Welcome to Quick Fill.
Wow, here it is; round two! It’s time to roll into the sandy soil of Florida for this weekend’s Wild Boar GNCC. I know, it seems like Big Buck literally just ended, but time flies when you’re having fun and not only will we be rolling through these next two rounds in no time, but I’m sure we’ll blink and be heading into the summer break before we know what happened. However, there’s still plenty of racing that will happen between now and then, and these next two rounds are going to roll on quickly and hopefully both turn out awesome.
They definitely have the potential to as not only do we have a really cool course laid out for this weekend in Florida, but as I mentioned in last week’s edition of Quick Fill we checked out things in Georgia early last week and it’s looking really fun as well. I believe we’ve mixed both of these courses up a good bit that may surprise some of you. We are using some of the same trails, but also linking in others that haven’t been used in several years, some pieces of new trail, and piecing a lot of this together in a different order than in the past. Yes, I’m talking about BOTH Florida and Georgia here.
So let’s talk about this weekend’s Wild Boar. Yes, we’ve got some rain down here this week and yes; there were some areas that were wetter when we got here than they’ve been in the past. However, the magic of sand is that a lot of that rain actually just makes it better. It helps to pack it together, which helps make it a little less rough. When the sand is dry and loose, it almost turns into powder and just gets really, really rough as the race wears on. Wet sand is still going to get rough, but it won’t be quite as bad and that moisture in the ground turns out to be a big help.
The downside to the rain is that it forces us out of some of the low-lying areas. If you raced the original event on this property back in 2003/2004, you’ll surely remember the deep, nasty mud that plagued the place. When we returned in 2015, we moved just up the road (but still on the same property) where ground is a little higher, but it still has its fair share of low-lying areas. Several pieces of last year’s 1PM Bike Only section were totally underwater, so we changed that up a bit and routed it through some different trail.
Oddly enough, though, the mudholes we always skirt around by the pits are actually pretty shallow. Yes, some do have some standing water in them but that water is quickly receding and if you follow the arrows through those water holes, they’re only a couple inches deep. So, let’s take a look at what you can expect when the green flag flies this weekend.
Off the start, you’re starting at the one-mile mark. You’ll head through the field and zigzag through an open section of planted pine trees before heading towards those muddy spots by the pit area. You’ll pick your way around those to the two-mile mark and back into the other side of the start field, which will bring you past the three-mile mark before heading into your first big section of woods. This section works its way back and forth through the tall pine trees and palmettos to the four-mile mark. You’ll follow that all the way back through a gate that leads you onto the side of the property that’s used as the riding park. The first section you go through on this side is a bit faster, but flows back and forth through more tall pine trees before crossing into some tighter woods at the five-mile mark.
After the five, you’ll drop into the big sand pit and on the other side of the pit, the 1PM Bikes will split off into their bike-only section. You’ll run a fast trail between the tree line and the big waterholes out back before dropping into some thicker woods again at the six-mile mark. This leads you to some flowing trail that eventually pops out into a palmetto field for a little bit before picking up some previously used bike-only trail that brings you over to the seven-mile mark. After the seven, you’ll head back down another fast trail and head back towards the sandpit and rejoin the ATV trail.
This trail is pretty fun as it’s a lot of back and forth turning all the way to the eight-mile mark, and this continues a bit past the eight before tightening up just a bit heading to the nine-mile mark. From the nine to the ten is a faster section of trail, but it actually zigzags back and forth a lot, and is really a lot of fun! When you see the ten-mile mark sign, you’ll be right next to the finish line, but don’t be fooled; you’re actually heading back into the woods once again.
The next section is a mix of tighter trail with a few faster patches all the way to the 11-mile mark, and then you’ll actually have more of that type of riding to the 12 and all the way to the 13, where you’ll make your way through the sand pit for the second time. These sections are a lot of fun and not only have a mix of previously used trail that is in great shape, but there are also a few patches of new trail mixed in as well.
After exiting the sand pit at the 13-mile mark, you’ll start working your way over the finish. Through the finish, you’ll work your way through some tall pines and head back through the fence to exit the riding park side of the property. This takes you though another really fun and flowing section that will tie back into the field where you started. The 1PM bikes will run a 13.8 mile course, while the 2PM ATVs are just missing that bike-only section, which will put them at 11.5 miles and that’s the same length the 10AM bikes will run as well. The 11AM ATV course will likely be a smidge shorter, but as I’m writing this we haven’t solidified a cut for you guys just yet, so be paying attention at the rider’s meeting.
Overall, this weekend is shaping up to be full of great racing, great fun and a great course. So, if you’re on the fence about coming, get off and get to Palatka! That’s all I have for this week. Good luck and enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see you in the sands of Florida.