Come on British Enduro Series … let’s sort it out

So – we all know that for 2016 there’s going to be not one, but two British Enduro Series. Two identically named, multi-event series running in parallel in the UK.

But seriously guys, the identical named thing? Can we really not sort this one out?

// Photos by Ian Potter

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At first, the announcement that both series would have the same name was pretty funny. It was a bit of gossip at the trade shows (“which British Enduro Series are you supporting?!”). It was an amusing crossing of wires between race organisers.

A month on, both series are busily announcing their venues, their sponsors and their dates. Both are merrily revving up on identically named social media profiles and very similarly named and URL’d websites. It’s starting to get a bit annoying. When my mouse hovers over the search-bar I’m still not quite sure which series’ Facebook page I’ll land on. Sure, first World problem, I know.

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Seriously – there’s 3 of them now! They’re multiplying like Tribbles!

On one-hand I like the idea that we’ve got more choice than ever for enduro racing in the UK. We’ve got 11 races in 2016 that are all said to be “national-level” enduro events from our two new series. All promise to be steep, technical, fun, the spirit of enduro and so forth. There’s more choice than ever and – as they say – competition is good. For the riders (who are the most important thing of course) things are looking great.

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On the other other hand. Seriously guys. Are we really doing this? Enduro is at such a special stage in its life and is at the make or break point for credibility. Steve Parr’s UK Gravity Enduro Series for all its faults gave Enduro bags of love and got the bike industry in the UK buzzing for the new format. The marketing guys are as a result gushing to invest in Enduro, its the buzz-word of the moment, the golden-ticket, the blank-cheque for racing in the UK. We’ve gone from a young but booming race scene to one that’s main message is “all we can do is argue with each other and we can’t even agree on a name”. How the hell can we expect racing to be taken seriously by the public, the guys with the cash or the racers if we can’t do anything but argue within the sport? How can a race organiser get a complicated, multi-event series right if they can’t even get the name right?

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Am I blowing this out of proportion? Maybe, I usually do. But you’ll notice that one of the two British Enduro Series series has already removed their title sponsor from their marketing stuff. I have no idea why that is, I really don’t. It’s not entirely inconceivable that the aforementioned sponsor ran out of patience and pulled the plug, who knows. Will a potential new brand fill the gap? Will they be put off by the odd situation? Will they even know which series is which as they hover the mouse over the search bar looking to invest?

Are we in a better place than we were under Steve Parr’s reign? Yes and no. We have more races than ever and more competition for enduro racing in the UK than ever. But, come on guys, let’s grow up and sort out this one out. Ultimately, we want the riders to be having a laugh at the races … not the guys with the cheque-books having a laugh at our expense.

To visit the British Enduro Series click here.
To visit the British Enduro Series click here.