The Crackling 2018 – Year X, Hog Hill – 14th/15th April 2018

Saturday’s testing Hybrid course Photo:Rob Ashby

Race report by Rob Ashby

This year marks the UKSSA’s 10th anniversary holding races at Hog Hill. We have Sam Gordon to thank for initially getting our foot in the door through his cycling connections. The UKSSA were actually the first organisation to hold an event at the centre on 20th July 2008 before it had even been finished.  At that time only the top oval had been completed, the rest of the circuit was just rolled hardcore still awaiting the top surface to be laid. For that inaugural race we used the section of track that we still use for dual racing today. We threw an open invite to London Longboards in 2010 and they joined us at Hog Hill for the British Outlaw Championships in May that year. Following that the events gained in popularity and Hog Hill gained as big a reputation with longboarders as it had already established with slalom racers.

This year’s season opener was a month earlier than usual but thankfully the weather gods were kind to us and Hog Hill was bathed in warm sunshine all afternoon.  Our friends fromSwedenreturned to compete including my fellow Kryptonics Ambassador Pelle Gusstafsson with his First Lady Therese Redman, Anton Sundling and a newcomer to Hog Hill Olle Bauer. Mmedo Duffort also came across fromFranceensuring “Frenglish” representation.

With Andy on his Slimming World duties Simon Wells has stepped in to do the honours with the ramps while he can. One of our previous hybrid courses was still partially marked so to save time we used this as the basis for the dual course. Once a few timing hiccups had been resolved practice began. It was quite a tricky course with a few wide offsets and you could easily pay the price if accelerating too fast towards the bottom section. In fact during racing this was where most of the DQ’s and cone penalties occurred.

After a short rider briefing we began the qualifying heats. I manned the timing table along with Sam and the shiny new UKSSA laptop. Not only do we finally have a new laptop but whiteboards too!  The course wasn’t taking any prisoners during the qualifying runs, DQ’s were racking up as were the cone counts. Everyone rose to the challenge and all bar a couple got times in the bag. But with it being a Basic Status race DQ’s were advanced – besides it’s always nice to give people as many races as possible for their buck.

With qualifying over and bracketing computed we were ready to start racing commencing with the A Group, round of 8. The pairings were: Louis Selby vs Paul Coupe, Chris Charalambous vs Sam Gordon, Olle Bauer Vs Pelle Plast and Mmedo Duffort vs Anton Sundling. Louis dispatched Paul in their match-up, although the big man put in a very nice clean second run it just wasn’t enough. Chris and Sam both DQ’d their first run leaving everything to play for. But disaster stuck again at the bottom section for Chris and for a rare second time he DQ’d. So despite his hefty four cone penalty Sam advanced. In the Swede on Swede battle my fellow Kryptonics Brand Ambassador Pelle was also having a battle with the bottom of the course, taking out five cones in his first run against Olle.and went into his second run 1.64 behind – behind being the operative word when you skate in your pants!. Olle took out 3 cones to Pelle’s one but it wasn’t enough to help Pelle, so he joined Paul sitting in the shade. The final pair in the round of 8 saw Mmedo, who had taken a big slam earlier, eliminate Anton from the proceedings. Anton DQ’d his first run and couldn’t make up the deficit.

Olle Bauer in his heat against Pelle Plast – who raced in his pants! Photo: Alec Brown

In the round of 4 Louis beat Pavel teammate Sam, who’s combined cone count of seven over the two runs did the lion’s share of the damage. A struggling Mmedo double DQ’d against Olle and so it would be the Swedish Hog Hill newcomer to face Louis in the final.

Sam faced Mmedo in the Consolation round for third spot. The first run saw both riders take out cones on the bottom section.  Although Mmedo had hit six cones to Sam’s five his faster raw time of 15.25 saw him go into the second run with a 0.46 advantage. Both riders left the start ramp in synch and were neck and neck through the first section of the course but just after the second offset the trickier lower section got both of them. Another double DQ meaning the injured Mmedo snatched third place and earned a much needed sit down.

