The Crackling, Hog Hill – 21st – 22nd May 2016

Race report by Rob Ashby 

Race Control
Photo: Rob Ashby


Before this years season opener the talk was all about the weather, more so than usual. The forecast was looking decidedly dodgy as the weekend approached. Once again the UKSSA were aided and abetted in organising this extravaganza by Timmy Peters and his DAS Industries Crew running the Longboard and Downhill elements. This year The Crackling welcomed Swedish racers Pelle Gustafsson – Rob’s fellow Kryptonics brand Ambassador, Tezzan Redman, Johan Grundel and Anton Sundling along with Alex Lutz fromGermany. With our usual freestyle organiser Tony Gale taking part in the World Round up in Canada along with Denham Hill and Alex Foster there would be no Freestyle jam taking place this time round and it was missed.  

Sweden sign in,, Johan, Pelle and Tezzan at Registration
Photo: Sam Gordon

While Timmy and the DAS Crew assisted by Sam were running registration we got going on setting up the Hybrid and soon had practice going. The course was a little tighter than usual but after a few adjustments had been attempted and made we were ready to roll. After welcoming our European cousins and a rapid rider briefing we began the qualifying rounds.  As per usual the cut for the A Group was the top 8 and the rest of the field would make up the B Group. Racing the alongside the European riders were four of the OG Southbank LSD crew, Chris Linford, Jim Parry Jones, Chris Charalambous and Dobie Campbell; it was great to see them all racing. Not forgetting that from the same crew was Ed Brockman who was running his “Little Shop of Treasures” in the café and yours truly at the Timekeeping Table. Mac rocked up too, he is getting to be a regular at Hog Hill events nowadays which is always a good thing. With Tony absent on duty Mac was our head Freestyle representative too!  On Saturday we were also joined by Pig City’s very own Simon Levine who came up to view proceedings and I think was quite impressed with what he saw? 

Chris Linford pays Ed Brockman’s Little Shop of Treasures a visit.
Photo: Mike John


Race Control – Timekeeper Rob Ashby manning the laptop.
Photo: Patrick Dumont

Qualifying done and bracketing sorted we ran straight into the A group round of 8 despite the menacing, heavy skies. First up and on the ramps were Louis and Paul Taylor Crush. Louis took the first heat with a fast clean run. Paul wasn’t so lucky hitting 7 cones.  The second heat saw Alex Lutz race Charalambous. Despite 4 cone penalties Alex took the win just as the drizzle started. A vote was taken among the riders to continue unless the track became unskateable. The third heat, Ben Williams against  John Nicholas was declared a re-run as Ben slid on exiting the ramp. The final round of 8 pairing saw old adversaries Sam Gordon and Pelle Gustafsson square up once again. Sam returning after a year break having become a dad. The pair opted to race and Sam took the win. Sadly the rain got harder and a halt was called on the days racing and we were not able to make the most of our 6pm extension kindly offered by the centre.

The covers are on – rain stops play.
Photo: Rob Ashby

We all went our respective ways some to the campsite or home others to their hotels. Those that were camping were treated an evening of top tunes by South Circular featuring luge racer and axeman extraordinaire Pete Davies. 

The overnight rain that was forecast thankfully failed to materialise, bright sunshine at the track made for a prompt start to proceedings. This was just as well as we still had the majority of the Hybrid to run as well as the Giant Slalom thanks to the rain the previous day. This caused Timmy a few headaches in re-jigging his running order on the other hill due the later running GS and the chicane needing to be closed off to allow for the course run out.

We continued with the A group finals first re-running Ben and John to complete the first rounds. Louis again took the ever determined Paul TC out of the running and Chris booked his place in the round of 4 as Alex DQ’d on cones. Ben hit more cones than John but his superior raw time meant he would go on to race speedy Sam not John. Sam ran fast and clean against Pelle and put an end to his podium dreams; the unfortunate Swede picked up 5 cone penalties and so was duly dispatched.  In the first heat of the Round of 4 it was experience versus youth as Louis faced Chris. Over the two heats Louis just edged Chris out into the consolation round; both were very close runs indeed. Despite incredibly close times Ben’s cone count was too great meaning Sam would face his Pavel teammate Louis in the final. In the Consolation Round third place went to Ben who beat Chris by a second over the two runs. In the final Louis took the first run by 0.08 hitting 2 cones to Sam’s one but in the second he hit three leaving Sam, who only clipped one  to claim the win by a margin of just 0.13. A truly magnificent win for Sam.

Sam was even looking good on his practice runs.
Photo: Patrick Dumont


In the A Group Round of 4 times were incredibly close. Ben Willams (15.00) vs Sam Gordon. Ben lost out due to his 5 cone penalties. Sam only picked up one.
Photo: John Nicholas

The B group as ever saw some good evenly matched close races; the standard continues to improve across the board. The LSD Crew were holding their own with both Dobie and Jim going through to the round of 8. Chris Linford didn’t race on Sunday choosing instead to set up his new board – another sale for Mr Searle! The round of four saw Paul Coupe race Dobie and the remaining Swedish racer Johan take on Richard “The One” Searle. Cones and a DQ run saw Dobie relegated to the Consolation Round where he would race Johan for third spot. Johan took the first heat by just one cone but a super slick, fast clean run by Dobie saw the returning veteran snatch the bronze medal spot with a margin of just 0.18 seconds. The final was won by Paul as Richard had hit six cones in the first run meaning he went into the final heat with over half a second to make up which was a tall order against the clean running Coupe. The last race was incredibly close and both ran clean. Paul crossed the line victorious in 16.70 and Richard in 16.78. 

