On Saturday 7th of October the best of the best converged on the Keppel Coast Dirt Bike grounds at Yeppoon to compete in one of the most spectacular events of the year on the Queensland dirt bike calendar, the 2017 Freight Solutions Yeppoon Enduro X. Riders from throughout Australia including Broc Grabham, Mitch Harper and Josh Green along with our own Jemma Wilson, Fraser Higlett and Matt Murray took to the fantastically constructed obstacle course. The Yeppoon community including the local mayor got well behind the event pledging in excess of over $34 000 including in-kind sponsorship towards the staging of this event.
Spectators were treated to shaded viewing areas, live commentating and action not often witnessed at dirt bike events. Completion was a lot like the weather but that deterred no one giving it their all. Tough competition was had in most classes. Josh Green eventually taking out the Pro Class from Broc Grabham with our own Fraser Higlett filling the 3rd place podium. Matt Murray winning the Expert, from Jaymie Warr and Dudley Duffy. Jemma Wilson showed why she has been a 5-time winning member of the ladies ISDE team over Ebony Neilson and Julie Denyer. Chris Horwood took out the Veterans from Chris Thomas and Robert Boswood. Tough completion in the Clubman class saw Dan Austin finally take the win over Brandon Shelton and Allan Cornick. Then came the Junior Lites our up and coming riders. Showing maturity well beyond his years and keeping a level head gave Ryan Thompson the top podium spot after fighting some tremendous battles with Jacob Shields and Nathan Groves.
The highlight of the day was the shootouts, where each of the top 3 Ladies and Junior Lites and top 10 Seniors did one hot lap to record the fastest time they possibly could on the track. Smoothness, precision and determination all played a huge part in the final placings for the $500 purses on offer. First, the ladies which saw again Jemma stamping her mark on the Yeppoon track with Ebony Neilson a very respectable runner-up.
Junior Lites was again hotly contested with two riders entering on exactly the same lap time from the heats. Ryan Thompson again took the win in a time of 2.12.506 after some nail-biting racing over Nathan Groves in a time of 2.16.085
Then the seniors took to the track, some of the best riders in the sport both locally and nationally. Changing of the guard came often and with Josh Green going 9th it was a tense wait to see if Mitch Harper could reel him in. It was not to be on this occasion and Josh took out the purse in a commendable time of 1.48.681 over Mitch Harper 1.50.050.
On behalf of the riders and Queensland Enduro, we would like to say a HUGE shout out to the Keppel Coast Dirt Bike Club, Mr. Paul Warr (president) and all the volunteers who made this event so professional and spectacular. Thank you also to the local businesses within the community who supported this event, without their support it would not have been possible. The bar was really raised. THANK YOU, EVERYONE
Video footage and photos can be viewed on the Enduro Queensland Facebook page here