Last weekend was the inaugural 3-day NZ Enduro adventure. I wouldn’t call this a race, because it really wasn’t your typical race, it was a proper backcountry adventure, with crazy, technical terrain and tracks to navigate, blind for most people, we got dropped off on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with a helicopter, and we just happened to get timed. Only in New Zealand hey!
As you can imagine, last weekend was a pretty special one for me, as it played off in our backyard, and it gave our international friends a really good taste of what this region had to offer in terms of spectacular scenery and natural, technical, native forests. These tracks are what we fell in love with and really what sparked our drive to move out to the Nelson/Marlborough region. I was afraid that having a “race” on these tracks would take the magic out of these beautiful trails, but it was definitely a great way to show all the people that we race and travel with throughout the season what we had to offer & why we loved living here so much. They all seemed to be over the moon and fell in love with everything about it. It was really amazing to share this with so many of the top racers in the world.
We started off racing Whites Bay in Rarangi on Friday, then on to the Nydia Track in the Pelorus Sounds on Saturday and finished off on the Wakamarina track on Sunday. Of course we lucked out with the weather, as riding these trails in the wet would be absolutely treacherous and good weather meant that the heli could fly and shuttle us, which was such a unique experience for all the visitors, and a first time for most people and also the first for an event to do.
It was a long, hard, and really taxing (mentally & physically) weekend of riding and racing, but a great way to kick off the season. I definitely felt very race rusty and made tons of silly mistakes – I even got lost on a trail that I’ve ridden loads (it just shows you that having a home advantage doesn’t always help). To me, it was more about catching up with everyone after the off-season, enjoying the sunshine and riding beautiful trails. That’s what racing is all about to me after all.
Cheers to everyone that made the effort to come out to the other side of the world to ride our trails.
All photos courtesy Sven Martin