IF YOU look down the starting lists of this year’s British motocross championships you’ll find plenty of foreign riders in among the home-grown lads. IF YOU look down the starting lists of this year’s British motocross championships you’ll find plenty of foreign riders in among the home-grown lads. But of all the high-profile foreign fliers – Coppins, McFarlane, Rattray etc – there’s not one who’s got a world championship to their name*.
Now look a little further down the list and you’ll come across a young Kiwi kid by the name of Scott Columb. Scott’s been banging bars in this year’s 125 Brit championships aboard an ARW Suzuki. But what most people don’t know about him is that he’s the only reigning world champion on the startline at this year’s Maxxis series – it’s just not a motocross world title. Oh no, he’s the reigning and undisputed Luge champion of the world!
So dbr decided to track down Scott and find out who he is, why he’s here and, while we were interrogating him, what the hell Luge is as well. "It’s basically a plastic tray with three wheels, a little pair of handlebars and no brakes," says Scott. "We race down concrete courses – it’s all about using good lines and stuff.
"I gave it a try for a bit of a laugh and then ended up winning the New Zealand South Island championship. Next thing you know I got invited to the world championships in Japan. I won that as well. I won a big trophy and a minidisc player – I was stoked."
It’s hard to tell if Scott’s being serious about being stoked or not. I’d guess not and judging by the mischievous gap-toothed grin on his face I’d guess I’d guessed correctly. Either way, it’s time to stop guessing, get back to basics and find out more about the Kiwi crusader.
"I’m 21 years old and I’m from Queenstown. It’s the adventure capital of the world – the real Disneyland! I started riding when I was three on a LT50 quad, I’ve been racing for the last 11 years and in the last few I’ve been doing a bit better. I’ve been eighth, fifth and then last year I was fourth in the New Zealand championships."
But like many young New Zealand motocross racers Scott aspired to race in Europe like his hero Josh Coppins. "Josh used to come back each summer and we’d get to race with him. He’s always been the daddy and the guy people like me and Ben wanted to be like. I asked him if he’d be able to help me get a ride over here and he got me talking to Rob Hooper. Unfortunately, Rob had no room on his team but there was a spot available at ARW Suzuki and I ended up with those guys.
"When I first came over to Europe I stayed with Josh and Ben in Belgium, then I went to stay with TC and the Church family in Marshfield for a little while. And at the moment I’m living with my team-mate Richard Fitch in Essex."
While Scott stayed in Wiltshire he gained a bit of a reputation as a madman with the Marshfield Mafia. "We had plenty of fun down there for sure," laughs Scott. "Riding trials bikes, jumping trails on BMXs and stuff like that – I hit a fair few trees on my mountainbike down there too."
So is that how he got the gap-toothed grin? "Nah, my dentist pulled it out saying that another one would grow through but it never did. It’s okay though, I’m gonna get a gold one fitted in the gap – I’m gonna bling it!"
Unfortunately, Scott returns to New Zealand at the end of July to prepare for the Kiwi nats that kick off on August 8. "Hopefully with some of the extra speed I’ve picked up over here I’ll do okay – Cody Cooper is the guy to beat over there at the moment and I’d really like to be able to give him a run for his money."
*Apart from Tanel Leok!