The Rabbit Race, Amsterdam, 1st – 2nd October 2011

Ernst vs Markus in the Tight Final

Race Report by Rob

The last scheduled race on the Dutch calendar took place on the hottest October weekend on record in Europe. The first ever Longboard Only Marathon had been held on the Saturday. Which saw skaters completing 18 gruelling laps around the Sport Park Sloten 2.2Km cycle track to make the 26 mile skate – no mean feat in that heat. The Race was eventually won by Paul Brunninkhuis who completed the Marathon distance in 1 hour 44 minutes with an average speed of 24 MPH.

Representing the Brits were Paul Coupe and Mike Fish, Alas Mike succumbed to the heat allegedly (?) with Paul finishing in a very respectable time 2 hours 16 minutes averaging 18.52 MPH.


Paul Coupe pushing it in the grueling heat during Saturday's Marathon

I had spent Friday evening and all of Saturday in Brussels visiting friends and so after far too many strong Belgian beers I arose at stupid o’clock on Sunday morning to catch a train to Amsterdam to spend my birthday taking part in the Rabbit Race slalom. I arrived at the race site at around 11.00am, still feeling rather jaded after the previous day’s excesses, and was greeted by the Dutch and Pavel Crews and the marathon weary Paul and Mike.

By now the temperature was rising and I was beginning to feel the Belgian beer seeping from my pores – not an ideal state to be in to enter a race I thought but I took a few practice runs on the Hybrid course which was quite challenging. If you picked up too much speed on the first section it was quite tricky making it though, not to mention the effort walking back up the sun baked hill!

Paul Coupe, despite suffering “lead legs” was looking on good form and was the first Brit to record a time in qualifying. I wasn’t the only one finding the going tough, slalom newcomer Mike was finding the course too tricky for his limited slalom experience, but he kept at it. I continued to struggle but managed to scrape through only to be totally annihilated by Markus Roch in the first round. Paul was skating hard but was eventually eliminated too. Homeboy Ernst-Jan de Boom was blazing and put in a number of smooth clean runs to earn his spot in the finals against the uber fast Markus. Donald, the Pavelmeister, was skating well and won through to the consolation round to face Flavio – making yet another Holland vs Germany pairing.

Marcus’ low, fast and fluid style was paying dividends and in the end he emerged victorious against the Dutch master Ernst in the final. In the consolation round it all came down to cones with Donald just pipping Flavio to take third place.

While the Tight course was being set up I took the opportunity to take on much needed fluids before throwing myself down the hill yet again. The course was a long weaving series of curves down the length of the hill and into the shade of the woods. Again I found myself picking up too much speed at the start and so ended up spraying cones on the lower section of the course. Paul Coupe was still battling on and had two very good runs in qualifying whereas I was hitting too far many cones for my liking.

Once again I was eliminated early on going out to the ever colourful Ernst leaving Paul to keep up the British end. He put up a good fight but Donald was too fast and furious and finally got the better of him. Again Donald made the Consolation Round this time facing his fellow countryman Martin Hoppe who had been skating consistently all day. In the first run Martin got a great start and edged out in front, gradually increasing his lead crossing the line ahead of Donald. The second run saw Martin snatch 3rd spot from a by now very weary Donald.

The Tight final once more saw Markus and Ernst battle it out, this time it was Ernst who took the top podium spot by the smallest of margins after some very close intense racing.

The day was wrapped up with some Junior races and a novice girls/women’s race. Two names to definitely look out for in the future are Vincent Kitzhoefer, already an accomplished park skater from Germany and Dutch rider Melle Stolk both very smooth stylish riders. Melle took a bad fall earlier in the day injuring his ankle but after some prompt attention and a rest he was soon back on board showing us old ‘uns how it should be done!

All in all a very enjoyable birthday spent skating in the Motherland for me – even if I was feeling less than 100% which was clearly demonstrated by my very erratic skating! A big thanks to Flavio, Paul Brunninkhuis, Cyril, Gwyn, Ernst, Debbie, Wouter, Sofie, Urta, and all of the Dutch Crew for putting on a fun event. Big thanks also to Donald and the Pavel GOG crew for the words of encouragement and special thanks to Markus and Danielle for my “Stuff from Hell” birthday presents. Last but by no means least, thanks to fellow Brits Paul Coupe and Mike Fish for their support, jokes and jolly good company!


Team GB and the days Overall Winner Markus Roch

Rabbit Race Results


1st Markus Roch: 14.625
2nd Ernst–jan de Boom: 15.269
3rd Donald Campbell: 17.512
4th Flavio Badenes: 18.015
5th Martin Hoppe: 18.773
6th Wouter van Hamburg 19.612
7th Rob Ashby: 21.678
8th Paul Coupe: 22.907
9th Markus Kaffke
10th Akasha Jethna
11th Mike Fish


1st Ernst-jan de Boom: 14.062
2nd Markus Roch: 14.105
3rd Martin Hoppe: 15.273
4th Donald Campbell: 16.012
5th Wouter van Hamburg 17.712
6th Flavio Badenes: 18.715
7th Rob Ashby: 20.778
8th Paul Coupe: 22.907
9th Markus Kaffke
10th Akasha Jethna
11th Mike Fish


1st Vincent Kitzhoefer 18.024
2nd Melle Stolk 19.072


1st Femke Bosma
2nd Sofie Jochems
3rd Marte Bosma

Overall – Men

1st Markus Roch
2nd Ernst-jan de Boom
3rd Donald Campbell
4th Martin Hoppe
5th Flavio Badenes
6th Wouter van Hamburg
7th Rob Ashby
8th Paul Coupe
9th Markus Kaffke
10th Akasha Jethna
11th Mike Fish

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