Dobie in full attack mode racing Paul Coupe in the B Group Round of 4.
Photo: Mike John


B Group Final. Paul Coupe vs Richard Searle.
Photo: Mike John

The GS course had been set while the Hybrid was finishing up and so was ready begin as soon as we had moved a start ramp into place. With time being something of an issue as well as causing a bit of stress for Timmy’s running order we agreed on two practice runs and then two timed runs each,  the fastest one counting. Practice runs done and with the “Top Gear” board in the capable hands of Gavin the racing commenced on the fast course.  Louis knew he needed to go for it with Ben and Sam close on his heels. As usual the order chopped and changed but the battle for the top spot was looking tight. Ben looked good and ran clean on both runs but could only manage a best time of 24.81, Louis’ best time was his a clean run of 23.95 in his second run he incurred four cone penalties and so the on form Sam snatched the GS crown from the young pretender with his stonkingly quick clean run of 23.77.  He was indeed “The Daddy” in every sense of the word at this years Crackling.

Total commitment from Paul Borell on the fast GS course.
Photo: Mike John


Alex Lutz (GER) Just clipped that one!
Photo: Mike John


Swedish Kryptonics Brand Ambassador Pelle Gustafsson putting the his Pink and Orange Kryps to the test on Hog Hill’s smooth asphalt. “The course is too fast to use my 75mm wheels” He said.
Photo: Mike John


Louis Selby going “skin to win”. This time it just wasn’t to be.
Photo: Mike John


Sam Gordon speeding his way to GS victory.
Photo: Mike John

After the standard post race banter, a bit of “show ‘n’and tell” and the partaking of various beverages it was time to pack up the slalom road show for another day. Clouds were gathering in the distance so we made sure everything was packed up prior to the prize giving before the rains came (which they did eventually – just as we were pulling out of the centre and onto Forest Road!     

See you all back at |Hog Hill for The Razorback Games – 16th/17th July


The BIG Thanks Dept:

Sam Gordon for his top notch work in front of and behind the scenes

Michael Stride and Octane Sport for their unerring support, providing ramps, timing and prizes 

Lyn and Richard Case – for ramp storage

Andy Turner for ramp transportation and getting involved in just about everything during set up and breakdown.

Kryptonics – for the awesome wheels!

Richard Searle – for the special awards and presenting The One slalom deck to Paul Borell and the Tee to Anton.

Idle Slide Gloves

All of our other event sponsors

Louis, Chris Linford (among others) for course setting

Gavin Palfrey for timekeeping/Top Gear board work on the GS

Timmy and Louise of DAS Industries for sign up and all things longboardy
Mike John for the awesome photos and for just generally being Mike 

Ian Coles, Sylvia, Dave and all of the staff at Redbridge Cycling Centre

L ondon Ambulance Service – Essex Paramedics

Coupe Limousine Service

……And finally a special big “Thank You” to everyone that raced and helped out with set up/break-down – it always makes things easier when everyone mucks-in!

The Crackling 2016 Results

Hybrid A Group 

  1. Sam Gordon
  2. Louis Selby
  3. Ben Williams
  4. Chris Charalambous
  5. Alex Lutz (GER)
  6. Pelle Gustafsson (SWE)
  7. John Nicholas
  8. Paul Taylor Crush 

Hybrid B Group 

  1. Paul Coupe
  2. Richard Searle
  3. Dobie Campbell
  4. Johan Grundel (SWE)
  5. Anton Sundling (SWE)
  6. James Parry Jones
  7. Alec Brown
  8. Dill Hill
  9. Chris Linford
  10. Tezzan Redman (SWE)
  11. Andy Turner
  12. Andre Paro
  13. Trevor Hickey
  14. Polina Fokicheva
  15. Alex Thompson
  16. Cyprien Dumont (Qualified but DNR) 

Timekeeper: Rob Ashby

Whiteboard pen work by Sam, Alan Featherstone and Paul TC 

Giant Slalom
(Raw times – cone penalties in brackets) 

1.    Sam Gordon                              23.770           

2.    Louis Selby                                23.950           

3.    Ben Williams                             24.810           

4.    John Nicholas                           25.990           

5.    Alex Lutz (GER)                        25.610            (2)

6.    Pelle Gustafsson (SWE)         25.900            (1)

7.    Paul Borell                                 26.380           

8.    Chris Charalambous               26.450           

9.    Paul Coupe                               26.510           

10.  Richard Searle                          26.540           

11.  Trevor Hickey                            26.590           

12.  Andy Turner                              26.510            (1)

13.  Jim Parry Jones                        26.820           

14.  Andrea Paro                              26.870           

15.  Gavin Palfrey                            27.000           

15.  Alex Ireton                                 27.000           

16.  Paul Taylor Crush                    27.060           

17.  Anton Sundling (SWE)           26.530            (3)

18.  Alec Brown                                27.140           

19.  Chris Rock                                 27.250           

20.  Dill Hill                                      27.280           

21.  Tezzan Redman (SWE)          DQ      

Timekeeper: Gavin Palfrey

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The Crackling 2016 – Hog Hill 21st/22nd May

It’s now less than a month to go before the first Hog Hill event of 2016 – “The Crackling”  Top UK racers who will be joined by a few visiting Europeans will be fighting it out for the coveted podium places and prizes. We begin with head to head Hybrid Slalom on Saturday afternoon running into Sunday morning and that will then be followed up by the infamous super fast Hog Hill Giant Slalom.  

As well as Slalom there will be Downhill Racing, Luge, Freeriding, Slide events and clinics running throughout the weekend. These will be hosted and run by our event partners DAS Industries and London Longboards. In addition to the all of the above disciplines there is a flatland Freestyle jam and competition taking place on Saturday which will feature some of the best UK freestylers out there. 

Things get going from 12.30pm on Saturday and 10.00am on Sunday and run through until approximately 5.00pm each day at Hog Hill – Redbridge Cycling Centre,Forest Road, Ilford,Essex,IG6 3HP

For further information on The Crackling including registration please visit the website here:

See you all there! 