The final was intensely close. In the first run Louis ran fast and clean but Olle was faster and despite one cone penalty went into the final run just .06 up on the Pavel rider. The last run was even closer with Louis crossing the line in 14.90 and Olle in 14.89. But again it was the cone count that would be critical in deciding the outcome. Louis’ two cones to Olle’s three had secured him another podium top spot, a victory by a margin of just 0.03.

A Group Hybrid Final – Louis Selby (White course) vs Olle Bauer
Photo: John Nicholas

 Conditions on the hill were perfect as we began the B group racing. Because of the number of racers we needed to run a couple of heats to get down to a round of 8.  In the first heat Noah Ellison would Race Alec Brown. Unfortunately for Alec he double DQ’d his runs sending Noah through. Next up was “The One” Bossman Richard Searle versus Mike Fish. Mike DQ’d in his first run leaving Rich to breeze through into the next round. Finally Trevor Hickey would race Theresa,  after the first run Trevor had a 0.47 advantage. So her fellow countrymen cheering on Theresa had to put the hammer down. Sadly it was not to be another error on the lower section of the course meant that she DQ’d.

Alec Brown vs Noah Ellison. Photo: John Nicholas

So into the round of 8 we went. Noah was up against tough opposition in the form of Tiago Fanha. Try as he might Noah couldn’t quite hold his line and DQ’d both runs meaning an easy passage through to the next round for Tiago. My return to racing after an 18 month hiatus wasn’t quite the success I had hoped it would be either. Then again I was up against my old Souhbank homie, the style master himself Dobie. Sadly I became another victim of the bottom of the course and pulled out Dq’ing my run. Although Dobie sent cones flying from his course as well, the difference was that he crossed the line! Our second run was pretty much a re-run of the first only this time Dobie DQ’d too! Homie went through. Note to self – don’t faff around doing other things when practice is on – take a couple of runs Doofus! Next up was Dread City’s John Nicholas racing Rich.  But even John had trouble with the course and he DQ’d his first run meaning that Rich was in the driving seat. John dug deep and flew out of the gate and crossed the line over a second ahead of Rich but it wasn’t enough and Rich took it by just 0.14.  Last up was the ever improving Dill Hill and Trevor. Dill was looking on form and put in a good first run time crossing the line almost a second ahead of Trev, who even though he had run clean and Dill had hit six cones, found himself trailing Dill by 0.44. He ran clean again but not fast enough to catch Dill who crossed the line ahead of him, this time with only 2 cone penalties and something of a Hog Hill record. Bucking the trend that one course is always faster than the other he recorded exactly the same raw time on both courses, 17.33.

The round of 4 saw Tiago go through to the final after Dobie DQ’d his first run. He put in a faster time than Tiago on the second but was still wide of the mark. Dill then relegated Rich to the Consolation round, both riders demolished the lower section of the course in spectacular style on their last run but Dill was quicker it was that simple.

B Group Hybrid – Dill Hill (Orange course) vs Richard Searle
Photo: John Nicholas

The consolation round was a fairly a straightforward affair. Dobie double DQ’d, Rich didn’t and so took third place. The Dill vs Tiago final was very close indeed. Dill took the first round and led by just 0.10 but Tiago came back with a much quicker run and although he hit five cones to Dill’s four it was fast enough to claim the top podium position. It had been a great afternoons racing and the sun had shone down on us and reddened our pale skins. We cleared away everything that needed to be and then headed for home and cold beer.

A new event to Hog Hill kicked off Sunday morning, an electric skateboard race. The race was organised by the crew from Evolve Electric Skateboards UK and gave all of us something to watch while we ate our bacon sarnies and woke ourselves up with copious amounts of hot tea and coffee.

