Photo Report | Gopher Dunes Quicksand Sprint Enduro | OTSFF
By Billy Rainford
I’d never been to a ‘Sprint Enduro’ before. I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t really understand the format. I wasn’t alone. This format is relatively new to North America and Derek Schuster and Wayne Carroll from Gopher Dunes know a great thing when they see it and jumped into the Sprint Enduro game with both feet last weekend.
The weather was perfect and rider turnout was pretty impressive, given that nobody really knew what they were getting into! The track was prepped to its usual perfection and riders showed up to see what it was all about.
Every rider I spoke to said this may have been the most fun they’ve had at a track in a long time. The format is one that makes a day at the races fun for everyone.
Here’s how a sprint enduro works:
1. sign up for your class
2. put the transponder on your bike
3. head to one of the 3 different disciplines – mx, trail, and single track
4. depending on your class, do your necessary amount of laps on all 3 tracks whenever you feel like it
5. go home happy and tired
As a photographer, it was difficult to get photos of everyone because riders were on different tracks all the time and it was a challenge to be in the right place at the right time. Having said that, here’s a look at some of the action from another great day at Gopher Dunes. I don’t think we’ve seen the last Sprint Enduro…not by a long shot.
Right off the start, there was a different vibe at Gopher Dunes this past Saturday.
The sprinklers were turned on and the place had the usual Gopher Dunes sparkle for this first-time event.
Having no idea what to expect as I pulled onto the property, I was pleasantly surprised with the enthusiastic rider turnout.
Riders listening in to find out what exactly the idea was.
There was one guy who knew the score and that was Predi Medina.
We really tried to hype this battle between our own Jeff McConkey and nobody’s Todd Kuli. The battle the mid-teen Vet Intermediates was on! In fact, I forced Todd to move up to the Intermediate class and I’m not sure Tuesday Todd was very happy with the extra laps that came with it.
Derek Schuster said eh probably won’t have another Sprint Enduro this fall, but that he’d love to hold one one next spring and then again next fall.
Basically, the entire GDR Race Team Family lined up to do this event, including MX2 #2 rider, Dylan Wright.
It was great to see Richard Grey back at the races and ripping the 250 2-stroke that sounded oh so crisp!
Donk also stepped away from his mechanic’s role and suited up to try his hand at Enduro.
That’s Dylan’s mechanic, Kyle Ward, getting ready to race, too.
Tyler MacDonald went out and won the Supermini class. They had to do 3 laps of each course and his total time was 63:03.
Peter Ruegsegger heads out for his first lap of the single track in the Pro class.
He was quick on all 3 courses, but I have questions about his one lap on the MX loop…
Henry Redecop heads out for a loop in Intermediate where he placed 3rd.
Jonathan Dyck heads out in Junior and gets 7th.
Jeff McConkey gets set to see if he can finish his first enduro event. Ask him how his experience at The Cord went…
I think that’s Tom Baxter who took a DNF Saturday.
Todd James called it a day after being scored with 4 loops.
Travis Brinovec lined up in Beginner and got 6th.
Jocelyn Facciotti came out of retirement and raced. She started out on a 250F but changed that later in the day.
Sean Trendell can usually be found spinning the T wrenches. He did well in Vet Intermediate and took 3rd.
Austin Watling emerges from the woods.
He was the winner of the Intermediate class.
Christian Antoski is scored a DNF in the Junior class.
I think just about everyone found themselves in this position at least once.
Zachary Lewis is a legit enduro guy and kept things close at the front of the Pro class.
Liam O’Farrell proved he still has the skills in the Pro class.
Andy Wilson took 7th in the Pro class.
Nick Fidanza is scored a DNF in the Intermediate class.
These tires looked tricky but if you just hit them with a bit of speed they were fine.
Problems started when riders tried to roll them slowly and got hung up for a few seconds.
Cliff Spooner raced Vet Novice and took 11th place.
Jay Burke showed some off road skills and challenged near the top of the Pro class. He finished 4th.
Lending some help and advice to young Piper James who took a DNF in the Supermini class.
Ken Henderson leaves the woods for a loop of the MX track. He was 16th in Vet Intermediate.
Tom Baxter took 6th in Vet Intermediate.
Brook Janssen was 6th in Junior.
Brad Ross heads back into the woods from the MX track. He was 17th in Vet Intermediate.
Enzo Annecca rounded out the Vet Expert podium in 3rd.
Ryan Annecca took 11th in Junior.
Richard Grey is shown as incomplete in the Pro class and took 12th.
Derek Macneil finished 13th in Vet Novice.
Jeff McConkey made every lap and took 15th in Vet Intermediate. He got his boots dirty but still said he had fun!
Brooke Kares finished 2nd in Women Expert.
Dave Knight was 8th in Vet Novice.
Seth McDowall has a moment as he heads back into the woods. He still won the Junior class by 3 minutes.
Robbie Quantrill was 12th in Vet Intermediate.
Tyler MacDonald on his way to winning the Supermini class.
Andrew Carroll took 8th in Junior.
Scott Merritt in the woods. He was 4th in Vet Intermediate.
Charlie Lake was 8th in Vet Intermediate. It was the biggest class of the day with 30 entries.
After damaging the rad on her 250F, Jocelyne Facciotti switched over to the 230 pit bike. It was great in the woods but not on the MX track. She took 3rd in Women Expert.
Ruegsegger in the woods.
Sean Trendell in the woods.
Steve Simms took the win in Vet Intermediate.
Liam tries to outrun his own roost.
Dylan Wright aggravated his already sore ankle and sat out for most of the day. He tried later in the day but could only do 2 laps of each loop.
Supermini competitor on the trail loop.
I think that’s Mila van Hess who got 10th in Vet Intermediate.
Donk took 2nd in Vet Intermediate.
Burke hits the sand berm.
O’Farrell ended up 2nd in Pro, just 1 1/5 seconds off the win.
Lewis shows his moto skills. He was 30 seconds behind Liam.
Graham Rowbotham finished 8th in Pro.
The win went to Colton Facciotti in the Pro class. You could hear the top few Pro riders throughout the forest!
McConkey finished the day on the rough single track loop.
Knight on the trails.
Kenneth Beach looking good in the trails. He finished 11th in Pro. They had to do 6 laps of each.
Colton makes it look easy…like always.
Sam Matthews in the tire section that got uprooted by the end of the day. He was 2nd in Junior, 3 minutes off the leader.
Dave takes a look over his shoulder to see if he’s holding up traffic…or to make sure I got the shot.
You’re gonna want to get the front end up next lap…
Someone’s got the itch! Future champ in the making, no doubt.
Todd Kuli looked good on the single track loop. He took 13th in Vet Intermediate, 4 minutes up on McConkey. Ouch.
The gang made a good effort to make the single track challenging enough for the top riders yet passable for the rest. It was a great mix.
Thanks for hooking us up with a bike to ride for the event!
Times (and diapers) have changed in the Kuli pits.
Dylan with his shoes off at the end of the day. He said he really enjoyed the event, even though he was unable to complete all the loops.
Jeff McConkey after his final loop of the day. Jokingly, he said, “We were chasing settings all day and went the wrong way…” Love it. See you at the races…
Thanks for a great day at the track, guys. It’s pretty safe to say there is a future with this type of event. We’ll definitely see you next time.
Full results can be found HERE.