Jarvis and Husaberg take out Wildwood Rock Enduro
— By Russell Colvin
For the second consecutive year, the Wildwood Rock Enduro has proved to be on an uphill road for both riders and spectators who make the journey to this very unique event. Riders punish their bodies and machines as they tackle man made jumps made up of ute trays, with boulders thrown in the mix as well, water splashers and a good old classic enduro track; all-up around 10kms long.
Event organiser, Steve Braszell, said “The 2011 track has been worked on ever since the close of the 2010 event with many things improved for both riders and spectators”.
Some of the best riders in the country returned to have another “bite of the cheery”. Including four-times World Enduro Champion Stefan Merriman, three-time AORC and four-time ISDE gold medallist Glenn Kearney, 2009 & 2010 AORC champion Toby Price and defending 2010 Wildwood Rock champion Mitch Harper. Adding an international flavour to the event was 36-year-old Englishman Graham Jarvis riding a Husaberg TE 300.
Jarvis is no stranger to “Extreme” Enduros, having won the 2008 Red Bull Romaniacs, the 2011 Hells Gate Enduro, and five British Trials Championships, just to name a few.
With heavy rain in the Victorian area the day before the Wildwood Rock Enduro it predictably turned the carefully prepared track into more of a mud bath than a motorcycle track. This caused havoc in the mornings prologue with riders on the ground everywhere as they navigated their way through the track, getting a “small” taste of what was yet to come for their three-hour ordeal once the main event got underway.
With the prologue sorting out the starting order for the three-hour event, Ballard’s Yamaha rider Matthew Phillips laid down a benchmark of 2:36.639. Harper was 0.758 seconds behind and Jarvis acclimatised to round out the top three with 2:53.263; followed by Merriman and Green in the top five.
With the prologue behind them, it was down to business as riders started in groups of ten with three long hours ahead of them!
Phillips was the fastest out of the gate as the flag dropped, but was soon overhauled by the rider from Canterbury, Graham Jarvis. That is where Jarvis stayed for the remainder of the race to a cheering reception from the crowd at the flag three hours later. Jarvis not only scored the appreciation of the crowd but a nice $10,000 cheque for his efforts. The Brit’ won by more than a lap over Trevor Campbell with young gun Matthew Phillips climbing the final step on the rostrum.
“I didn’t know what to expect today. It’s a new event for me, I watched a bit of the 2010 video before the race and it looked quite extreme so I was a bit worried, but then it did rain a bit which made it more difficult than last year, but in the end I think that did help me a bit,” said a jubilant Jarvis.
The laid back Englishman did have a few dramas along the way, “I did have a problem in these deep waters, the bike was just sucking in water a little bit, I think it was through the breathers so I would have to wait 30 seconds for it to dry out, so I lost a bit of time there. So the next few laps I would have to go around the edge and go real slow through the water. It’s meant to be a hard event, but what a great event it is, I really hope to come back next year and have another crack it,” concluded the Husaberg rider.
All in all, the Wildwood Rock Enduro lived up to its name again, proving why the fans love it so much, with close action racing, plenty of spills and thrills along the way with a live band playing all day to boot. What could be a better Sunday than that?
Roll on the 2012 Wildwood Rock Enduro!
1 Graham Jarvis 10 3:10:49.382 17:53.046 5 –
2 Trevor Campbell 9 3:12:10.128 1 Lap 19:24.907 8 –
3 Matthew Phillips 9 3:15:55.363 3:45.235 17:06.392 8 –
4 Daniel Milner 9 3:16:18.252 4:08.124 17:27.493 8 –
5 Mitcham Harper 9 3:16:20.456 4:10.328 18:36.912 8 –
6 Chris Hollis 8 3:01:36.061 2 Laps 18:05.334 7 –
7 Jarrod Bewley 8 3:15:34.404 13:58.343 20:19.582 8 –
8 Alex Stephenson 8 3:15:35.601 13:59.540 19:57.617 1 –
9 Glenn Kearney 8 3:17:06.292 15:30.231 19:18.688 6 –
10 Robert Nowak 7 2:59:40.031 3 Laps 22:54.654 7 –
11 Ben Grabham 7 3:23:30.318 23:50.287 22:21.524 5 –
12 Jade Gartlan 6 3:20:00.458 4 Laps 29:08.389 6 –
13 Kent Worland 5 3:14:44.263 5 Laps 31:17.497 5 –