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Get Well Soon Martin Sweeney

Martin in action at Southbank in 1982 – “Southbank Tight” – 1 1/2 slab spacing meant a 20 cone course could be squeezed into the covered undercroft area. Photo – Rob Ashby

The UKSSA would like to wish UK slalom legend Martin Sweeney a speedy recovery. He is currently receiving treatment at Kings College Hospital in Denmark Hill and has recently undergone open heart surgery where his Aorta was replaced along with two valves. He will find out shortly whether it will be necessary for him to have a pacemaker fitted.

Martin was awarded a much deserved International Slalom Skateboarding Association Special Diploma at the European Championships in 2013 by ISSA President, Jani Söderhäll in recognition of setting the first ever 100 cone Guinness World Record at Brands Hatch back in 1991. The record stood for many years and was featured on BBC TV’s “Record Breakers”. The 21.779 second clean run was witnessed by presenter Roy Castle. The clip of Martin’s run can be seen on YouTube here:

“The 100 Club” at the Hog Hill European Championships, 2013 – Martin with his award centre, flanked by current World Champion and former holder of the record Joe MacLaren of the USA on his left and Latvia’s Janis Kuzmins the current record holder. Photo – Rob Ashby


Get well soon Martin – lets hope you are up and about in no time at all. Hog Hill needs you!

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Hog Hill Race Calendar 2016

The UKSSA are happy to announce this years dates for racing at Hog Hill – Redbridge Cycling Centre. 

 21 & 22 May 2016 – The Crackling 2016

The season opener – Dual Hybrid and Giant Slalom

The first Hog Hill event of the year is “The Crackling” which features head to head and Giant Slalom racing with some of the best of the current crop of British racers.
Freeriding, Downhill Racing, Luge, Slide events and numerous clinics will be hosted and run by our partners in crime DAS Industries and London Longboards. 

16 & 17  July 2016 – Razorback Games 2016

(Subject to confirmation)

The Skaters Olympics. Dual Hybrid and GS

+ Vintage slalom board races – “English Tight” slalom course, gauntlet style racing. (Time permitting)
Freeriding, Downhill Racing, Luge, Slide events and clinics. 

 15 & 16 October 2016 – Hogtoberfest 2016

Winter draws on!

Dual Hybrid and Giant Slalom
Plus all of the usual Freeriding, Downhill Racing, Luge, Slide events and  clinics.
End of year awards.

Make a note of these dates now!

See you at the races. 

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Hogtoberfest , Hog Hill – 10th/11th October 2015

Race report by Rob Ashby

Hogtoberfest Poster – Thank you to all of our generous sponsors.

This years Hogtoberfest was the biggest ever yet both in terms of the number of skaters taking part over the two days and in the number of generous sponsors supporting us.

Hog Hill is a popular race location for our European cousins and this time round we welcomed Victor Martensson and David Berntsson from Sweden and Frenchman Vincent Tanguy who is becoming a regular visitor to our shores these days. After the usual exchange of pleasantries over coffee and bacon sarnies we began setting up. With Sam away I was ably assisted at Race Control by Nigel Allgood who manned the netbook that Andy had lent us to run the spreadsheets on.

It’s all go at Race Control – Louis Selby vs Richard Searle in the Hybrid Round of 8.
Photo by Gavin Palfrey

As ever first up was the Hybrid after qualifying we split the riders up; the fastest 8 forming the A Group and the remaining the B. In the A Group round of eight Louis Selby would be racing Richard Searle, Victor would be up against Ben Williams, Vincent would face David Berntsson and Mmedo would race John Nicholas. 

Louis was just too quick for Richard even with his wealth of recent European race experience he could generate the speed required to get close to the UK’s No 1.
Despite close times Victor advanced to the round of 4 after Ben picked up few cone penalties in his two runs. Vincent was blisteringly fast and accordingly dispatched David who was around a second slower and incurred a number of cone penalties and in the final pairing Mmedo beat John who despite getting faster was just a little off the pace. The round of 4 would see Louis race Victor and Mmedo would face his fellow countryman Vincent. After some intensely close racing it would be Vincent and Louis that would face each other in the final and Mmedo would have to battle it out for third against Victor. Despite some amazingly close runs the three cones Louis hit over the two runs would essentially be the difference and so it was Vincent that took the 1st place in the A Group. In the consolation round the times were again exceptionally close with both riders running clean but  Mmedo just managed to edge out in front of Victor and so took third place.

Mmedo vs Vincent in the Hybrid Round of 4.
Photo by Andy Turner


Mmedo vs Vincent from another angle.
Photo by Patrick Dumont


Vincent vs Louis Final – 1st run.
Photo by Patrick Dumont


Vincent vs Louis Final – Run 2
Photo by Patrick Dumont

 After the excitement of the A Group Finals we ran straight in to the B Round of 16. Time was now getting on and I wanted to try and finish both Hybrid groups on the Saturday. Unperturbed by his recent board-snap slam at Summer Swine Stomp back in July Dobie Campbell returned to the Hill – this time to race. He was now armed with his recently acquired Pavel Paul Price Roadster which was shod with a set of trusty Lazer Slaloms and Zig Zags. It was a joy to see him pumping through the course in fine style. Again the group produced some fine racing with some great performances notably from newcomers Polina Fokicheva and Scott Hayman – both “graduates” from Louis’ Sunday Slalom School.

Polina getting to grips with the Hybrid
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó


Scott Hayman (white course) vs Alfie Osborne B Group Hybrid
Photo by Patrick Dumont


Cyprien Dumont on his way to the B Group Final under moody skies
Photo by Andy Turner

The overall standard of racing in the B Group racing was very high and we saw some very close times, although the bottom section of the course was catching a few people out and adding decisive cone penalties to final times. In the final Cyprien Dumont would race Paul Coupe and in the consolation round the new improved aerodynamic Mk II Andy Turner would meet Trevor Baker. The first run of the final saw both riders run clean with Paul crossing the line in 16.12 just behind Cyprien on 15.61. The second run was even closer again both riders running clean this time Paul edged in front with a time of 15.69 to Cyprien’s 15.73. However the first run time had clinched it for Cyprien and so for the second time that day the French claimed another Hybrid 1st.  In the consolation round there was yet more neck and neck racing. However Andy’s cone count would be his downfall, 3 cones in each run to Trev’s solitary cone penalty saw him relegated to fourth spot while Trev stepped up to take a well deserved 3rd place. 

