UK Series ’14 – Round 7

Sir Dumelow & Lady LaRoche tell us about the time Mountainboarders showed the rain who’s boss at BugsBoarding… Just!

Rain threatened the re-organised ATBA-UK’s Round 4, now round 7, at BugsBoarding in Maisemore, Gloucester again on September 20th – 21st. However, some quick re-organisation to run the entire event on the Sunday fooled Mother Nature and the show went on! There were even some Mountainboard Films from ATB Junkies to occupy Saturday Evening. Here we bring you Remolition StoryTime with Champion Andy Dumelow and podium princess Rachel La Roche for the low down of the weekend, with awesome CineFlight footage from Jack Johnston…

5am on a Friday is early, stupidly early, but we’re heading from Newcastle down to Gloucester for the final of the 2014 UK series at Bugs, and we’re pretty excited for it. The NEAT Boarders have been doing well in the Seniors this year and there was all to play for in the last chance for points…
It didn’t take long for the pessimism to set in with the weather taking a turn for the worst on the drive down, but we’re mountain boarders, and weather isn’t going to stop us. Arriving around midday to a soaking wet field, we meet up with Ash and Nath from Another World who had not too long arrived themselves after spending a night in a layby waiting for the place to open. (The same tactic we accidentally took last year!) So first things first, we get straight onto the mini ramp to warm the legs up. After a good little skate we set up camp, to then have a guy from radio Gloucester turn up and interview us all for an article on the radio the next day. When asked how I rated my chances, I arrogantly replied “pretty good actually, pretty good”, going on to clarify “I love the track, but didn’t get a proper chance to race last year after breaking my board in qualifying, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how I do this year”…

ATBA_Round_7_BugsBoarding_025

So we’d been there long enough, it was about time to pad up and see what was rideable. Walking up the hill with inch thick layers of mud sticking to your feet whenever you cross the dirt was a clear sign that the BoarderX and Freestyle were going to need some serious drying time. So we spent the afternoon jibbing instead. And Bugs have a great jib section. Perfect for learning new things and buy the end of the afternoon 3 of us had progressed to consistent boardslides, including Ash who had never even tried them before! So after a sufficient loss of energy but gain in bruises, it was time for a BBQ and then a chill round the small fire whilst greeting the constant drip of arrivals. By this time, we had all learned off the plan to hold the entire weekend’s event all on Sunday to give the tracks as much time to dry as possible… So no need to get up early in the morning!

ATBA_Round_7_BugsBoarding_008

So saturday was a late start for me, a much needed lie in after the day before, so much needed that I could happily ignore the many attempts to rouse me including the transfer all my possessions from the porch to my face.

I eventually got out the tent to find most other people jumping in cars and heading to Cleeve. Luckily I wasn’t the only late sleeper, so there was time for breakfast before setting off with the Another World riders to join the other freeriders, and we even catch ourselves on the radio in the car when we arrive! They had quite a nice little feature actually which I’m sure raised some good awareness for the sport and for Bugs.

So anyway, Cleeve! I’d never been before, so what a treat it was to get to come to such an awesome place with about 15 other riders! Great fun was had by all, and brilliant lines were trained down, raced down, jibbed down and even straight-lined followed by rag-dolled down as demonstrated by Bieran (to the result of 2 bent trucks!). And just as we’re having our last few runs, I go and get bucked from a slide when my wheels catch a rut and I badly jar my knee and ankle. It really didn’t feel great, but after getting back to bugs there was no other choice than to party through the pain and hope that it would be ok in the morning. And party we did! Starting in the marquee with tunes and a mini ramp skate-off Dicko Vs. Brind spectacular, moving to Ash’s van for a System of a Down whole album group sing along, then some fire staff and fire breathing photo fun, before finishing with the regular drinking and socialising round the fire into the early hours.

