Scottish Enduros 2019 - www.scottishenduros.co.uk
SACU 2002 National ENDURO
26th May 2002
Far from discouraging riders - the lay off caused by foot and mouth in 2001 has resulted in oversubscribed entry lists to both Scottish Enduros this year. So a full entry turned up at Shiplaw Forest north of Peebles for the 2nd round of the Scottish Enduro Championship.
The ELRAT club had set out an event which hopefully all classes of rider would get round on. The special test - a fully taped MX test in a field at the start has proved very popular with riders over the last few years and contained the "Big Leap" where committed riders can grab some big air. So far no one has tried a "superman" yet probably due to the weight of mud on the bikes .
With the riders starting in dry sunny conditions the club hoped the course would not cut up too much - but heavy rain by the second lap caused a couple of the hills to turn to mud and queues quickly developed. The experts and more experienced riders still got up the hills but the clubmen and sportsman struggled - so by the third lap the hills were cut out by Clerk of the Course Ian Patterson, resulting in fairly easy laps for the rest of the event. The smiles on riders faces as they realised they could turn left and miss the hills showed how tough they had become. Scotland lived up to it's reputation for producing genuine Enduro country - finish here and you can finish anywhere in the world.
The special test proved a real challenge as the day wore on. All riders times getting slower as the ruts developed and the ground turned slick in the corners. The hardest part of the course eventually proving to be the last ten yards up to the end cards. A chicane followed by a step up a small hill causing problems for some very tired riders.
Several riders boiled their engines on the hills - one rider standing in the pouring rain quoted " Me engines dry - where will I get some water"!! If he stood still for ten seconds the rain would soon fill his radiator. Andrew Flockhart on his WR400 was braking for a hill out on the course when his front caliper suddenly flew off and disappeared into the forest. After locating the wayward item he retired deciding discretion was called for. However he still set a fast test time with only a back brake - which isn't bad considering the hills on the test.
No 90 Gavin Douglas - a sportsman from Alnwick was going to hand his card in when Caroline Thomsons gentle persuasion at the start check decided him to carry on. He finished the event with a big smile - saying "best ever" back next year. Probably didn't understand what she actually said to him. See you next year.
Two of the young and upcoming riders Joe Gilroy and Ricky Mair produced very fast times on the first test but the worsening conditions caught them out and their times slowed when the more experienced riders pushed on. Two riders to watch out for as they gain experience in the mud.
Dougal Walker produced am impressive ride to win in the over 40 class - for once having no bad luck and despite disliking the MX style of test he pushed on for a well deserved first place. Geoff Pennycook riding hard for 2nd place ahead of Alex Kirk.
In the Clubman class Stephen Scott produced some very fast times to clich the win from Alan Lauder. Both riders posting expert class test times over the flowing MX style course. Richard McVicker produced times not far off the pace but not quite enough to win - but he was still smiling at the end of the event ( Anyone ever seen him not smiling ? ). A couple of riders got caught out with the short later laps and came in to the time checks early - they won't do that again !
Overall a tough event and a worthy event to finish - most riders ended up with a smile on their face and will be back next year.
A thank you to all the riders who donated money to pay for the ambulance which was hired at short notice due to unfortunate cancellation by our previous first aiders. But at least you had Paramedics - seriously well equiped to deal with injuries. Glentress Paramedic Team.
Shiplaw Enduro 26th May 2002 ( 3/6/02- amended - K Spence Clubman not Over 40))
The finish test times were only recorded to +/- 5 seconds - only evident at collation of the results. These results have been produced consistently by giving every rider the 5 second mid point of their time.