Wild and Windy in Whites Bay: Day One NZ Enduro

This morning saw 140 racers from ten countries descend upon the quiet cove campsite of Whites Bay. Whites Bay is situated at the head of the beautiful Marlborough sounds, known for its seafood, wine and tourism. With day one being a shorter day the riders had time to enjoy a complimentary flat white and a few yarns. After a safety briefing the riders were able to liaise up Black Jack track, which the Department of Conservation kindly opened to riders specially for this race. 

 

Today's racing was only 18 kilometers yet still packed 1150m of climbing and descending in the two vastly different stages. Stage one was about 15 minutes long and was a quick wake up call, or shall we say an introduction to slippery New Zealand beach forest riding. We have had some unsettled weather here in New Zealand recently, so it was no surprise that the roots were treacherous. Just when the riders conquered the slippery slopes of Mt Robertson they had to face a long three pitch climb before the finish, a long testing stage indeed. 

Jamie Nicoll inspects the day's stats.
Zach Faulkner

In Pro Women’s, Nelson's newest ER doctor, Harriet Harper took stage one win over recent Trans NZ winner, Emily Slaco in Pro Women’s. In the Pro Men's, last years second place finisher, Joe Nation took stage honors, followed closely by Keegan Wright and Jerome Clementz. 

NZ enduro 2018 day one
Braaap.
Whites Bay
Dr. Harper sits in first.

Stage two, Double Eagle was a shorter but much steeper track. Thanks to the money raised by the NZ enduro last year it has had a nice face lift by Cam Bisset from DNE Track and Trail. Some brand new blind sections were waiting to challenge riders. With a clay base surface, riders had to plan their braking carefully, it was one of those short stages you could loose more seconds than gain. There was a little shuffle in the Pro Men's with Keegan Wright narrowly taking the win over Jerome Clementz with Nation in third leaving which means we leave Whites Bay with Keegan leading, Nation in second and Clementz in third. In the women's, despite Slaco taking the win on the second stage Harriet retains the lead with Uriell Carlson from the USA in third. 

Morning light-bro.
Maddog Boris. What else do you expect from him?
Emily Slaco into second.
The 2018 NZ Enduro. Day1, Whites Bay.

After the racing, riders coasted down to the the beach side event village where a BBQ and some cold locally brewed Moa beers were enjoyed by all. 

Tomorrow sees them tackle the longest day in the race, they can expect four extremely challenging stages peppered with cliff side exposure, river crossings, Jurassic park forests and green mossy south facing rocks, check back tomorrow. 

Kia Ora. 


Day 1 Results


Some Facts and Info:

New Zealand’s wildest multi day enduro stage race. Natural single-track in native forests on the magical Marlborough Sounds with helicopter shuttles. Sweet as!

When: 9-11 March 20178 

Where: The top of the South Island, New Zealand in the beautiful Marlborough region. This area is know for it’s spectacular scenery, great riding, wine, beer, food & lots of sunshine. 

How many people: 140 sold out racers from 10 countries.

The top of the South Island is beautiful but also wild and rugged, some of the best trails are point to point in nature and normally hard to access .The race route takes in the very best of NZ’s native sacred and sensitive Beech forest riding.

Day one starts and ends at the beach in Whites Bay.  Then we move on to the spectacular Nydia Track, linking three bays along the Pelorus Sounds’ coastline over four timed stages. We finish in style on the final day, helicopter shuttled to the top of the infamous fern clad Wakamarina track, the crown jewel of NZ native bush track riding.The liaisons are untimed, there is no rigid start order to adhere to and no scheduled practice. Just good old fashioned fun on the bike with your friends; a race within a social setting.

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