The KIRK 2017: Historic hare scramble or hard enduro?

Off-road racers take on a Vancouver Island course modeled after the world’s toughest hard enduro

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"This race did not disapoint," said Reece Tasker, a Vet Expert racer from Vancouver who raced The Kirk. — photo courtesy BrapSnap Moto Media

What could be Canada’s hardest harescramble went down in a big way on April 9, 2017. A total of 129 riders appeared in the backwoods of Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, B.C., to tackle the KIRK Hare Scramble.

How did they fare? Well, after three gruelling hours, a few riders came out battle-scarred, but the general consensus was that this race lived up to great expectations.

“The KIRK was one of the most enjoyable, challenging enduro events I’ve had the pleasure of attending,” said Mike Gunns, a Pro Level rider from Vancouver who has competed around the world. “Can’t wait for next year!”

The race took advantage of the Victoria Motorcycle Club’s trials area. The layout was designed by local Island rider Kitt Stringer who modelled it after the Red Bull Romaniacs he raced in 2013 (see our story, Tackling the World's Toughest Enduro).

“The terrain in this area is naturally very challenging,” said Stringer. “So there were lots of roots and rocks and a ton of stepups and dropoffs. Also, logs were left on the course and riders had to go over a ton of them.”

Toss a greasy hillclimb into the mix and this was a race that separated the men from the boys (and the women from the girls.).

There were plenty of "get-offs" in this race. — photo courtesy BrapSnap Moto Media

The KIRK was Round 1 of the Vancouver Island Hare Scramble Series so points were awarded and trophies handed out to the top finishers in 12 different classes. Jonathan Seabrook from Victoria won the Expert class and placed first overall.

In keeping with tradition, members of the Victoria Motorcycle Club who were competing could also get their name on the club’s perpetual KIRK trophy. This year, the honour went to trials rider Russell Blow.

You see, long before it was held as a harescramble, the KIRK was a 100-mile reliability race with checkpoints along the way. That was back in the 1930s. And the trophy was donated to the club from the historic Kirk Coal Co.

Local support came from Action Motorcycles, Citta Group and Victoria Construction. Windsor Plywood Duncan also supplied custom wood trophies, which spawned #igotwoodatthekirk. — photo courtesy BrapSnap Moto Media

Racers and organizers are calling the KIRK the hardest harescramble in Canada. Whether it will become like the Red Bull Romaniacs or the Erzberg Rodeo remains to be seen. Judging from the numbers and comments, the interest is there.

“I’m sure all skill levels were tested and I’m sure a few riders were surprised at what terrain they could conquer,” said Reese Tasker, a Vet Expert racer from Vancouver. “Top marks to Kitt and the gang for putting on a world-class course of hard enduro to start the season off. Can’t wait until next year.”

To see more photos of the KIRK 2017 Hare Scramble, visit BrapSnap Moto Media.

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