Andy test driving his lighter frame – his cone count meant he missed out on a podium. At the prize giving ceremony he received a special award of a D Street complete for his services to the UKSSA throughout the racing season.
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó


Cyprien (White lane) vs Paul Coupe – B Group Hybrid Final
Photo by John Nicholas

We cleared the site in double quick time and headed off to Lambourne End. Things have changed quite a bit since we last camped there; a brand new hut has been built incorporating new showers and toilets in place of the tumbledown hut and insect populated toilets/showers.  The campsite is also now accessed via a very narrow sleeper bridge – a long wheelbase Transit is not the best thing to get across it but Andy did a fine job squeezing it through.  After pitching our tents Andy, John Nicholas and I headed over to Better Extreme in Barking for the evening session. As is often the case we pretty much had the bowl to ourselves and were joined by Christine Maier and Toria Jaymes for a rad little sesh.


The organiser (and author) gets his skate on at the evening session at Better Extreme, Barking
Photo by Andy Turner

John Nicholas, Frontside Air, Better Extreme evening session
Photo by Andy Turner

On arrival back at the campsite the spangly shiny new hut was doing a good job of accommodating many a drunken grom. Ben Stainer could be seen trying to keep on top of the mounting detritus busying himself pushing a broom around the mud and booze spattered floor. Seconds later there was a crash and much wailing as someone had accidentally dropped an entire mug of tea right where he was trying to sweep; I decided to leave them to it and headed for the relative quiet and sanity of John’s V-Dub – quiet that was apart from the classic tunes coming from the stereo – The Dead Kennedys, The Clash even The Higsons; “top choons” as I believe the yoof say these days? After a quick cuppa it was time to turn in and leave the groms cultivate their hangovers with various noxious concoctions.

After a chilly start the sun emerged and beamed down on the myriad of squinting hung-over faces hanging out of tents. The hut was now a veritable hive of activity as the clean-up team set to work restoring it to it’s former glory whilst a seemingly never ending line of pale, pasty and in some cases seedy looking skaters queued at the urn for boiling water for life restoring tea, coffee and err….soup!

Good Morning Campers…….Hi Di Hi!
Photo by Rob Ashby

We packed our tents up and loaded the van which Andy then managed to manoeuvre back out across the rickety bridge without alarming the trolls underneath and so we headed off for day two. On arrival at Hog Hill the access barrier at the entrance was still down. However for Caterham owners this proved to present no problem to access at all as we observed Michael “limbo” underneath with inches to spare. Pete Davies on the other hand chose to take his VW camper cross country and skirted around the barrier. We just waited patiently for it to be raised. 

With the large number of heats to be run on the main hill for other disciplines we were under pressure to get things on the GS hill finished by 1 o’clock so that the chicane that links the two hills could be opened up for the downhill racing.  A fairly gusty head wind was blowing as the practice session got underway and it showed little sign of abating when the actual racing began. Times fluctuated with the wind conditions and riders soon began choosing their optimum moment to launch themselves from the ramp in an attempt to shed valuable tenths of a second from their times. Vincent’s first run had been clean and super quick his 21.56 became the time to beat. Louis came close with 22.15 but picked up two cone penalties, each cone penalty added .2 of a second. Mmedo put in 22.66 but like his Pavel teammate he also picked up cone penalties – four in all! Joe Baldwin was really going for it, after his first run he opted for the Lycra suit in an attempt to shave a few seconds off his previous time and it worked – he put in a clean run 22.16. On his final run he pulled out all of the stops and went for broke, swapping his conventional helmet for a streamlined downhill one but ended up putting in a marginally slower time? Try as he might Louis was struggling to run clean and in the end had to settle for his first run time with the two cone penalties making his final time 22.55.  So it was then that Vincent added the GS crown to the Hybrid one that he had picked up on Saturday, Joe took second place, Louis 3rd and Victor (22.59) just edged Mmedo (22.63) into 5th place.

Jim “Nutsac” Parry Jones Stylin’ through the GS
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó


Dobie – Style is everything.
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó


Victor Martensson blazing on the Hog Hill Tarmac
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó


Victor’s Teammate David Berntsson getting a taste of the Hog Hill GS course
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó


Is it the Green Goblin? No it’s Lycraman Joe Baldwin – Look out Sam!
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó


Going round the bend – he led with his 1st run time the eventual winner of the Hogtoberfest GS Vincent .
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

At the prize giving ceremony there were special awards of Cult Wheels to both Polina and Scott for their performances in the weekends competition, Dobie was awarded a set of Road Rider wheels for “Best Beef” at Summer Swine Stomp and a D Street complete was awarded to Andy Turner for “Services to the UKSSA”. He has transported the ramps to Hog Hill throughout the year as well as providing his netbook at short notice to use for the Hybrid timekeeping which save a lot of grief.

 As ever a massive thank you goes out to Michael Stride and Octane Sport for their support of all things slalom.

Big Thanks Dept. –  DAS Industries – Timmy, Hannah and Louise for all of their hard work both behind the scenes and throughout the weekend, to Andy “Transit” Turner, Nigel “Fingers” Allgood for assistance with timing, Mmedo “Chalk” Duffort and Louis “String” Selby for course setting and Paul “Wires” Coupe for help with the timing system and to all of the usual suspects for mucking in and getting things moving – many hands make light work!
Thanks also to all of our  uber generous sponsors; everyone at Kryptonics, Half Dead Skateboards – Lee Bryan and UK Rep Stewart Savage, Seismic Skate Systems – for the Race Spreadsheets, Van Dem/Lush/Cult, Shiner & D Street Longboards, Mindless Longboards, One Tree and all of our other brilliant supporters.
St John’s Ambulance – London Region for patching people up, Ian Coles and all of the wonderful staff at Redbridge Cycling Centre for continuing to welcome us back, Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning, The Camp Clean Up Squad for doing such a good job on the hut that deposit actually came back this time!, to Lyn and Richard Case for use of the stable for ramp storage and last but by no means least to all of you wonderful people that came and took part – thank you.

