Ruben Chadwick Wins the 2023 Force Accessories Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro - Australia.
Beta Motorcycles Hard Enduro rider Ruben Chadwick takes out the 2023 Force Accessories Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro with a display of craft and ultimate bike control. Starting his day with the quickest prologue time of 2.30.058 against Anthony Solar from the Motul Sherco Hard Enduro team, being ever so close with a time of 2.31.133 it was a sign the race would be very tight at the pointy end.
The main event didn't disappoint in front of a large crowd of supporters with a full starting grid made up of Australia's best Gold, Silver and Bronze riders to take on the gruelling dry and dusty 8km course. Taking off in class order the Gold riders tackled the sections that had been prepared and not yet ridden, giving them the first view of what look like plenty of grip yet turns out to be very loose with the volcanic marble soil of the property. Lucky enough the rocks had carried some heat from the day creating plenty of traction and grip on the sticky tyres that most use.
During the event it was very clear the 2022 champion #6 Wade Ibrahim of the WRD team wasn't going to let Ruben have a casual ride in the front, often changing positions and holding the fastest lap time for the day of 33mins 37sec to Rubens 34min 36sec. Each time both coming through the prologue/man made finish area with speed and smooth riding each lap over the obstacle's. Putting the pressure on the 2 leading riders was the very competitive Sherco riders of #3 Tim Coleman who would later finish in 3rd position, Tasmanian #25 Tom Woodhouse and Local in #5 Anthony Solar.
The overall result would go to Ruben who said ''I rode smart and knew the pressure was going to be on during the event, knowing I needed to keep my speed up and focus on the goal, having last riding at Wildwood back in 2019 the course was very different and fitted my style perfectly".
Being the last round of the Victorian Hard Enduro Series the event had many classes pushing for the final results for the year as well for the day. One of the most electric classes next to Gold was the Silver riders with young local rider Kogan Lock supported by Raceline Gasgas store. Kogan was on fire with 8 laps and a best lap time of 29min 23sec against the always focused Houston Walters who joined with 8 laps having a best lap of 31min 04sec. This was also the battle of the day with either rider willing to make an error or loose time getting caught up in traffic. Joining the day in Silver was the always Mr.Smooth Peter Stevens Rider of Ian Derwent on his Gasgas 300 getting 7 laps in for the 0ver 35 class, the international traveling star supported by Force Accessories and Peter Steven in Chris Wyman won the over 45 class with his always graceful riding style. Capping of the Silver was Ebony Nielsen supported by Beta Australia who was the only woman to take on the silver course with a best lap time of 1hr 3min 37sec, showing her bike control skill above many others.
In the Bronze class we were dazzled by the up and coming skills of Harrison Mcfarlane who won the bronze prologue with a time of 3min 08sec. This would also be how he would finish the day in class with 7 laps and a best time of 34min 24sec during the main event. Thomas Mort held his ground in the over 35 class and pushing hard in the over 45 class was the rider that has a big smile on the course each lap due to the love of the Hard enduro and the challenges it sets out was Rodney Brown with a best lap of 42min 28sec. The Bronze women or ladies of the course pushed on with Elise Davis taking the class win with a best time of 1hr 16mins over fellow competitors Emily Haeusler and Cass McRae.
In growing the sport into the future Wildwood introduced the Junior element to the event being a past senior only event.
The young kids of tomorrow are something else and grip on to get the laps done each time. The Junior riders battled it out for 1hr and 30mins with all smiles from those involved. Junior A class winner Alex Denlea with 7 laps followed by Aiden Rodriguez and Riley Bloom. For the Junior B group we had Luca Vigliante with 8 laps followed by Adam Ciuraszkiewicz and Cody Elliott. Joining the Junior B was our girls class with Yasmin Hijazi followed by Lorna lock and Zoe Wareham.
The event will be moving into its 14th year in 2024 and will hold its iconic date being the weekend after the Melbourne cup, the date will be the 10th of November 2024. We will be looking forward to seeing what changes will be done and what riders might be returning.
Make sure you keep an eye out for the Wildwood event that will appear on 7plus shortly with a full edit of the event.
Many thanks to the event supporters that make things possible: Force Accessories, Peter Stevens Motorcycle, Beta Motorcycles Australia, Sherco Motorcycles Australia, Riejue Motorcycles Australia, Gro Oil Australia, Chads Off Road setups, Ballard's off road and the always hard working Wildwood Motorcyclist Association.