2016. Brett and Travis Redman had set up Pits, Yamaha Start line, Timber24 and Liquorland Finish line, the Wondering Bean Chill Zone and prepared the Parc Ferme.
Registration was a good example of the start of what was expected for the weekend, chilly and fresh. With Temperatures at between 5 – 8 degrees on Friday night, we all knew that jackets were going to be on for the weekend.
Saturday morning 6.30am registration opened. With -1 on the temperature gauge, riders started arriving dressed for Snow, but ready for the challenge that lay ahead.
82 riders lined the start line, Gold riders in batches of 5 with the first 5 being the current series leaders Wade Young (Sherco Factory Racing), Kyle Flanagan (Super Moose JT Racing), William Slater (BP Quarry SCAR Racing), James Hodson (Team Liquorland) and Dalan Hall (Sherco SA). The whole shot lead by Young into the first corner depicted that he meant business with a run up to Romaniacs – this being the last event before the riders would head off to challenge Sibiu.
It wasn’t long before we heard the news that Young and Brother Leadertread KTM rider Teasdale were at each others treads, the two have been neck and neck the entire year and once again the challenge was set for these two youngsters to obliterate the Timberland Track. With a 20min lead on third position rider Slater and Flanagan, these ex-team mates were set on the prize, R 3000 and the title of 2016 Champion.
The Silver class set the pace from the start, riders include current series leader Sean Hunter, up-and-comer Chris Barnes, brother Matt Barnes and second place series rider Warren McNeil – the race was on from the get-go. The Barnes Bros have been training hard in the background with the eyes firmly set on removing Hunter from the Top spot. McNeil riding a borrowed KTM after selling his Yamaha as he awaits his new bike, was on the back foot from the get-go. Hunter and C Barnes were at each other from the start, but when it came to “Mine Shaft” a move that determined the outcome of the race put Chris Barnes in front with Hunter and Matt Barnes trailing in 2nd & 3rd. Chris overtook Hunter on the longer yet easier route around Mine Shaft, here stamping his authority and Hunter being unable to catch Barnes to the Timber24/Liquorland Finish line back at the Korongo Valley Lodge.
Bronze riders started after Silver, Grant Gouveria series leader upfront with Zane Davidson – eventual winner – at the back of Bronze awaiting the send off by Brett Redman. Bronze riders had a 32 Klms track to attempt, not the complete track of Silver & Gold but a decent tester to get the riders sweating rather quickly. An unexpected view of Davidson appeared from the Timber Forests up and over the Tyres and with a solid lead of 30 mins on 2nd place finisher Extreme Safety Grant Leibbrandt and Dwaine De Winnaar (first time at an extreme event). Series leader Gouveia, off the pace after a big crash, hung on to a solid 4th place finish.
Special mentions to two riders; Kirsten Landman of Brother Leadertread KTM and Orange Brigade Alfie Cox racing 14 year old Stefan van Deventer entered and conquered the Gold Class, a massive amount of respect.
Here are some stats:
82 entrants 56 finishers well done to the 68% finishers.
Gold starting entrants 27 – 19 finishers
Silver starting entrants 45 – 30 finishers
Bronze starting entrants 10 – 7 finishers
No reported injuries
No broken bikes (besides for the odd lever)
Big thanks to all concerned; The Rock Farmers, Powasol Eventing, Korongo Valley Guest Farm, Sponsors and Riders – we will see you again in 2017. Bigger and Better.