UK Outlaw Championships, Hog Hil

Race Report by Rob Ashby

This was the first event at Hog Hill (AKA Redbridge Cycling Centre) that would see a combination of Free riding, Downhill and Slalom, attracting riders from far and wide.

After the usual bit of banter on arrival Alex Ireton of London Longboards and I set up rider registration in the canteen and were soon amazed at the length of the queue of skaters that had started to form. In total 125 riders had signed up for the two days with Longboarders outnumbering slalom competitors considerably even so we still had a field of some 30+ riders including a Dutch contingent comprising Ernst-jan de Boom, Bart Brunninkhuis and Debbie Tix.

 As practice got underway our “adopted” Brazilian rider Bruno Silva De Oliveira took a bad fall leaving him with a broken collar bone and an ambulance ride to casualty!

Just as qualifying began it began to cloud and the wind picked up, gusting up the course making for some very challenging heats. A good pumping technique was essential against the speed sapping wind. A short break for lunch enabled the timekeepers to busy themselves with the task of splitting the riders into A an B groups. Racing started with the A Group round of 16. With the wind still blowing up the hill there were some very closely contested races. Eventually the group was down to the last four, Ernst, Michael Stride (Octane Sport/Virage Trucks), Louis Selby (Pavel/Pistache Clothing) and Mike Allison (Pig City). In the end it was the flying Dutchman Ernst that triumphed over the Brits taking 1st place. Michael was 2nd and Mike Allison took 3rd.

In the B Group once again the wind was to play a significant part with all riders battling to maintain speed through the course. I took 1st place with Terry St George in 2nd and Dominic Barette from Pig City taking 3rd.

 With our racing over there was just enough time to check out a bit of the free riding before adjourning to the nearby Lambourne End Campsite for some much needed R & R not too mention a few pints with our Dutch cousins!

Sunday morning and menacing overcast skies meant we started the Giant Slalom fairly early. The format was straight forward it was a single lane timed run with start ramp. Each racer would have three runs with the best of these runs counting as final time. A “Top Gear” style leader board showed the best riders and the times to beat.

Once again competition was fierce; Sam Gordon and Ernst adopted some interesting techniques to gain additional speed. Sam opted for Lycra whilst Ernst stripped down to little more than his boxer shorts – that just happened to be colour co-ordinated to match his boards grip tape! It must have done the trick though as again Ernst took the top spot with a time of 20.32 compared to Sam’s 20.56. Fellow Dutchman Bart Brunninkhuis took 3rd with a time of 20.70.

 With our racing and prize giving done we packed up and went over to watch some of the downhill before waving our visitors off and heading for home to bathe away the aches and pains of the weekend.

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