Hogtoberfest 27/28th October 2012


By way of having a final fling at the end of the season, Timmy Peters follows the UKSSA event model to host the second Hogtoberfest in as many years. Under the guise of ‘Das Industries,’ Timmy has developed the basic premise to include further sponsors (Octane Sport/ G-Form/Mantis/ Sexdecks/ Original/ SMB/ Comet Marmalade/ Gyro  & Newtons Shred), live music at the campsite and a bouncy castle on the start line. Good work!

Event kick-off was at Saturday lunchtime.  I’d picked up Paul Price in Kensington and we’d headed directly to the campsite in order to grab a place away from the evening’s planned shenanigans. As we pitched up, the Friday night campers stood shivering and warming themselves up from the morning frost. “Ice!” they said. “We had to hack our way out through stiffened canvas!”

At least it was dry. What joy not to have to organise the Registration! Timmy had the sign-up going smoothly, having roped in many of the Southampton longboarding club (XSS) to assist. This meant that we could quickly set up the hybrid slalom. We were ready for the qualifying rounds when localised precipitation forced a coffee break on us. For the rest of the day. The weather predictions had show a dry Saturday with stormy Sunday, goldarnit.

At the Redbridge Cycle Centre, Sylvia and team provided us with unseemly amounts of coffee and cake. We had our feet up and checked out the sponsors’ tents. Sexdecks ‘Fuck You’ sticker won adhesive product of choice. The freeriders, not constrained by the weather, pushed their bearings beyond the point of rust. Sliders set new distance records for the region. Back in the cafe I did ‘Show and Tell’ with the new Dangerous Decks slalom model that Will had just made for me; a version of which was showing good form in the downhill.

 By mid-afternoon we had already spent a couple of hours in the cafe and still the rain showed no signs of giving up. We called the slalom off for the day and headed back top the campsite. It didn’t take much persuasion from Paul for us to pack up the tents and head straight back into London. On the way back we resolved to return to the track on Sunday, if only to give Michael Stride a hand with packing up the ramps and timing system. At the very least we might salvage an hour or so of skating and sneak some good results from a reduced pack. Shameless.

It seems we weren’t the only competitors with that in mind. A fair few had headed out to Redbridge on Sunday morning. Whilst the air was dry, the track was damp from overnight rain. A long breakfast was interrupted by a call that the lower half of the GS course was dry. From on top of the hill it looked too short to race. In practice we had roughly a hundred yards of clean sloping tarmac to play with. Good. In a trice we’d set up a single lane hybrid course and were pushing folks down at a rate of knots. Each rider had two runs in which to score a best time. Who knew when the weather would again close in?

Jason Martin in the straight slalom

 In race one, Pavel rider Paul Price picked up an easy victory. Harry Phelps beat me by one thousandth of a second to clinch second, whilst Ben Williams picked up a good fourth. Race two was a wider hybrid. There was a quick shuffle of the top positions as Ben was gaining confidence all the time, shifting from fourth to second.  Paul Coupe, in his first competition since cracking his skull in Crystal Palace, showed that his accident had not diminished his skills as he picked up a couple of fifth places.

The final event was a straight slalom which played straight into Ben’s hand. As a Pig City (Brighton) skater, he had cut his slalom teeth on exactly this sort of course down on the Hove seafront. It took all of Paul Price’s race experience to pull the win out of the bag, and even then by just a tenth of a second. Ben’s first London slalom victory now rests on his capacity to take out the Twin Terror, Louis Selby and Bruno Oliviera, who usually dominate the Capital’s racing. Great to see Lars from Sexdecks taking part in the final event too (Pic above)!

 Prize giving was a cosy affair amongst the ten competitors. Thanks very much to Octane Sport for running and ‘End of Season Prize Raffle’ so that everyone came away with product. And thanks to Das Industries for keeping up the good vibe in adverse times. We are all looking forward to new Das events in new locations next year.

Season over!

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