“TOUGH LITTLE BROTHERS”
“The world-famous home of UK Extreme Enduro, Nantmawr Quarry, opened its doors again last weekend exclusively to WOR Events and the Putoline Tough Ones Little brother extreme, An event that has become iconic in its own right over the past decade. Two Brothers made the event their own, as the Humphreys, Gethin and Owain put on a superb show for the spectators as they went bar to bar, neck and neck, Bumper to Bumper for an epic battle of wits and skill that was only settled by 2 seconds at the chequered flag. This was quite possibly the best display of racing that this famous quarry has seen as it was so close and intense as the siblings swapped places at the front with each other for the entire two-hour duration.
Gethin his Sherco 250f and Owain on his Husqvarna 350f made their four stokes look like little 2 stroke tiddlers as they bashed them through the rocks and climbs and challenges that the quarry threw at them. Owain was leading the race on the last lap after a mistake by Gethin on one of the monster climbs on the top quarry levels saw the Husky rider go through and look like claiming victory, but Gethin got the bit between his teeth and charged down his older brother to tail him into the quarry for a last ditch attempt to take the events spoils, As the boys exited the boulder section of rocks 300 yards from the finish , a mistake by Owain allowed the hard charging Sherco of Gethin to power through and take the chequered flag from a very excited Race Director, Steve Ireland, both riders arriving in the lap control zone together with just 2 seconds in Gethin’s Favour. An epic race indeed. Charlie Frost on his KTM made the trip up from Bath to compete as he does for all WOR’s winter specials and wow did he impress. Taking 3rd place on the podium behind the Humphreys was good but the way he did it was even better. Frost crashed after he hole shot the race and ended up dead last in a tree in the first corner, slowly but surely, he plugged away at the track and his lap times got better and better, he set 4 of the event’s fastest laps and eventually reeled in Aled Price, whom had held a very solid 3rd place throughout the race and claimed that coveted Podium place. The top 6 riders including Price in 4th, Gav Houson in 5th and Gary Jenkins in 6th all produced 10 laps to their credit.
Young Dawson Marriott on his GASGAS was in incredible form in the Clubman class as he led from start to finish with a style and skill set well advanced of his years, the 250 2t gripping and grappling its way round the demanding quarry and finishing in a superb 8th overall place too with 9 laps to his credit, the only Clubman rider to achieve such a result. Runner Up Clubman was Lee Thomas on his Beta, showing great trials skills to eventually hack down a podium place. Lee finished 2 minutes ahead of the very smooth Lewis Ranger with both on 8laps each. Special mentions must go to 2 clubman riders, first off TT Star Steve Mercer whom rode brilliantly and was looking like taking the Runners up spot until a few mistakes and mainly fatigue took over and showed him how brutal and demanding that this famous quarry can be, Mercer finished 4th in the end. Secondly, Young WOR rider, Vinny Wardale, Vinny moved himself up to Clubman and showed superb character to complete the race, using every last bit of energy and strength he had left to complete an agonising last lap and make the finish and the flag. Wardale collapsed over the line in exhaustion into Steve Irelands arms, dropping the bike, and truly proved to be a Tough One.
Gary Morley was his usual smooth and steady self as he dominated the Clubman Vets class on his 300 Beta. Leading from Start to Finish, Morley completed 8 laps and had an advantage of 7 minutes over Runner Up, Gareth Leonard. James Pinder rode well to complete his mission and make the podium as he completed 7 laps and took 3rd spot.
Earlier in the day the Sportsman, over 50’s, Novice and Youth riders had a 2hr race of their own to deal with as they lined up at 9.30am. A very similar track to the afternoons course but not including a step up and a part of the boulder dash rock section, still offered a massive challenge to the hardy competitors that really had travelled from all over the UK to ride.
Top man in the race was Over 50’s rider, Mark Houson, leading the race from the start to finish, the 56-year-old northerner was in superb form as he showed great skills and experience to coast over the gnarly terrain and take a comfortable 7-minute advantage over another very capable and quick Over 50’s rider, Gary Parr. 3rd Over 50’s spoils went to Richard Lewis with a fine ride on 6 laps.
William Stansbie was in top form too in the Youth class as he won his 3rd TOLB on the run but this time he placed 2nd overall in the entire race behind Houson, A brilliant ride indeed. Runner Up Youth was Toby Flack with Jake Roper in 3rd, both riders doing fantastically with their little wheels around the nooks and crannies of the demanding track.
Nils Ogden was revelling in the conditions and terrain and took a well-deserved win of just under a minute from Will Addy in the always competitive sportsman Class. 3rd spot went to Charlie Goddard with all riders sitting on 6 laps each.
The Sportsman Vets group was topped by John Kerwin from Jason Clarke and Andrew Mills in 2nd and 3rd spot respectively with all 3 finishing on 6 laps covered.
The Novice Group was tied up by winner Aden Overend with Wayne Brennan and Jobe Urqhart taking the silver and bronze podium places with 5 laps for the top two and 4 for Jobe.
To sum up is easy, It was a fantastic, nostalgic, emotional return to the famous quarry for not only Steve Ireland and his WOR team but also lots of riders and spectators as the general feeling and consensus with many a word spoke was “wow, it’s great to be back in here”
The event was run as expected by WOR, like clockwork with the country’s best marshals on 100% top form and the events logistics all prepped and produced with a slick and professional demeanour.
WOR as always, would like to thank the staff, medics, caterers, Land owners and spectators for supporting this event with an even bigger thank you going out to PUTOLINE for supporting the event and the biggest thanks of all, once again going to the hundreds riders for supporting the events and making special races like these happen all year round.
Roll on the TOUGH ONE main event in January 2018 where the world’s best Will take on Britain’s best Extreme Enduro event …