EVENT: SINGAPORE OPEN ENDURO 2018
Posted 9 months ago
EVENT: SINGAPORE OPEN ENDURO 2018
COMING OF AGE FOR ENDURO IN SINGAPORE
The Singapore Open Enduro 2018 was announced to a eager pool of mountain bikers as much as 3 months before official registration starts. The hype was not all fluff. On official registration day, the first 100 slots that were opened to the mountain biking community were snapped up in minutes. Such is the popularity of this race format! It also showed the credibility that Singapore Open Enduro had garnered. No need for cocks-and-bulls about how great and fun MTB enduro is anymore. We are more interested in figuring out what's gonna happen to SOE after 2018. Read on for our take on this.
WHAT'S SOE GREAT ABOUT SOE?
What made SOE such a sought-after event as opposed to ... say ... other community-based races? We attempt our coffee-table analysis (at the same time hoping not to digress too much from the main topic)
Singapore Open Enduro is about:
Serious racing in Singapore's local trail - Every other rider who joined would be dead serious and riding really hard. A leggit chance to validate personal performance in a format that they like.
Picking the best spots amongst all the local trails to show off their bag of tricks and prowess - These folks know and ride these spots well. Why not pitch themselves against the regular homies, with bonus of racing some oversea guests? And to top it off with, there's bonus support like an official timing system and a host of photographers.
Fun factors - Enduro is fun cos you get to ride good trails and then race at intervals. Which mountain biker wouldn't love this?
Social factors - It's a time to meet up with all good riders in the scene with opportunities to make some new local and foreign friends.
Glam factors - With the hot social media hype before the event and the possibilities of getting glam riding shots of themselves tackling the gnarliest sections our local trails have to offer, it is a no-brainer to just click the register button, even if it's just for the glam shots opportunities at every special stage. And think about the extra rush should one win the race or tops a stage!
Simply put, SOE has all the RIGHT INGREDIENTS to be successful and popular. Read above again and you will notice it is an event with lots of "opportunities" and "bonuses". And it will be so for the years to come. Herein lies the big question! How is SOE gonna continue to maintain its novelty and attractiveness? How had SOE evolved over its 3 instalments so far?
We see a coming of age for the event. There are now more event staff working on each aspect of the event. Everything became more organized. Lessened was the amateurish by-rider-for-rider vibe that we saw from the past 2 events.
If you ask us, we'd say it has improved leaps since the last one. It is small wonder that this is the case though. With the potential of SOE, it is easy to attract event talents. And came they did, to help with the planning and organization of this year race. As with previous episodes of SOE, this round's race caught the attention of many foreign formidable mountain bikers again. It's good to hear their positive feedback on our local trails. Check out their many comments at SOE's Facebook Group Page. (www.facebook.com/groups/sgopenenduro)
The mood for SOE remains friendly, with a tinge of racers' anxiety throughout the event. It seems that this is just the right kind of feel for a race event that matters to the racers. We are hoping to see SOE gets into bigger things for the years to come. Check out the video for a condensed summary if you missed it.
HOW WILL THE NEXT SOE BE LIKE?
3 Singapore Open Enduro events had since came and went. The podium riders were not out of our expectations. Over the course of the events, some outstanding new riders popped in and some podium veterans went below the radar. Either way, we see emerging new talents crawling their way in. A good sign.
On the topic of race routes and stages, small modifications had been made for each year. While these changes may not amount to a total change in race route nor difficulty or even freshness, it is nonetheless the best any race organizer would be able to do given the limited trails we have.
Our take on how SOE will be in the years to come?
- There are only so many trail we have around these parts, so do not expect miracles in terms of race routes changes.
- It will still be a sought-after event! Cos the race itself is fun!
- It will be a serious testing ground for our young talents.
- It will become an annual meeting for this region's mountain bikers - at least for 100-150 of them.
- The only major changes we would likely see will be: more new faces, different sponsors, different post-races attractions, different prizes, better event organization experience
- We look forward to seeing the steady progress of our youth and young talents in future SOEs (as well as other races).
Ed: If you have other opinions, share it at our Facebook Page.
There is no such thing as a perfect event. Glitches are expected. A good event just happened to have their glitches straightened before the public noticed them, or downplay on them so well that the participants didn't feel it was a problem. But some problems are not as easy to sweep under the carpet. Like, when the timing system encountered problem during a race. And this was what happened at Special Stage 3. The organizers had to drop that stage from the overall scoring. The usual unhappiness for those who did well in that stage followed but it was resolved amiably.
