DOES EXTREME ENDURO NEED A CHAMPIONSHIP?
Is an extreme enduro championship necessary or has the sport become big enough to be left alone. Enduro21.com throws the topic out for debate…
The Hard Enduro Piatra Neamt has just passed. And what a race it turned out to be. All the main players of Hard Enduro turned up and delivered some cracking, close racing.
In terms of a race, the reports that have filtered back to base confirm that this year was the best yet of HEPN. Great racing, an awesome course – despite some sketchy track marking – and top notch organisation, plus an after party that was by all accounts legendary. Putting on a race of that scale is anything but easy so praise is due to the guys on the ground keeping everything in check and running smoothly.
So why then have we got two winners?
Graham Jarvis won the HEPN but with the race also counting as the second round of the newly introduced FIME European Extreme Enduro Championship he actually placed second – that win went to Jonny Walker – HEPN’s runner-up.
Confused? We were!
Turns out the EXEC is scored rather differently than the traditional Hard Enduro approach of ‘first guy to finish first wins’. Each day was scored independently with points awarded to the finishing order per day – 25 points for first, 20 for second and so on until 20th position. Jarvis placed first and second but with Walker finishing second and first he was awarded the overall victory based on the better second day tie-breaker.
Over the years there’s been plenty of arguments for and against having a Hard Enduro championship. It brings a unity to the races, added status and at the end of the year a champion. But does it really need it?
The trouble with championships is that it brings politics. External parties become involved and additional rules introduced. Some of which – like outlined above – don’t fit.
Why Hard Enduro or Extreme Enduro have become so popular is because of its free spirit. All races are different. Each one is unique and can’t, most would say, be grouped together. Erzberg is vastly different than Red Bull Romaniacs, Hell’s Gate is the polar opposite of the Red Bull Sea to Sky and so on. And because each race is a standalone event, everyone is fighting for the win. No one is thinking of riding safe for a championship. It’s all or nothing – there’s no holding back. And when the race has passed the slate gets wiped clean for the next to start afresh. That’s what makes the sport so cool.
Given that this is only the inaugural year of the EXEC we understand that there will be unexpected problems that arise. Competitors, those on the ground running events and spectators watching on all have to learn new rules.
But a Hard Enduro championship, we’re still not convinced…
What do you think?