So Sunday morning comes round. Race day! And Freestyle day! And prize giving day! And end of season prize giving day! It was basically just going to be one big epic day!… Starting off at the riders meeting, we watch Ben Wanklyn in the background rolling into the track for the first test, pumping to no avail as he slows to a stop half way down. It was obviously still very sticky. But we’re hopeful, so we all get register and I manage to borrow an ankle strap to help with the limp. (Thanks Ash). We pad up to murmurs of changing to doing freestyle first, but sticking with the plan we all head to the top of the hill to work the track back to life. Sure enough, after a good few runs it starts to get rideable. Raceable even! And walking wasn’t feeling great for me, but once strapped into the board I felt solid. The races did start off fairly tame, not that fast and not much more than one decent line, so when overtakes did happen, they’d usually get taken back, but that just made for awesome racing! It’s not that often you see multiple position changes in mountain boarding, but this was turning out to be some of the most fun racing I’ve both watched and taken part in. And it turned out great in the end as I made it into the final, though I didn’t see any overtaking as I went hell for leather straight out of the gate, got the lead into the first corner and didn’t look back. Chuffed to bits with that! Though I still do feel guilty for knocking Ash out of the semi’s after specifically saying to him in the gate “let’s just have a clean one-two finish whichever way round we are”. (Sorry Ash).

ATBA_Round_7_BugsBoarding_014

Great Race day. But we still had freestyle to come! Quick lunch, and as a nice change we just run all the categories together due to the smaller numbers and the timeframe. It worked out nicely giving us plenty of rest time between runs should we choose. I chose. And there was always something awesome to watch; Ash pushing Corked 540s towards BS Rodeos, Jimmy’s crazy BS Misty Flips, Cheb’s bumslides over the rainbow, and too much else to mention! I rarely get to play on good freestyle with there being no centres near us, and Bugs freestyle is one of my favourites; loads of different lines and a nice mix of features. I had planned to take it steady, but as riding progressed and spirits rose, I push myself to trying something new, and get my first ever 540! (Another big moment for me after recently landing my first ever backflip at Ironsides). Chuffed to bits with that too!

So basically, there was one last thing to finish off the season, and that was all the prizes! So many prizes for so many people! Massive congratulations to everyone on a season well done. Big up to the fellow NEAT Boarders for a great season for such a small team; Scott Leadbitter with 3rd place Masters Downhill Overall; Cheb with 3rd place Seniors Downhill Overall, 2nd place BoarderX Overall & 2nd place Overall Overall; and I was extremely happy to rake in a surprise 3rd place Seniors Freestyle overall, 1st place BoarderX Overall & 1st place Overall Overall. And as a team we didn’t come last in any category! (Also, props to Ash for joining us on the BoarderX and Overall podiums, and nailing 1st place Freestyle Overall, what a way to get back on board!)
And then we drive the 6 hours home in one of the most exhausted dazes I’ve ever driven in. But that just goes to show what an absolutely amazing weekend the final of the 2014 UK Mountain Boarding Season turned out to be. Till next year…

Andy Dumelow

ATBA_Round_7_BugsBoarding_010

Bonus Rachel report!:

So with the initial round at bugs boarding being called off due to the weather we took to the contingency round at the end of season. We hoped that the rain would hold off again but alas on the Friday we had another down poor so it was decided to run the comp in a day. With all that coincided the day ran smoothly. First off we had the boardercross, track was a little slippy but nothing us grubby boarders couldn’t handle! Only the hardcores turned up to ride to either to hold their place for end of season results or to throw a spanner in the works. My favourite race has to be that of the masters final.. My thoughts were on watching the qualifiers was, Dan Watson, what are you doing?! I remember saying this to Ant Wilson and he replied ‘just you wait he’ll stomp the one that matters’ and sure enough Dan claimed his victory winning at Bugs another year! Props!

Onto the freestyle in the afternoon, big tricks coming from every angle of the massive slope style area that Bugs lay home to. The freestyle comp ran a little differently this time because of numbers and racing earlier in the day we had one big fun jam to round off the season nicely. Early evening Raph La Roche had the mammoth task of doing the prize giving. Results from the days riding and results for the overall year were given out for each category and the team challenges. A lot of clapping was done. With that all done it was time to pack up and say goodbye to the fellow boarders for another season but we say hello to a winter of free riding and snowboarding. Always fun to be had when you are boarder. Much love to you and see you on the hill! (Hopefully a big snowy one)”

Rachel La Roche

ATBA_Round_7_BugsBoarding_001

Big thanks to *breath* all the riders, spectators, documenters, ATBA-UK, BugsBoardingATBShopTrampaStitchedMBS Europe, ATB Junkies, and Jebus

Boom.