 Hogtoberfest Slalom Results


A Group

  1. Vincent Tanguy
  2. Louis Selby
  3. Mmedo Duffort
  4. Victor Martensson
  5. Ben Williams
  6. John Nicholas
  7. David Berntsson
  8. Richard Searle


B Group

  1. Cyprien Dumont
  2. Paul Coupe
  3. Trevor Baker
  4. Andy Turner
  5. Dobie Campbell
  6. Graham Driver
  7. Alec Brown
  8. Scott Hayman
  9. Alfie Osborne
  10.  Trevor Hickey
  11.  Mark Phelps
  12.  Luke Baxter
  13.  Dill Hill
  14. Polina Fokicheva
  15. Gavin Palfrey
  16. Chris Skalowske


Giant Slalom

  1. Vincent Tanguy 21.56
  2. Joe Baldwin 22.16
  3. Louis Selby 22.55
  4. Victor Martensson 22.59
  5. Mmedo Duffort 22.63
  6. Ben Williams 23.69
  7. David Berntsson 24.57
  8. John Nicholas 24.68
  9. Richard Searle 24.69
  10. Paul Coupe 25.25
  11. Seb Price 25.34
  12. Andy Turner 25.80
  13. Chris Charalambous 25.88
  14. Trevor Hickey 26.00
  15. Paul Borrell 26.43
  16. Jim Parry Jones 26.46
  17. Dill Hill 26.76
  18. Gavin Palfrey 26.83
  19. Alec Brown 26.91
  20. Dobie Campbell 27.30
  21. Scott Hayman 27.74
  22. Chris Skalowske 27.98
  23. Alfie Osborne 28.68
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The German Open 2015, Stuttgart 18th- 19th September

Race Report  by Richard Searle

Richard gunning it – or should that be gurning it? in Stuttgart.
Photo By Aisha-Mila Urbanova

The German Open 2015 was held on 18th/19th September on a gentle hill in Stuttgart; a small but perfectly formed Team UK were in attendance.

Marking his International debut was Alec Brown, gin obsessive and meticulous of kit; this recent convert to the slalom scene was set to take the Masters division by storm. I was also present, my fifth international race this season, overdraft creaking under the strain, a shiny set of Ettsexett 161 trucks bolted to my board. 

Despite the race being held on the same weekend as The Worlds in Kentucky, a good number of skaters registered; a strong German presence obviously, plus the Swedes, Italians, Latvian, Ukrainians and Czechs – the usual suspects.

Alec revealed his latest board, a recently acquired Gecko Martin Drayton model; it turned out that the small wheelbase was perfect for the very tight courses – tight being the operative word.

Alec – his “recently acquired” Gecko Drayton SLE – “perfect for the very tight courses”.
Photo by Aisha-Mila Urbanova

First up was Giant, which was more like a Tight Hybrid. Race organiser (the man behind T-Boards), Robert Thiele, came first in the Pros. Arturs Liskovs of Latvia was first in Ams (with a faster time than Robert Thiele). Radan Knoblock of Stuttgart came first in Masters. I came sixth and Alec eighth (‘the oldest skateboarders in the world,’ according to the race commentator).

Next was Hybrid, which was more like Special Tight. There was a degree of gamesmanship for Alec’s benefit, via Swedish Sk8 Wizard Pelle Plast, advising Alec to ride his trucks so loose that they flapped about like a landed coy carp, but Alec corrected any perilous adjustments by his final run. After qualifiers, we were split into groups of eight, from A down to E.

Richard vs Pelle.
Photo by Aisha-Mila Urbanova

The Pros cleaned up the A Group; first was Ukraine’s Stanislav Mironenko, second Robert Thiele, third Christoph “Homer” Baumann, the German with a GOG truck named after him. Alec and I were placed in the D group, I came second, Alec was fourth. During this race, I attempted to fit a softer bushing to my perfect new trucks; this didn’t end well. The spherical bearing wouldn’t budge, resulting in a number of burly skaters wrestling with the jammed hanger and walloping the once perfect red anodized finish with a hammer….sigh.

Finally it was time for the tighter than a gnat’s chuff (five and a half point centre on a hill) tight slalom course. [Note to the UKSSA, when the Brits set a similar course for Pros at the Euros/Hog Hill three years ago (an act of British bravado), the Europeans seemed amused but started practicing and racing this spacing from then on, the Brits did not; we need to race tighter, more technical courses in the UK to compete with the Internationals]. 

Stanislav won Pros. Tom Dreiblats of Germany won Ams. Radan came first in Masters. I came fourth and Alec fifth.

This was a very friendly and relaxed race, both Alec and myself won prizes and medals (I came overall sixth Master, Alec a very respectable eight Master). There was a party, with free beer and a band, and most impressively, we were given hot freshly baked pizza for lunch!  

Alec and Richard with their medals on the Masters Podium
Photo by Aisha-Mila Urbanova

Word on the hill is that The Worlds 2016 may be in Stuttgart; I intend to attend.


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European Championships, Gothenburg 28th – 30th August 2015

By Mmedo Duffort

Team GB Euro’s 2015, Gothenburg
(L-R Mmedo Duffort, Louis Sebly, Richard Searle)

This years Team GB “Travelling Trio”, Louis Selby, Mmedo Duffort and Richard Searle made their way to Gothenburg for this years European Championships to take part in the Pro, Am and Masters divisions respectively.

