It’s been a while since there has been a downhill event in the UK. The last one was in 2005 up in bonnie Scotland. With a lack of big mountains, ski resorts and differing tastes amongst Britain’s mountainboarders, downhill comps aren’t the easiest things to organise, but the ATBA-UK came close last year. However, through a mixture of confusion over who owned the land, who managed it and some protected moss, the event didn’t happen. This year however things were different.
Roger Swanell and Joe Gatley decided to take an ‘arrange-it-and-they-will-come’ attitude. They went out and found a track (‘Dave’ a couple of miles or so forest road in Wales), spoke to the Forestry Commission, spoke to the ATBAuk and sorted out the permissions and insurance the event needed. They figured out a way timing things without trailing cables everywhere, set the date and Robert’s your father’s brother. Come the last weekend in July there was nothing left to do apart from turn up and see if they would be met in the car park by a load of boarders eager to charge down a forest track in deepest Wales.
I went along to take some pics and tweet like my brain was leaking(and turned up late after getting lost due listening to my satnav). So the chances are you have already seen my thoughts from the day.
This is what the most important people thought about Dave the track for ATBA-UK Downhill comp for 2011:
What was good?
“I thought the track was great, not too technical to stop newcomers from riding it, but with some lovely corners to allow the riders with the technique to put in some mega quick times”
“Cool track, lots of peeps, good uplifts, good amount of runs”
“There were a lot of riders who I haven’t met at freeride meets; so evidently the word went out pretty wide”
“Good choice of track (for all abilities)”
“Timings worked perfectly”
“Well organised and no-one was stood around scratching their heads not knowing what to do”
“Choice of hill great”
“Nice friendly vibes from all!”
“Keeping the event simple and light hearted”
“Excellent track for all levels”
“A fantastic track and ace turnout with many people coming 2/3/4+ hours to be there”
“Was a wicked event, my first time competing and I got 1st place in the Novice category, so pleased with that!”
What could have been better?
“But ultimately any uplift is better than none and I got a total of 6 runs in – which was enough”
“Viewing for public and ourselves”
“Earlier start time”
Would you go again?
“Yes – but mainly see it as a new mountainboard experience on these kind of tracks”
“Yes – and it would probably be the only reason for me to join the ATBA as well. It is offering freeriders/DH’ers a reason to join that currently doesn’t exist (barring ATB shop discounts)”
“I would definitely do a downhill comp in the future”
Any other comments?
“It could be good to have a real-time leaderboard at the bottom. It doesn’t have to be complicated – a bit of wood with velcro’d names on would be enough. There was time for results to be calculated and posted up while uplifts were happening – and it makes it a bit more competitive. I had no idea about my times until we got to the pub”
“There was a bit of waiting around while uplifts were going on; it would have been good if there could have been 1 or 2 trips up rather than 4 – or if there was an alternate route back to the top”
“The day felt more like a big meet up/reunion than a competition, and that is a very good thing”
“More of this sort of thing, please!”
And what they said on Facebook
“Tiring day to say most of it involved rolling downhill… Came 2nd in the novices though – so woot!”
“is realy chuffed on how well the first downhill comp went this weekend :)”
“OMG! 1st place masters category, 5th overall;-);-);-)”
“Came 1st in the ladies uk downhill mountain board competition :D”
“this weekend i will be mainly doing this”
“Great fun UK Mountain Boarding in Wales the longest 3 mins 50 seconds of my life!”
