Turn & Burn @ Paddle Around the Pier, 4th/5th July 2015

All set up and ready to roll.
Photo by Rob Ashby


Once again it was time to take in some sea air and sun down in Pig City at the annual Turn & Burn race at the Paddle Around the Pier beach festival.

Saturday kicked off with Tight slalom and after a nice relaxed practice session we began the qualifying around 1.00pm under the warm afternoon sun. Just to make a change we decided to run the B group through first. Small in number it may have been but it was hotly contested and newcomer Polina Fokicheva was giving everyone a run for their money. She was getting faster with every run and only narrowly missed out on 3rd place to Tom Shafeie. Alec Brown took second spot with a delighted Paul Borrell taking the top place on the podium.

We ran straight in to the A group round of 16 after the B group final, locals Mmedo Duffort and Ben Williams had set the best times for the Pig City Crew with Harry and Louis qualifying in first and second place respectively.  The first rounds saw some good close evenly matched races which made for good entertainment for the swelling crowds.  Soon we were down to just Harry, Louis, Mmedo and Trevor Baker. The round of four would see Mmedo face against Harry and Louis would race against Trevor who had been on fire all day.

As has been the case each time they have raced Louis and Harry were again destined to meet in the final. An uncharacteristic DQ by Trevor in the round of four would see him face off against Mmedo in the consolation round. In the final Harry ran super quick and clean beating Louis by just over half a second over the two legs to claim 1st place. In the consolation round two consistently quick runs by Mmedo were enough to relegate Trevor to fourth place.  

Now that’s an action shot! Trevor Baker “pings” the last cone as he crosses the line just behind Mmedo. Photo by Andy Turner

 Simon Levene and Mick Reiss dropped in to say “Hi” and check on proceedings. Mick spent some time with Mmedo and gave him a bit of a pumping masterclass. It’s always nice to catch up with Mick. It would be even nicer to see him skate again!

We rapidly packed up and stashed the ramps behind the security fence and headed for home – or local pubs as was the case for Louis whose birthday it was. Andy, Tom and I had fun and games trying to get off site. The Health and Safety police weren’t going to let us drive off until 8.30pm which was when “vehicle movements were allowed”. We all looked at one another and decided that we weren’t waiting for three hours to go home – that clearly wasn’t going to happen. We pleaded our case and after much mumbling into walkie talkies by the “vis-vested men” they finally agreed to escort us out. It was at this point that we were advised that we would need to get the van in on Sunday by 8.30am due to “movement restrictions” during the festival opening. It meant Andy and I would have a bit of an early start in the morning but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Halfway to Brighton on Sunday morning the heavens opened and the rain came down by the bucket load. By the time we arrived on the seafront at about 7.55am you couldn’t see a hand in front of your face. After sitting in the van for over an hour and a half I went and spoke to a few locals and a couple of stall holders who had consulted weather apps – all which said that the rain was set to continue until about 4.00pm. After careful consideration and with the prospect of getting the van stuck there all day in the rain until 6.30pm I made the call and cancelled the days official racing so that we could get word up on social media pages quickly. We hastily packed up the ramps, getting soaked into the proceedings, and called it a day! Even then we had to sneak out past the Health and Safety people we had argued with the day before. By this time it was 9.45am, props to Andy for “creeping” a long wheelbase Transit past them right under their noses!


Sunday morning at the race site!

For those that made it down later on Sunday Mmedo organised a mini league where everyone got to race each other. The winning order was determined by the rider with the most wins. It was good that something could be salvaged from what started out as an awful day.


The Sunday Crew featuring Vincent Tanguy (blue helmet) who was visiting from France.

Big Thanks to Dom Barrette and the Pig City Crew, James and Ocean Sports, Michael Stride and Octane Sport, Kryptonics, Andy Turner and Mark Phelps.


Saturday – Tight Slalom

 A Group

  1. Harry Phelps
  2. Louis Selby
  3. Mmedo Duffort
  4. Trevor Baker
  5. Ben Williams
  6. John Nicholas
  7. Chris Charalambous
  8. Paul Coupe
  9. Rob Ashby
  10. Richard Searle
  11. Dobie Campbell
  12. Tony Lord
  13. Andy Turner
  14. Trevor Hickey
  15. Mark Phelps
  16. Gavin Palfrey

 B Group

  1. Paul Borrell
  2. Alec Brown
  3. Tom Shafie
  4. Polina Fokicheva
  5. Tom Parker
  6. Sabina Edwards

 Sunday – Hybrid Mini League

  1. Louis Selby
  2. Mmedo Duffort
  3. Vincent Tanguy
  4. Chris Charalambous
  5. Richard Searle
  6. Dobie Campbell
  7. Paul Coupe
  8. Alan Featherstone
  9. Polina Fokichev
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