Sappi Scottburgh MTB & Trail Running Weekend Media Service

scottmtb1803

21 June 2018

  Written by: Nick Tatham


Scottburgh MTB continues to evolve ten years on

Scottburgh – The pride of mountain biking on the South Coast, the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Running Weekend, has shown its longevity in a market that often discards races within a few years of inception as it celebrates its tenth anniversary over the weekend of 21-22 July.

The event didn’t get off to the best of starts when the inaugural edition was cancelled because floods played havoc with the trails and the race which could have signalled the end of the event; however founder Flavio Scarpa was determined to put on a race on the South Coast.

“I rode around the area for many years and always wanted to put on a race but I never had the money to do it,” the charismatic Scarpa said.

“I got a phone call from Billy Harker saying that he was also interested in putting on an event and wondered if I would want to do it with him.

“He would provide the capital and I would organise the event and that is how we got started.”

There was more than just a thought behind Scarpa’s dream of hosting a race on the South Coast and despite the congested calendar of mountain biking around the country he believed that his race could work.

“There was never a race in these parts and we had about 250km on either side of us that you had to travel to find a race to ride in!

“We knew that the trails were good and we all enjoyed riding there so I always thought that a race would do well here but I didn’t think that it would be going into its tenth year!

“I must admit that running a race does make you grow older a little bit quicker but it’s been an incredible journey so far,” Scarpa added.

There have been some editions of the race that have stood out for Scarpa, but none more than the 2012 race where South African mountain biking legend Burry Stander came to race in the South Coast classic.

“2012 was an incredible year because I think we had the biggest field there and I went on a drive to get the best riders in the province to take part.

“The track was developing nicely and having Burry there, who went to Olympics later that year, was incredible.

“What I also wanted from him was for him to tell me what he thought of the track and when he told me that he loved the track, it was an incredibly proud moment for me,” Scarpa mentioned nostalgically.

This year will see the event go full circle as Billy Harker returns to the event as the man in charge of the Funky Pants Trail Runs. Trail Running has almost become the younger sibling of mountain biking events around KZN and Scarpa knew that if he wanted his race to evolve he needed to move forward.

“I always wanted Scottburgh to be part of the Quattro ROAG Series and a requirement is that we had a trail run, so it made it an easy decision in the end.

“Having the event as part of the ROAG Series is a massive draw card and with the trail run the event becomes more appealing to more people,” Scarpa commented.

For more information head here.

ENDS

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2018 Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Run Weekend logo - JPEG

 

The 2012 edition of the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Run Weekend stands out as one of the best for race founder Flavio Scarpa (right). The race was won by mountain biking legend Burry Stander (second from right), followed by Nick Porteous (second from left) and Bruce Hughes (left) in third.

Kyle Gilham/
Gameplan Media

There are many elements to the Sappi Scottburgh MTB and Trail Run Weekend that have made it such a popular event over the past ten years including the river crossings that riders must negotiate along the route.

Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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