This weekend I went up to a far away place for the first leg of the IGSA Euro tour- Bo Peep Crash and Burn. This is England and it’s ”summer” so of course it rained all weekend. As one of the groms said ”it was more like crash and drown”.
I missed almost all of the freeride on Saturday, I had turned up at Berwick station expecting a taxi stand like any other civilised land, but I was soon to learn I was far from the city. A nice old man at the train station took me down to the main road and said to walk up the highway towards the hill. As I cherished my life I walked to a pub off the road to get alternative directions. Then an angel named Claire stepped forward and offered to drive me to the hill! How nice is that? If you’re ever in England, or near Brighton visit her pub and enjoy some good English hospitality! http://www.cricketersberwick.co.uk/contact.phpFirst sight was a bunch of people in leathers skitching a lift towards the highway. Of course they had to be vikings. Got pretty excited. The I saw Leif rocking his Thor! Another Dr Longboard in England! We had done a mini interview/event report before, but he obviously didn’t recognise me and was a bit freaked out when I started asking him about Mallorca, then I showed him my board, and then it hit him.
Fede came right down the hill right after and we had a massive hug, it was nice to also meet my favourite super stoked Italian in the flesh. The evening carried on like so, seeing old and new (and ugly)faces. Everything was winding down, I didn’t even make it up to carnage corner to see any of the fun stuff. Got into the back of the van with the rest of the riders to the campsite.
First thing I noticed was the number of groms – so so so many! Some of them were really small, and they were all camping. Got to meet super grom Jamie ” superquiche” Galyer, really stoked and really really ginger.
The next item on the agenda was a party. Janne was pretty certain the northerners would win the party, Vincent Jordana was sure the French would. Game on! The rest of the viking contingent had followed the fun to Brighton and missed the best party East Sussex has seen in a decade.
There was a pub, there were beers. Spoke to another ginger person from Texas riding for bombsquad about the recent trend of zombie attacks in America, he assured us he wasn’t infected and we got on well!
Fede was having beers with Julia and Alex from Germany and I went to join them… Julia is a very bendy lady.
The highlight of that night for me was meeting people I had interviewed in real life. Lots of them were bigger or shorter than I imagined, and Deen had no Afro! Not sure why I thought he did.
The opening night just happened to be Alix’ birthday, then Luca Coleman disappeared for a while and next thing you know someone is walking in with a cake… He says it’s a coincidence, but we all know he’s a hopeless romantic. The cake turned out to be from FatAnt bushings and was quite tasty. Thanks Michelle and Anton!
It was also Oli Slaughter‘s birthday, his mom gave us some really nice brownies to celebrate. Thank you Mrs Slaughter! Sweet end to a great day.
Lots of people from London came so it was pretty cool. Keith and Will from ‘Thane Magazine were there in the evening interviewing all the riders. Jorge, Bruno, Louis, Mike, Marcin, Richard were all occupying a round table and generating some fun. Sadly the pacman machine was broken.
Liz posted up the times from the qualifications, Hertler had a pretty huge lead, then the vikings and Luca shared the remaining times.
The biggest surprise of the day was when Dutch supergrom Deen finished in the top 10, among some really stiff competition. Really proud of the boy.
Next morning camp was super wet, it had rained all night. It was going to be a wet race. Went up to the pub to buy breakfast and they served a pretty good bacon and egg sandwich. It was so good I had another – with extra bacon.
Nobody was keen on racing in the wet. Norman Kinnish gave the riders the option to freeride today and race tomorrow or… before he could finish his sentence there was a huge applause and a cheer for FREERIDE. So that’s what went down. The view from the top was rather omnious. Loads and loads of sketchy riding in the beginning, everyone had what looked like 100 runs before lunch. Some really nice tight riding from the northerners, Hertler also had some really gnar runs with some MASSIVE slides into carnage corner. Had fun chilling under the Arbor tent with the hydrophobics and broken people from the day before.
After lunch came the main event of the day – King Of The Hill. All the top 10 qualifiers from the open class would race to the bottom, whoever finished fastest took home £100 and a very legit crown. I guess the smart money was on Hertler or Persson taking home the gold. So the first time was set by Bournemouth legend J. Braund, then UK downhill master Pete Connolly beat his time.
It was getting really interesting. Mattias was the first viking to have a go at knocking the crown off his head, didn’t happen. And then it was SuperGrom time. Deen beat his qualification time by 0.1 seconds to take the crown off Pete. Then it got really exciting. Santa Klaes had came down the hill really quickly and was looking to set a great time and then CARNAGE CORNER gobbled him up!
Adam Persson came down, superfast, really clean and then he gave the bales a big hug, he got right back on his board and set a time of 47:75. Really Impressive when you factor in his fall, only 2 seconds slower than Deen.
Then can TB. Oh gosh. Torbjørn Sunde is fast! But he was carrying so much speed into the corner and he crashed into the bales. It was a MIGHTY crash, there was a shock wave which killed baby deer 5 miles away. Poor Bambi! TB being the showman that is is, proceeded to get up, turn to the crowd and take a bow before continuing down the hill. Luca also had a good run, but he was thwarted by the superior gravitational pull of carnage corner.
The hope of the pros now rode on the Pavel and GOG set up of Sebastian Hertler. He set the fastest time the day before and proceeded to do the same on the wet track. All the other riders had gone too fast into the corner and annihilated the bales. Sebastian was looking good and he slid a lot earlier than the rest so he looked to avoid the bales… but the wet surface had another idea, he didn’t pull out fast enough and he crashed! He hesitated for a split second before continuing down the hill, he set a time slower than Deen’s, and everyone went delirious. We were all so stoked for the young lad.
The night before, Deen had told me his dad would leave early so he would either miss the final on Monday or have to make his own way back to Holland. I joked with him that if he won it would pay part of his long journey back. And he did! Stoked!!
After the king of the hill, the sun came out and the road started to dry. Which is when things got really sketchy. Wet roads aren’t hairy – patchy roads are hairy! Saw SO MANY hard falls when people transitioned from wet to dry.
Final day of racing saw similar times to the qualifiers. Hertler – 1, Persson – 2. Vikings took the next 3 positions. Good times.
Really really fun weekend of skating. AllAroundSkate will be with you every step of the Euro tour with our travelling photographers and racers!
Super stoked! Pro riders, the groms are coming for you!
Hats off to Liz Kinnish for delivering an amazingly fun time. Great to help spread the stoke.
Big thanks to Miss Daisy Martin for all the wonderful photographs.