Then came the glitches with some individual riders. As with all races, some riders would have their lap timing screwed up. This could be due to so many reasons - forgetting to arm the chip at collection point, erroneous arming at collection point , rider unaware that the chip required arming at collection point ... you get the point about the chip at the collection point now don't you ...
Again, more sad faces. But with the race dust settled and the timing tabulated, there is really no turning back.
Subsequently, SOE provided a fair settlement solution to the sad riders at their social media page.
Ed: With the event wrapping up nicely, we would like to offer a simple solution to those glitches mentioned above. Test (fill in the blank as to what you wanna test here .. chip, sensors points, staff and photographers position etc) again just before the race! Every stage. (We know you did test the system guys. LOL). And. Make race day registration totally IDIOT-PROOF i.e. signs showing step-by-step on where to go next. Make it as structured as National Service Enlistment Day!
As with all good things, it is important to thank the folks who made it happen. We stole this post from SOE's founder on their social media page. It's the most appropriate "thank you note" with all the important who's who.
THANK YOU POST TO THE SOE COMMUNITY:
After the dust has settled on another eventful weekend, I would like to take this time to thank the following people who have made this possible.
There were riders who had myriad backgrounds and levels, and came from both near and far... and were willing to give this event a go - whether for the first time or as 'repeat customers'. Thank you.
The crew... nay, the ARMY... of volunteers who staffed and ran the event, in particular the following:
- Aida N Faisal Meskam, Race Director
- Jina Woo, Communications Director
- Jason Wo, Safety Manager
- Sunil Sharma, event emcee
- Pete Farnsworth, Sponsorship Manager
- and many others too numerous to name...
... I am deeply grateful. Because of you all, I could race in the event myself for the first time.
To the list of amazing sponsors who stepped up with amazing prizes, backing both in cash & kind, and assistance both on and off the course:
GoPro / OST Singapore | Oakley (Singapore)| Öhlins Factöry Suspension / Öhlins Singapore | ION bike Singapore | Bike Nest | FUNN / Crankworkz | Atomlab Singapore / AttitudeBikes | SEVENSEVEN | Charm Articles - SG & MY | Polygon Bikes Singapore / Rodalink Singapore | TireCare Sealant | Shimano Cycling World | Tailwind Nutrition | Yak Ru / Yak Ru MTB Tour 2019 | Fixie Singapore (Aire MTB)
... the community is moved by this show of support.
To the partners who made this possible, including:
- Bikezilla, media partner - together with Jerome Tan (Instagram IC) with his crew of amazing photographers; and Seth Tan + Brandon Chen(GoPro videography team)
- Osportz, timing partner - with the team of Eugene Chow and Willard Ong
- Gempur Suharto of Street/Dirt Project for the amazing designs for our number plate, jersey, shirts, and backdrop
- DirTraction, logistics partner - and especially HM Lim for his invaluable input and advice
- Singapore Red Cross, first aid / ambulance services provider
- NParks, venue/trail custodian and permissions
I want to give special tribute to Billie-Jo Dixon for being there on race morning with her family and friends to commemorate the life of her husband Chris Dixon - together with the rest of us.
I want to highlight the attendance at our event of esteemed individuals Shyam Limbu from Nepal (and director of AES Nepal), Eddy Lim and crew (organizers of MAD Enduro - AES Malaysia 2018), Jason Pickett (director of the AES Brunei), and the venerable OC Charm (advisor to the AES and Induro). They made the trip to Singapore on their own volition, no doubt to see if the SOE could live up to the hype. Their unsolicited involvement and genuine advice remains close, heartfelt, and invaluable to me; and this bodes well for future collaboration between our events.
Finally, in a bittersweet kind of way, I want to thank my wife Yan Jiehui whom I owe a lot of explaining to, due to the huge toll this event has been taking physically, mentally, and emotionally not only on myself and my career, but on us.
I wish to also thank my personal sponsors/supporters, whom I have not given the attention they deserved during this busy time:
I wish to be the better person, to be the bigger man, as always.
Because while others see success, I only see the areas that need to be improved, the relationships that need to be nurtured/repaired, the weaknesses that need to be eliminated, the systems that need to be improved.
I am honestly not sure what the future holds, but I do know that SOE will be back in 2019.
We know you have seen the race results. Confettis were also thrown. Here they are, for the records.
If you find it hard to read the small prints from the image, here's the link to the results : http://www.osportz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SOE2018.html
There are tons of photos glamming up the sport for this event. They are mainly at these locations:
Enjoy the photos and video guys and see you next year!
Photos by Bikezilla, SOE and SOE participating photographers
Video by Seth Tan (GoPro) and Brandon Chen
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