By Kate Irwin
A local dirt biker has won the title of Western Canadian Champion in his racing category after a second-place and three first-place finishes in championship races throughout July.
Wyatt Hart, 16, has won three out of four endurance dirt bike races this month as part of the Canadian Enduro Championships.
“It feels pretty confidence-boosting; it’s a great feeling,” said Wyatt, who competed alongside his brother Trystan in two races. “It’s cool because the best guys in Canada were there. To be able to ride the same track as them is neat.”
Wyatt and his family spent the weekend of July 7th and 8th at the championships in Vernon, before trekking to Blairmore, Alta. the following weekend for rounds three and four. Close to 160 people competed in each round, with riders divided into amateur and professional categories.
Wyatt, Trystan and their father Kendyl all took part in amateur categories in the championships, with the brothers taking the top two spots on the podium on July 14th in Blairmore.
“It felt good,” Trystan said. “To be second to my brother is better than to be second to someone else … It’s fun beating my dad too.”
“We should’ve had you 10 years ago, I would have kicked your butt,” joked Kendyl, who also competed in dirt bike racing in his youth.
Enduro dirt bike racing involves endurance races of up to six hours on single-track dirt courses. Not only must riders complete loops of the course in the allotted time or face disqualification, they also have to pick up points on timed technical sections.
With trios of racers spaced one minute apart, the winding tracks and flying dirt make for challenging riding, Wyatt said.
“It’s so technical,” he said. “Think of doing the most technical thing you can imagine for three or four hours … it’s active, you’re standing, leaning side to side and forward and back, concentrating all the time … it’s exhausting.”
Now that Wyatt has won his title, the family must decide whether to travel to Eastern Canada this fall to give him the shot at becoming the national champion. It’s a title Trystan is familar with, having won the Canadian Motorcross Championship title at the age of 7.
Both Trystan and Wyatt competed in motorcross, which involves huge jumps and mid-air tricks, before switching to endurance racing.