This past Sunday, September 30th, The O’Neill Family hosted round three and the series finale of the World Enduro Canada Mini Enduro Championship at their beautiful farm just south of Shelburne. Sunny skies and warm autumn temperatures made for a perfect day for everyone. 45 youth riders came out with their families some of which were experiencing this event for the first time. It is obvious that momentum is building with this series and with 25% of the ridership being girls, there are stereotypes being broken along the way.
The O’Neill Family is a big supporter of off-road motorcycling in Ontario and their son Ryan is a consistent participant in the Mini Junior Class at the WEC Cross Country Championship. The family is also avid equestrian enthusiasts with most of their scenic property dedicated to their horses. It’s always nice to see motorcycles and horses coexisting in an environment such as this.
Some riders said the course itself was the best all season. The Extreme Test was a favourite with three log sections for the riders to jump or rider over. Even the smallest 50cc bikes managed to take the shorter and more difficult log section rather than the longer yet easier route around the obstacles. The big Grand Prix style Motocross Test was also popular and gave the top “A” riders the opportunity to really open the throttle.
Everyone enjoyed the trail loop that circulated the 100 acre farm with enough twists and turns to entertain racers as they travelled to each special test. Electronic transponder scoring at every test made for quick, accurate results with transponders loaned to all participants that did not already own one.
In “C” Class action Luke Smith once again bested the field with a win in every one of the 12 special tests. Second place went to Zach Silverman just over 100 seconds behind with the speedy Vanessa Rideout a handful of seconds behind in third. Luke is a series regular and consistent top finisher. It will be no surprise to see him in the “B” Class next year.
Competition is always tight in the “B” Class as this is where we see a mixture of riders that have been riding for a few years already and may have been to a few motocross races or cross country races in the past. Quincy Molnar topped the podium in his first outing this year in this series with a score that would have placed him quite high up in the standings even if he had entered the “A” class. Dillin Plumb and series regular Elliot Spall filled out the podium with stand out performances.
The premier “A” Class is where you are going to find tomorrow’s Pro off-road racers. Kyle Bichard is always the man to beat as he is a top racer in the province in Cross Country and certainly knows his way around a motocross track as well. On this day however, hot-shot Motocrosser Jamie Baskerville edged out runner up Kyle Bichard by 21 seconds after 12 special tests. Carter Tremblay took the third spot on the podium. Jamie Baskerville is a highly skilled and well known motocross ace and it really showed. He is a very polite kid who was seen sharing a few of his riding tips to the other top “A” riders. Jamie ended up winning over $250 for his overall victory on the day.
Series sponsor Royal Distributing handed out over $200 in prize money to our podium finishers. Yamaha Canada is behind youth riders in a big way and it showed with over $600 in Yamabucks distributed to the top Yamaha riders. As Jamie Baskerville chooses to ride a Yamaha YZ85, he took home the lion’s share of the money.
After the competition, lunch was served to all present both racers and support crew. A selection of various styles of homemade chilli and rolls was on hand and devoured by all. After the awards ceremonies the riders were then welcome to rider the course for fun until parents called them in to finally load up and head home.
World Enduro Canada would like to thank our generous sponsors for helping promote off-road racing you our youth and help in bringing new talent into the sport we love. Also to be thanked for making this event great is 12 year old youth racer Wolfgang Wiesner for his tireless efforts in design, set up and course marshalling of this fantastic event. WEC timekeeper extraordinaire Stephen Abel needs high praise for electronically scoring this 12 special test enduro in moments with complete accuracy. No waiting is required for results when Stephen is on the job. Most importantly, we all thank Heike and Terry O’Neill for their generosity and the use of their land. It was a great day that put smiles on the faces of many.