The UK to have national enduro series once again.
After others tried and failed, the original organiser of UK Gravity Enduro racing has announced his return. There will be a 2018 UKGE.
Back in September 2015 news broke that there would be no UK Gravity Enduro series for 2016. The reason stated at the time was that the UKGE organiser had been made homeless and having a child earlier in 2015. The absence of UKGE continued into 2017.
So it comes as something of a pleasant surprise to hear the organiser – Steve Parr – recently announce that he as going to bring back the UKGE for 2018.
For those who may not know, Steve Parr has been one of the original ‘founding fathers’ of enduro racing in the UK and had always enjoyed a great reputation for putting on a good race. Even in the troubled 2015 series, the races were overwhelmingly well-received and enjoyed by the racers.
The return of Parr comes after an online campaign dubbed #bringbackparr. This campaign hoped to bring Parr back into the enduro race-organising scene, no doubt partly inspired by the attempts of other enduro series organisers all went awry.
It’s clearly not easy to put on a national series of enduro races. The format is arguably much more demanding than other races formats due to rights of way conflicts, sheer mileage of terrain covered, multiple timing equipment required and marshal numbers required etc.
Anyway, the #bringpbackparr campaign appears to have worked.
It’s obviously early days at the moment. There are no details of venues or dates yet. Those will be revealed once the 2018 Enduro World Series dates have been released (makes sense).
But so far we know that the intention is for the 2018 UKGE format to be the same as in years gone by. So that should be five rounds, all around the UK, practice and seeding on Saturdays, racing on Sundays, five timed stages per venue.
The insurance and full-face helmet question
Compulsory insurance and full-face helmets were two big issues during the last season of UKGE. Although only a couple of years ago, the enduro scene was very much in its infancy back then and evolving and changing all the time. Not aided by the fact that British Cycling kinda sidestepped dealing with enduro altogether. The spectre of liability and people suing people reared quickly its ugly head.
Apparently personal insurance will not be mandatory at UKGE 2018 (although it is highly recommended). Full face helmets must be worn for the racing stages.
Interestingly, modern removable chin-bar helmets might be a good idea for UKGE; there will be no rule to wear full-face during the linking stages. So you just need have full-face protection for the timed stages.
Entries will go live on Saturday February 3rd at 09:00hrs. Places will be limited to 300 spots per venue.
Good luck Mr Parr! The UK is well overdue a proper national enduro series. Fingers crossed.