“Came 3rd today in the UK downhill comp”
“Awesome time at Dave”
JC – 3.24
Grove Sykes – 3.38
Lawson David – 3.50
Mark Sullivan – 3.59
Josh Campbell – 3.39
Zak Campbell – 3.46
Ed Richardson – 3.39
Tom Lewis – 4.09
Rob Holmes – 4.29
James Morris – 5.32
Milly Gatley – 4.46
Jess Gatley – 5.11
Mark Childs – 3.58
Mark Peck – 4.11
Ade McCordick – 4.34
Martin D’Arcy – 4.47
Lee Campbell – 4.48
Steve Morris – 4.53
Travis Birdsall – 4.07
Chris Bensted – 4.23
Brenning Hughes – 4.27
Jay Langdell – 5.54
Phil Holmes – 8.03
Intro by Smilie and comments collected and editored by Roger Swanell
Photo’s copywrite Smilie snaps and Decreate
Originally published on Remolition
Checklist for Dave, the ATB-Wales & ATBA-UK Downhill competition
- Gaffa tape
- Tent pegs
- Rubber gloves
- Ice packs
- Blood donor keyring
- Warning signs in Welsh
- Diet coke
- Blog enabled phone
ATBA-UK International Series BoarderX Qualification
I’ve been updating the BX Qualification paperwork ready for for Round 3 of the ATBA-UK International Series at Out To Grass next weekend. We’re introducing a ‘small final’ for those who come third and fourth in the semi-final to race off for places 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th in the rankings.
And, while I’m on the subject, if anyone knows anyone who is good at programming spreadsheets, tell them they can have my soul for a few hours work.
We’re going all listicle for what happened at Round two of the ATBA-UK International Series at The Edge in Shropshire on the 18 & 19th June 2011.
Top Five Reasons To Have Been At The Edge
- It’s a Centre that doesn’t get enough love from the mountainboarders.
- It was World Mountainboarding Day.
- Breakfast in a box.
- Renny Myles was there.
Top Six Genius Ideas of The Weekend
- Old-skool MBS decks
- Toed-in and out wheels.
- Hybrid boards.
- Dressing like Matt Brind.
- Having more battery for your Go-Pro.
- Outside Lines.
Top Seven BoarderX Best Bits
- Ryan Bunting tooling up to stab the other riders on the way down the track.
- Richard Fisher’s smooth whip-round the pile up in the first berm.
- Simon Neck jumping over James Wanklyn.
- Max Rye showing true Pro BX skills.
- Jonny Wheeler coming 2nd in his first comp.
- Rachel La Roche coming first after thinking of dropping out.
- Raph finally on the BX podium after eleven years.
Top Eight Injuries Of The Weekend
- Ian Williams breaking his arm (ouch, seriously. Get well soon).
- Rory faceplanting off a rail.
- Dunstan ending up on the bottom of a four-man first berm pile-up.
- Max Rye with his magic dislocating/reloacting kneecap.
- Phil De havilland-hall knackering his achilles tendon.
- Mark Adams with the ‘now I look ‘ard’ swollen lip.
- Andy Milenkovic’s back looking like he won’t be laying down for a week.
- Andy Brind getting concussed every time he steps on a mountainboard.
Top Nine Freestyle Factors
- Piers ‘Stromtrooper’ Sutton going big.
- Lisa getting the backflip and only just over-rotating a rodeo.
- Tyrone pulling boned-to-the-max nose grabs
- Chris Horsley’s too smooth bs cork five, backflip and frontflip.
- Tom ‘the man with no pain threshold’ Sharp nailing a rodeo.
- Sam ‘he’s got springs in his legs’ Nicholas boing-ing back-to-back backflips.
- A beautiful laid-out backflip from Leo (we should have seen more).
- Angry Andy nailing an awesome backside cork seven.
- Simon Neck attempting a barrel roll.
Top Ten Highlights Of The Weekend
- Riding The Wrekin Friday night with Goofy & Mutley in total darkness, rain and thick fog (ok, that was just my highlight).
- Spending World Mountainboard Day with a truly awesome bunch of people.
- Dancing on top of vans.
- The sun shining just when we needed it.
- The coincidental arrival of an ice cream van.
- Noggin’s Heli-cam.
- Meeting the most awesome medic in the world.
- Ben Searles’ life flashing before his eyes as Joe Leonard drifts wide on a five.
- Ending the freestyle jam with a Pro train.
- And finally… Getting the Results up Sunday night!
For media including ace vids & more great photos follow the links 🙂
Ben Rye’s video
Ben Searle’s video
Simon Neck’s video
Emlyn Bainbridge’s video
Noggin’s Heli-cam video
Mountainboarding’s Facebook media page photo gallery
Theo Acworth’s full Facebook photo gallery
Thanks to all at The Edge, ATBA-UK, the sponsors, and everyone at the event.
Photos copyright Andy Rolfe
Originally published on Remolition.com