Thursday, 16 August 2007

Redhill Extreme 4X National Champs

Sorry bit of a late report! but here goes....

Having only ridden the new bike twice the idea of my first race being the National Champs was a bit daunting. Turning up at Redhill in the Forest of Dean was definately reassuring the atmosphere was very relaxed considering it was the champs. The track looks over the severn estuary a hay bailer was collecting Hay, a load of old V-Dubs were driving about and plenty of bottles of cider could be seen. The scene was a rural timewarp intruded on by the 4X race scene.

The track itself was fun and reminded me a lot of the Hornton Hill setup. The guys running the centre really are sound and have big plans for the place. Everything originally was built to cater for mountainboards but now they are planning to move in the bike direction and along with the track have started work on some trails and rumours of even a slopestyle setup. The mountainboard jumps are big and slack and well worth a visit if your new to jumping and want to try some bigger jumps without having to worry about trails and steep landings.

Racing saw all the action happen at the start. the first double was tight as everyone pushed for a good line into the first corner making it very easy to get squeezed out. This consisted of a loose drifty set of steps into a rhythem section or a sketchy big triple that only Will Evans and Yeomans were jumping come the race. A lot of good riders come down hard attempting it though! By this point everyone was fairly strung out and not much overtaking went on. The second straight lead onto a big berm with a sneaky inside line that was easy to over shoot. More doubles and into a tight right hander with a hip on the inside, down over a pair of tables the second definately being on the large side which charged you into a flat grass corner to the finnish. Overall the track is really good fun and its good to see some proper Pro lines but it definately needs some work to try tighten up the racing and allow more overtaking.

The Champs race was one of the scariest things ive done, the Elites and Experts all race in the Senior category so I was directly racing against the fastest riders in the country. The format is based on the world cup format where you get a timed seeding run and then straight knock out. The timed run was incredibly nerve wracking. Im used to timed runs but this felf a lot more pressurised not being up in the woods on your own. Wasnt my best run to say the least! I got knocked out in the first round and came 3rd in the moto. It was a good race up against fellow Swansea rider Will Evans which was cool though he left me chasing his tracks! I ended up coming in 3rd in the moto which I was stoked with. This put me 22nd overall.

Racing on Sunday was back to the usual format of 4 motos plus semis and finals, so plenty of racing went down. Motos was a bit of a mixed performance on my front. First moto was awesome got a good start charging in second and managed to cut in on the inside on the second corner to take the win. 2nd moto I lined up on the start gate and looked down to see my cranking hanging off, with no 8mm allen keys about I had to ride one legged (more challenging than it looks!) and came in in 4th, 3rd moto came 3rd. Last moto I won only to find they had called the wrong person and so it had to be re-run only to finnish in 3rd, I guess thats racing for you. Again quarters didnt go my way I got squeezed on the first jump which left me at the back of the pack and took 3rd in the moto getting knocked out in the process.

All in all it was a quality weekends racing. Id highly recomend checking out Redhill, Niel and the guys have done an excellent job creating an official centre which has both planning permission and insurance. The potential for the place is huge it just needs us to all turn out to get money to develop.

Check them out at

No comments: