Entries for the Southern Enduro Championships went live last week, with the event heading to Minehead in Exmoor for this stand alone event.
Pete had a chat with main man behind the champs and the Southern Enduro Series, Scott Fitzgerald about what makes Exmoor unique and what racers can expect from the race in mid-April.
Who is Scott Fitzgerald?
I’m a mountain bike enthusiast from Hampshire
What’s your background in mountain bikes?
I have been riding since I was a kid, heavily influenced by my father. I got involved in my local scene when I started building trails at my local spot Queen Elizabeth Country Park. In 2011 started racing DH and Enduro, I fell in love with racing, in 2013 I organised my first enduro (QECP Enduro) and I haven’t looked back since.
How long have you been at Southern Enduro, what do you do and how many people make up the event team?
Southern Enduro started in 2016 with every race selling out in minutes; we already had a great following in the south central area from the two QECP enduros we run. There is a lot that goes in to running a race, from building new stages, managing entries, sorting through the red tape, answering queries etc….. The core dig and events team consists of four people.
What made you want to put on an enduro?
I really enjoy racing the format myself, it’s so inclusive. It doesn’t matter if you’re there for the win or to push yourself, there isn’t any pressure for you or your fellow racers, just everyone having a good time sharing war stories about the previous stage.
Does this championship race round out a series or is it a standalone event?
The Champs is a standalone event, we decided to not include as part of the series for 2 reasons.
One; it is a 2 day event and the series are 1 day events.
Two; Sponsorship, Transition Bikes and the rest of our series sponsor where sorted and sign by the time the champs was confirmed. We decided to reach out and look for a new sponsor for the Champs. We were delighted when Ohlins wanted to get involved. We still have some sponsorship opportunities for the champs if anyone is interested.
What can Exmoor offer than other enduros can’t?
There are other places that offer what Exmoor has but they are in Scotland or deepest Wales. This is a top class venue in the south of England! It also has massive potential for the future.
How does the enduro fit into the wider Exmoor scene?
The enduro scene in the UK is very strong at the moment. This has a lot to do with BEMBA (British Enduro Mounting Bike Association), BEMBA consisted of 21 race organisers from across the UK with the goal of have a standard set of rules for enduro and moving the sport in the right direction.
The Southern Enduro Champs fits in well as part of the overall sense, most of the big races are in other parts of the UK so it felt right to bring a bit of that to the South West.
What makes Exmoor unique?
The venue is in Exmoor nation park a beautiful part of the UK and the venues is private land (event -only) so it’s a great opportunity to ride somewhere different with some really cool natural and raw trails.
What’s been the biggest hurdle in getting the race organised?
I live over 3 hours from the venue so I have heavily relied on my local contact Lee ‘bear’ Carter. He has been a massive help dealing with landowners for us and helping dig the stages.
Anybody to thank?
The Southern Enduro Team, Craig Mcnee, Jesse Staple and Karl Woodman. Southern Enduro wouldn’t happen without these guys! Lee Carter of course, the champs wouldn’t happen without him!
Lastly my wife for being massively understand and supporting my flow, my dreams of racing, riding, digging, organising etc.