ATBA-UK Series ’15 – Round 1@ HBBP

BX, Downhill, Freestyle: The UK Champs 2015 took off with style at Hereford Board & Bike Park

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Yes it’s the time of year when UK Mountainboarders leave their ‘normal’ lives & families behind for a weekend and rekindle the love affair that is the ATBA-UK competition Series. Faces new and old joined the party at the Court Farm centre that has hosted many rounds over the years, but this one under the new guise of HBBP…

Andy Rolfe & his home-made selfie stick bring us the highlights!

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Mid-May 2015. The sun was out, the BBQ was on and the hill groomed ready for the radicalness ahead.

Loads of riders had come to slug it out in the fun that is 4-man Boardercross racing.  Some stalwart names were missing at that first riders meeting (Ash Mullholland, Raph La Roche and James Wanklyn amongst them) but there were also old faves returning and some newbies to comps.. Everyone stepped-up: there was full action and excitement from the go, probably also because everyone knew there would be Downhill happening later!

Hereford_Board_Bike_Park_Mountaiboard_ATBA_11The BX took place on the Orange Track. Although it’s the Black Track’s little brother, you knew the racing was going to full of crazy overtakes and inside lines; proved perfectly by Harry Thomas during the Grom’s Qualifying… In the end a nasty crash in the finals stopped the Grom’s full run taking place, giving Harry and Josh Hale a joint first place, with Amy Wanklyn in Third.

The track was running super quick and riders were flying out of berms (literally) in the Masters, Seniors, and Pros categories. Tim Edwards almost lost loaf after sliding out on the second to last corner, luckily Chloe Chew was able to quickly dodge him… this time!

This then led to the closest race of the weekend, with only centimeters between 1st & 2nd in the Seniors final. The eagle eyes of Amanda Frost called the winner to be Ed Richardson with local old skool Jake Goggin taking second place and Graham (Cheb) Wedderburn in third.

Defending Champ Matt Brind was feeling the pressure in the Pro Category with local Tom Donaldson taking some wins in the qualies, but Matt managed to get over his jet-lag and take pole position in the Pros, with Tom and Ben taking the other 2 spots on the podium.

Well done to all the BX riders!

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After a much needed break for food, drink, race talk and repairs, riders were taken back to the top of the hill in the dirty new uplift ‘Chantelle’ for the afternoon’s Downhill comp; solo descents shredding round tight, off-camber corners, bombing it and trying to set the fastest time possible…

*****

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Good friends Jess Thomas and Connie Knox continued the battle of the ladies category. Even though Jess took the lead in the BoarderX, Connie wasn’t going to let her off easy in the downhill, taking the win making it one gold each at the end of the day!

The Juniors were putting down times that rivaled the Seniors, unlike the BoarderX it was the Hales boys who came up trumps. Connor Clark took first place, Jack Dudley bringing in second and local Morris Mackley securing the third place spot.

German visitor Kalle Janousch decided he wasn’t going to give the Brits an easy ride, scorching down the track in under 27 seconds to take the gold on the Seniors!Hereford_Board_Bike_Park_Mountaiboard_ATBA_22 Despite catching more edges than he does trains, Simon Neck and Will Wright managed to get second and third place down to 0.02 seconds of each other.  It was Simon who caught one edge too many as Will took second place, and Simon was 0.02 seconds behind him in third..

Due to a nasty crash in the BX, Andy Brind was being checked out in Hospital so was unable to compete in the DH (he returned okay and in one piece 🙂 His brother Matt went with him so only got two runs in to defend his DH title… This meant it was all up for grabs in the Pro Category!

Ben Wanklyn took full advantage of this and put down a lot of quick runs. He missed out on Brindy’s time by 0.07 seconds but managed to secure a comfortable third place. Connor Smout, on the other hand, managed to break ahead of Brindy’s time by 0.24 seconds, putting Matt down to second place and taking the top spot for the Pros DH. He also claims the prize for biggest, cheesiest podium smile of the weekend!

As well as all the ace wheelieboard riding that went on in the two disciplines, other stuff going on added a really nice positive feel to the day: talented amateur musicians had been performing & playing all day long, Remolition art b!tch Dan Wilson splatted some paint on the quarter pipe, there was great food available from the hard-working HBBP team, and everyone was in generally great sprits. What a saturday.

 

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After podiums and epic friz games came the bbq, the (face-numbing) cider, the choonz, the bar, the fire, and, well, you know the rest 🙂

“Those bloody cows! They NEVER come home…”
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*****

Sunday morning saw groggy riders awaken to bacon, victims of the cider hang out their arses, and groms get a load of practise in…

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The freestyle went through a couple of changes for this competition; the jumps had been given a twist on the previous years layout, but more radical was the decision that there would be one single, longer jam for all the categories combined.

Hereford_Board_Bike_Park_Mountaiboard_ATBA_46This really spurred on the groms and juniors who really pushed themselves which was brilliant to see; Younglings Josh Hale and Harry Thomas were throwing down 180’s on the biggest kicker while Morris Mackley has been training hard over the winter and plucked up the courage to try some front flips, and not being far off at all!

It was great to see Lisa Mcl back on board at the competition and show she can still bust moves and rock a mean pair of socks, while Jess Thomas & Connie Knox went high up the quarter.

Hereford_Board_Bike_Park_Mountaiboard_ATBA_53Ben Wanklyn proved his can go as big as his big bro James (who’d turned up with his bad back to help judge alongside Joe Dickson, Andy Brind & M.C. Sam Nicholas ) and landed some class flips & rotations.

Harry Jessop looked on form linking 3’s and hip transfers with cheeky grabs, Piers Sutton dialled up some steeze, Andy Dumelow flew so high he almost landed in Hereford, Aiden tried not to be too Bleedish, Will McCauley & Connor Tyson (who only rocked up a short time before the start) smashed it and Ed Richardson made it look easy.

Matt Brind proved his reactions are the hottest by saving a bungled 540 with a spontaneous switch-twitch tailroll 180 thing on landing (how?), then went on to break through the newly-decorated quarter, but not before McTwisting and rocking the coping disastrously.

The whole session was full of a lot of style, laughs, and awesome action, and ended with a nice long train…

A full list of results, including the BoarderX placings and Downhill timings, can be found on the ATBA-UK results page!

Well done to all the riders and the hosts Hereford Board & Bike Park.

Big up and thanks to all the spectators, musicians, parents, sponsors, and hard-working ATBA Crew. Brap Brap!

Last word?

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