Despite the few number of racers (less than 16 in each class), the level was high and the racing very competitive.  In the pros, the performance of the weekend must go to Edijs Jermacenko of Latvia for taking the GS – even if Viking Hadestrand unsurprisingly owned both Tight and Special events and was logically crowned Pro European Champion. Louis took a respectable 9th in the GS; given how gnarly the course is, this really must be applauded. Having had a go at it myself, I can vouch that Louis’ status asUK#1 is not under the slightest threat! 

Louis gunning the gnarly GS course.
(Photo courtesy of Richard Searle)

In a Masters category comprising both retired Pros and very experienced racers; it was difficult to see Richard taking any medal back home but his fifth place in the GS was just reward. A good effort nonetheless; this international racing experience will pay dividends sometime soon, no doubt.

 In the AMs, I clocked a very good time in the GS and held the top spot for about 10 minutes, until Toms Dreiblats (reigning Junior World Champion and soon to be crowned European Champion) turned on the style. It seems a bit odd to be disappointed with a silver medal at the European championship but there I was… That’s what competitive racing does to us all. It’s one thing to have the prize within reach; it’s another one altogether to get hold of it. I didn’t better this result in any other discipline but consistent racing secured me a spot on the overall podium behind Toms and the impressive Victor Mårtensson. 

Mmedo – 3rd place Overall Ams.

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Summer Swine Stomp, Hog Hill – 18th-19th July

Race Control at the top of the Hybrid course.
Photo: Alec Brown.

This years Summer Swine Stomp saw a number of our European cousins joining us for the event giving the weekends racing a truly international flavour. We welcomed Ferdinand Lindner from Germany, returning Frenchman Vincent Tanguy and Bart Brunnikhuis, Jeroen Steggink and freestyler Erwin Shuvit from Holland. The Swine Stomp would also be the debut outing for the newest signing to the Pavel Racing Team, PigCity’s very own Mmedo Duffort. He would join teammates Louis Selby, Sam Gordon and Berliner Ferdinand in their quest for the podiums over the weekend.

Once the initial greetings had been exchanged and coffees drunk we set about the task in hand. While Sam assisted Tim and Louise on the registration desk the rest of us started setting up the ramps and getting the Hybrid course marked and set. The course was set with our European guests as is the norm for our Prime Status events.

It was good to see Michael up and about after his treatment the previous day and making it along the Caterham 7 (or ‘Skaterham’ as it has become known). He had even managed to get a fair amount of the Octane Sport shop in the passenger seat which he soon set about unloading. In addition to Michael’s shop we were also joined by Jimmy’ Z trackside. It was great to meet and chat with Blake Harrington who I had missed seeing at Paddle Round the Pier a couple of weeks earlier.  He hooked a fair few of us up with some cool Jimmy ‘Z threads as well which was really good of him, thank you kindly sir.

Having made their debut at The Crackling we were again joined at Hog Hill by the freestyle crew for their “UK Round Up” which had been organised  by Tony Gale; it featured a few different formats as well as the usual “2 minute routine” one. Sweden’s Lillis Akesson was in town visiting and so had come along to compete and Bart was putting in appearances between slalom races and to check on how Erwin was doing.

Lillis Akesson in at action at the UK Round Up.
Photo: Andy Turner


Erwin Shuvit.
Photo: Andy Turner


Ready to race.
Photo: John Nicholas

After a last bit of tinkering with the final few cones the Hybrid course was ready to go and following a short rider briefing we began the qualifying around 2.15pm. The cut for the A group would be the top 8 fastest leaving 16 riders to make up the B group.

Qualifying was a straight 1, 2, 3, for the visitors. Ferdy was in pole position with Vincent second and Bart in third. Joining the top three in the A’s would be Louis Selby, Mmedo, Sam Gordon, Chris Charalambous and John Nicholas.

In the round of 8 Ferdy was paired with John, unfortunately a DQ in the first run meant John needed nothing short of a small miracle to make up the deficit, it didn’t materialise and so Ferdy advanced. Louis was matched against his new Pavel teammate Mmedo. From the moment they left the ramps the two were neck and neck, almost synchronised in their movements. Although Louis crossed the line in 15.620, just a fraction in front of Mmedo (15.660) his one cone penalty gave Mmedo the edge by just 0.6. If the first run was close the second was incredible, this time both riders were perfectly synchronised all the way to the line – a dead heat 15.880. But this time it was Mmedo who had incurred the penalty meaning that Louis went through by just 0.04. Vincent last met up with Chris inBrightona few weeks earlier now he was racing him at Hog Hill. The first run looked close with both riders hitting cones but Vincent took the first round. In the second Chris didn’t get as quick a start as he would have liked and ended up crossing the line 0.7 behind the fast Frenchman. The final pairing was Bart versus Sam. Whether he had his eye on doing a bit of freestyle we’ll never know? But Flying Dutchman Bart was a man on a mission running clean and just managing to edge ahead of Sam in both of his runs.

Synchronicity – Louis (Orange course) vs Mmedo.
Photo: John Nicholas


Chris Charalambous vs Vincent Tanguy
Photo: Dominic Barette

Onto the round of 4 which again produced some amazingly close races and another dead heat decided on the cone count. In Louis’ first run against Ferdy he crossed the line just 0.1 ahead of the Berliner who also incurred a cone penalty meaning he had to pull out all the stops on his second run. Sadly he may have tried too hard, two thirds of the way through the course Ferdy pulled out leaving Louis to go through to the final.  In the first run of their heat Vincent and Bart crossed the line neck and neck with both clocks stopped at 15.640. However Bart had taken out 3 cones meaning an advantage to Vincent of 0.3 going into the last run. Like Ferdy before him Bart too overcooked it and DQ’d setting up Vincent to meet Louis in the final and consigning himself to the consolation round.

The first run of the final went to Louis by just 0.06 with both riders displacing one cone, in the second both ran clean but Louis had just done enough and took the top spot, the margin just 0.24. In the consolation round Ferdy ran clean and Bart didn’t, that was essentially the difference between 3rd and 4th place.

