Last weekend on the 3rd & 4th September, Brianne Collective and the British Downhill Skateboarding League (BDSL) hosted 2 races in 2 days. Dale was there and he has filled us in on what happened.
Saturday was a National race with more points available, at a road known as ‘Bleek’, a private, 45-55mph sweeping road near Tregaron that only requires one slide per run. I set off at 6am from Cheltenham to arrive around 10am, picking some skater friends up on route in Hereford.
Immediately we were met with torrential rain, but fortunately the road is very clean, smooth and grippy so the road was still race-able. I did lots of fast runs with friends for practice/fun and felt ready to race. Due to my BDSL ranking I was given a ‘By’ through the first round due to odd numbers. In my first race I was up against the UKDH legend, Pete Connolly, who recently became the European Masters IDF Champion. I gave it my best but lost by around 5 seconds over the 1 minute 40 track, mainly due to the weight deficit.
Sunday came around and I was feeling more confident, due to it being hosted at a favorite road of mine, known as ‘Sheepy’ in Elan Valley near Rhayader. Despite the road being patchy wet upon arrival around 11am, by 12 we had a completely dry track and everyone was stoked and going faster and faster during practice. I was happy with my practice runs, 4 weeks of Eurotour racing in July had made me feel even more dialed on my Never Summer Reaper 2016.
4 man racing (top 2 go through) began around 2pm. First round was relatively easy with it being a 3 man heat and 1 rider crashing on the first corner, meaning I cruised to the finish and through to the Quarter Finals. The 4 man Quarter final heat was perhaps the tighest UK race I’ve ever done, with myself and 2 others all in an equal line, myself in the middle, on the last straight going into the final corner! Dan Ravenall broke tuck last, with myself just before and we charged round the last corner inches apart, with 3rd place Aaron Skippings even touching my back mid corner! I held on and was through to the Semi Finals. My Semi final contained even even more action, though not involving myself fortunately. Richie Rogers, a Hereford Grom who I helped to teach was 2nd out of the first corner, with myself in 3rd, Richie caught 1st place, Ras, at the wrong time going into corner 2 and bailed, luckily I hit the apex and narrowly avoided him, putting myself and Ras into the final!
I was third off the push in the final and stayed there until the final corner, where a crash happened between 1st & 2nd place that left a stray Board on the apex line! I was unfortunate to hit it and get launched a few metres, a scram to get back on my Board to finish the race followed, myself and Luke crossed the line together for third, too close to call. So in true Outlaw race style, we were given joint third place! My first ever podium and a great last UK race before my trip to Wellington, New Zealand begins.