The first of the Evolve electric skateboard races gets underway. Photo: Rob Ashby

The sun was making an effort to come out to play but the clouds were fighting it back.
As we began Giant Slalom practice the sky was looking moody but it showed no signs of rain for the time being at least.  The GS would be decided on the fastest of three timed runs with any cones hit incurring a 0.2 second penalty. We began racing just after midday and I was being ably assisted by Silver Fox Jim Slater who had kindly agreed to take on shouting duties on the bend of the hill. Olle Bauer set the pace with a first run time of 22.79 clean. Riders all appeared to be enjoying the course and the conditions, times were getting quicker. Louis, Mmedo, Sam and Paul were all going well and racing hard trying to better each other and topple Olle from his position at the top of the leaderboard. About halfway through racing the wind picked up and it became critical for riders to time their runs with the conditions and avoid the headwinds. With just four runs left to go we felt rain in the air however the warmth in the track meant that the light drizzle was virtually dying as it hit the asphalt. I asked each of the remaining racers if they wanted to take their runs and they all replied in the affirmative and within five minutes all runs had been completed. Olle’s first run time stood the closest Louis could get was 22.94. He may have lost out to Louis in Saturday’s Hybrid but Olle’s took the coveted Hog Hill GS crown for Sweden. 

Trevor Hickey on the GS course
Photo: John Nicholas

The prize giving saw winners mugs, Kryptonics Wheels, bearings and other assorted schwag from Octane Sport handed out to the Hybrid and GS winners and a set of slide gloves for our only woman entrant Theresa . Following the prize giving we all wished each other well and went our separate ways.

Hybrid A Group Podium (L-R) Olle Bauer (SWE), Louis Selby (Pavel Racing), Mmedo Duffort (Pavel Racing) Photo: Sam Gordon

 

Hybrid B Group Podium (L-R) Dill Hill, Tiago Fanha, Richard Searle Photo: Sam Gordon

 

Giant Slalom Podium (L-R) Louis Selby (Pavel Racing), Olle Bauer (SWE), Mmedo Duffort (Pavel Racing) Photo: Sam Gordon

The next event at Hog Hill will be Summer Swine Stomp 14th & 15th July when we will changing the format a little and holding the first race for The Martin Sweeney Memorial Trophy. More details will be announced in the coming weeks. We will also be printing some tee shirts to mark our 10th anniversary with graphics by Mac. We’ll be taking pre-orders shortly and details will be posted up soon so keep an eye out.

 

The Usual BIG Thanks Dept:

Sam Gordon for his top notch work in front of and behind the scenes, sign up etc.

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

 Lyn and Richard Case – for ramp storage

Simon Wells for transportation/ramp shifting and generally getting involved in just about everything during set up and breakdown

 Kryptonics – for the awesome wheels!

 All of our other event sponsors

The Swedes for joining us

 The Course Setters

 Timmy, Ben, Jorge and crew – for sorting out all things longboardy and sign- up.

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

 St John’sAmbulance Service

 Coupe Limousine Service

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

 

“Just Chillin’ “
Photo: Kim Jungreuthmayer

The Crackling 2018 – Year X Results

 

Hybrid Slalom

 

A Group

 

  1. Louis Selby
  2. Olle Bauer (SWE)
  3. Mmedo Duffort
  4. Sam Gordon
  5. Chris Charalambous
  6. Anton Sundling (SWE)
  7. Pelle Plast (SWE)
  8. Paul Coupe

 

B Group

 

  1. Tiago Fanha
  2. Dill Hill
  3. Richard Searle
  4. Dobie Campbell
  5. John Nicholas
  6. Rob Ashby
  7. Trevor Hickey
  8. Noah Ellison (USA)
  9. Alec Brown
  10. Mike Fish
  11. Tezzan Redman (SWE)

 

Giant Slalom

Raw Times – cone penalties (.2 secs) in brackets

 

  1. Olle Bauer (SWE)                22.79
  2. Louis Selby                           22.94
  3. Mmedo Duffort                     23.29
  4. Paul Coupe                          23.55
  5. Pelle Plast (SWE)                23.83 (1)
  6. Sam Gordon                         23.99 (1)
  7. Dill Hill                                   24.96
  8. Anton Sundling (SWE)       24.70 (2)
  9. Tiago Fanha                         25.11
  10. Trevor Hickey                        25.54 (1)
  11. Richard Searle                     25.46 (2)
  12. John Nicholas                      25.74 (1)
  13. Noah Ellison (USA)             25.44 (4)
  14. Alec Brown                           26.04 (4)
  15. Therese Redman (SWE)    30.54 (3)
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