Bart Brunninkhuis radiating power through the course.
Photo: Andy Turner


Hybrid Final Vincent vs Louis – Adopting Brace Position.
Photo: Dominic Barette


With the forecast for Sunday still looking “iffy” we decided to run straight into the B Group and aimed to get it run all the way through starting with the round of 16. The riders in the group were also keen to get racing and most were standing ready by the ramps as soon as their name was called. The level of progression was really noticeable, everyone appeared to have improved and getting faster since the last race. The initial 16 were soon cut down to 8 and the pairings for the round of 8 looked like this: Jeroen vs. Tiago Fanha, Andy Turner vs. Paul Coupe, old LSD boys Chris “Clingfilm” Linford and Jim Parry Jones would race one another and Ben Williams would face the well travelled Richard Searle.

Jeroen went through to the next round with relative ease after Tiago DQ’d his second run. Paul took the first heat against Andy but in the second, despite picking up few cone penalties, Andy was marginally quicker than the race hardened board hoarder and so he advanced to the next round. In the match up between the veteran LSD old boys both ran clean in their first runs, but Chris riding his new Pavel Roadster was marginally faster than Jim and so it was he who would be joining the others in the round of 4. In the remaining heat both riders hit cones but Ben had done enough to halt Richard’s progress for the afternoon.

The first race in the round of 4 between Jeroen and Andy was very close but Jeroen suffered a hefty cone count hitting 8 to Andy’s 3, so the advantage lay with Andy. The second run was similarly close, both riders hitting 4 cones each but it was Andy’s first run advantage that would see him through to the final. In the other match up a heavy cone count and second run DQ sent Chris into the consolation round and advanced Ben into in the final to face Andy.

In the first heat of the final Ben crossed the line in 18.550 and Andy in 18.690 both riders had hit two cones each meaning Ben took a 0.14 advantage into the final run. As they left the ramps Andy was right up with Ben but when they crossed the line a look back up the hill confirmed that he had hit one more cone than the Pig City rider which was enough see Ben crowned as B Group winner.  Clingfilm retired from the consolation round and did not race meaning that Jeroen took the third place podium unchallenged.

Ben Williams B Group Hybrid Winner.
Photo: Alec Brown

With Hybrid results in the bag and the days racing done we headed off to Hargreaves Campsite to pitch tents before descending upon the nearby Dick Turpin pub for food and drink.

It was at the pub that Alan and Derek Featherstone got talking to Bart about skating in Holland. Alan revealed to Bart that he had some early letters and bits of information regarding the Dutch National Skate Team and their various competitions from the early 80’s. Bart was really interested in this as he didn’t think that anything existed from back then? Alan said he would dig some bits out for him and get them sent off to him. I love how these various connections and associations get made at our events – so stoked that this one got made!

Skate banter at The Dick Turpin on Saturday night.
Photo: Rob Ashby

Stewart Savage, old skater and Half Dead Skateboards UK Rep, put up a couple of decks for raffle at the pub. One was won by Clingfilm and the other by Vincent Tanguy. He also presented a Half Dead “Chart Attack” model to Erwin Shuvit to go with the 55mm green core White Kryptonics he had won in the Freestyle competition.
Thanks Stew – top man.

 After a little overnight rain Sunday began better than expected and as the morning went on it just continued to improve. I had only been up at the track for a few minutes when I saw a chap arrive clutching an old Hobieflex Slalom with Bennett Ad-Traks and Excellerator wheels. I recognised him as the person I had spoken to a few days earlier and had told him to come along. His name was Kim, he had heard me on Radio London on Robert Elms Show and he had also dialled in to the program. We chatted for a bit before I took him over to the track where I introduced him to Ed Brockman and a few others. His vintage board received a fair bit of attention from those gathered for the GS including Mr Coupe of course! Kim said that he hadn’t ridden it through cones for years but he was soon grinning ear to ear as he flew down the hill to tackle the course – which is always good to see!

Kim and his Hobieflex Slalom, Bennett Ad-Traks and Excellerator wheels. A classic set up.
Photo: Rob Ashby

The GS got underway late into the morning once the course had been agreed, finalised and the timing tested. Riders began queuing at the ramp to take the first of their three runs down the fast challenging course. The fastest timed run would be the one that counted.  As ever wind conditions could make all the difference to a run, a favourable tail wind could reduce a run by almost a second and a half, a headwind quite the opposite? Timekeeping was left in the capable hands of Louis, Mmedo and Gavin. The order changed a few times during racing but it was a very determined Ferdy that walked off with the 1st place for the fastest time despite coming a cropper earlier on during proceedings. Mmedo came hot on his heels in 2nd place and Bart and Vincent took 3rd and 4th respectively and they were followed by Sam in 5th and Louis in 6th place.

Louis Selby gettin’ down on it and attacking the GS course.
Photo: Alec Brown


Bloodied but determined. GS Winner Ferdinand Lindner.
Photo: Alec Brown

With the main slalom events over a couple of courses were being skated by those that wanted to skate on. Ed appeared to be enjoying himself skating cones on the hill again and it was really great to see. I had gone across to the café to calculate the overall places for the weekend and work out the prize allocation when I heard the call for “St Johns’ Ambulance to attend a man down on the slalom hill”. It was Dobie apparently? I immediately got up and went over to see what was going on. Sure enough it was Dobie; he had been taking another run and as he was going down the start ramp his board split, breaking a few inches behind the front truck sending him flying. In the ensuing impact he sustained a mild concussion and a bit of road rash here and there. But he was more concerned that he had chipped one of his front teeth than anything. The St Johns’ people did a great job as did our own first aid crew. After making him comfortable and checking him over at the hill he was taken off by ambulance to Romford Hospital for further checks before being released later that evening.  Big thanks to Paul Coupe, Ed and Chris Charalambous for looking after the big man and getting him home safely.

As I was checking everything was alright with the Dobie situation I glanced across to where Clingfilm was standing to see a familiar figure talking to him, someone that I had not seen for about 25 years. It was none other than Graham “Mac” McEachran another of the old Southbank Boyz. For those unfamiliar with him, Mac was a top freestyler and bank rider extraordinaire and helped form Deathbox with Jeremy Fox. Some of you may remember he was the artist for the Deathbox board graphics and was responsible for some iconic images? It was great catching up with him and happy to say I wasn’t the only one that was stoked to see him again – Mac is back!

Southbank Reunion at Hog Hill, L – R Ed Brockman, Chris Charalambous, Rob Ashby, Chris Linford and Graham “Mac” McEachran.
Photo: Rob Ashby (taken by Sam Gordon)

The slalom prize giving ceremony was held a little earlier than usual so that our European cousins could leave in plenty of time to catch flights and ferries etc. In addition to the prizes for the Swine Stomp we also had to give out the prizes from the Turn & Burn race held in Brighton at the beginning of the month. The schwag table looked pretty impressive; there were decks from Half Dead Skateboards, wheels from Kryptonics, wheels, bearings, slide gloves and other assorted goodies from Octane Sport, as well as stuff from Mindless Longboards and DStreet Longboards including a complete – one of two they sent for the event. There were 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Swine Stomp ceramic mugs and nice shiny trophies for the overall positions.

Andy Turner with his Half Dead “Chart Attack” model.
Photo: Sam Gordon

As well as the normal prizes there was a special award of a Half Dead “Chart Attack” deck to Andy Turner in recognition of his “Road Services” to the UKSSA this year. Once prize giving was over we bid our visiting racers a fond farewell loaded up the last of the stuff into the van and headed our separate ways. Andy and I took all the gear and the ramps back down to their stable in West Sussex after which we were finally able to head to our homes and contemplate on a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. Job well done everyone, until next time Wiggle Fans….

All stashed – lets go home!


Big Thanks to:

Michael Stride and Octane Sport, Sam Gordon, DAS Industries – Timmy Peters and Louise Roberts, Andy Turner, Paul Coupe, Ed Brockman, Chris Charalambous, John Nicholas, Alec Brown, Gavin Palfrey, Louis Selby, Mmedo Duffort, Richard Searle, Jimmy’Z – Blake Harrington, Tony Gale and British Freestyle, Everyone at Kryptonics, Half Dead Skateboards – Lee Bryan and UK Rep Stewart Savage, Seismic Skate Systems – Race Spreadsheets, Shiner – DStreet Longboards, Mindless Longboards and all of our other lovely sponsors and supporters.St John’sAmbulance – London Region. Ian Coles and all of the wonderful staff at Redbridge Cycling Centre, Romford Hospital – for checking Dobie out, Hargreaves Scout Campsite, Mac for just turning up and putting the icing on an already great cake, Lyn and Richard Case for ramp storage  and finally to you the racers – we couldn’t do it with out you!

 Summer Swine Stomp 2015 Results

 Hybrid Slalom

 A Group

  1.  Louis Selby
  2. Vincent Tanguy
  3. Ferdinand Lindner
  4. Bart Brunnikhuis
  5. Mmedo Duffort
  6. Sam Gordon
  7. Chris Charalambous
  8. John Nicholas

Hybrid A Group Winners. L – R Vincent Tanguy, Ferdinand Lindner, Louis Selby.
Photo: Sam Gordon

 B Group

  1.  Ben Williams
  2. Andy Turner
  3. Jeroen Steggink
  4. Chris Linford
  5. Paul Coupe
  6. Richard Searle
  7. Jim Parry Jones
  8. Tiago Fanha
  9. Alec Brown
  10. Gavin Palfrey
  11. Trevor Hickey
  12. Dill Hill
  13. Paul Borrell
  14. Daniel Ravenall
  15. Mike Fish
  16. Dominic Barette

Hybrid B Group Podium. L – R Andy Turner, Ben Williams, Jeroen Steggink.
Photo: John Nicholas


 Giant Slalom

  1.  Ferdinand Lindner             19.82
  2. Mmedo Duffort                     20.15
  3. Bart Brunnikhuis                 20.37
  4. Vincent Tanguy                    20.24
  5. Sam Gordon                           21.09
  6. Louis Selby                             21.11
  7. Ben Williams                         21.96
  8. Jeroen Steggink                    21.96
  9. John Nicholas                      22.45
  10. Alex Ireton                             22.60
  11. Chris Charalambous           22.72
  12. Richard Searle                      22.76
  13. Paul Coupe                             22.93
  14. Paul Borrell                            22.94
  15. Andy Turner                           23.30
  16. Trevor Hickey                        23.56
  17. Daniel Ravenall                    23.99
  18. Gavin Palfrey                         24.11
  19. Dill Hill                                   24.47
  20. Alec Brown                             24.58

GS Podium. L – R Bart Brunninkhuis, Ferdinand Lindner, Mmedo Duffort
Photo: Sam Gordon

 Overall Standings 

  1. Ferdinand Lindner
  2. Louis Selby
  3. Vincent Tanguy
  4. Mmedo Duffort
  5. Bart Brunnikhuis
  6. Sam Gordon
  7. Chris Charalambous/ Ben Williams
  8. John Nicholas
  9. Jeroen Steggink
  10. Andy Turner
  11. Paul Coupe/Richard Searle
  12. Paul Borrell
  13. Trevor Hickey
  14. Gavin Palfrey
  15. Alec Brown
  16. Dill Hill/Daniel Ravenall
  17. Chris Linford (Hybrid only)
  18. Jim Parry Jones (Hybrid only)
  19. Tiago Fanha (Hybrid only)
  20. Mike Fish (Hybrid only)
  21. Dominic Barette (Hybrid only)

Overall Podium. L – R Louis, Ferdinand, Vincent
Photo: Sam Gordon

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