The Crackling 2022, Hog Hill – 14th – 15th May 2022

Race report by Rob Ashby

The Crackling saw the return of proper slalom race at Hog Hill since the pandemic. The ramps and timing gear were back! A big thanks to Gary Hillock for the transportation of said items. We had a few chilled meets at Hog Hill last year but without the “bells and whistles” so it was good to see everything set up once again. Michael would have been happy. It was good to welcome back old faces too. Paul bought along the old Octane stock boxes and once again business was brisk.

Richard Gowers, the Competition and Events Manager, from Skateboard GB was visiting the event to get an understanding of everything that goes down at a Hog Hill event. He has been to UK Vert Series and Street League competitions but not one of ours – until now.

In all there was a field of 16 riders assembled on the hill, perfect for bracketing into two groups of 8. Once the course had been tweaked and practice runs complete. I gave a customary quick welcome and rider briefing after which we began qualification to bracket the racers.

In the A Group the pairings were, Louis vs Lance Martins, Paul Coupe Vs Dill Hill, Sam G. vs Alex Ireton and Chris Charalambous vs Paul Taylor Crush.

We started racing the A Group but after only a couple of runs we experienced a timing issue whereby the clock wasn’t stopping on one lane. This inevitably delayed proceedings but more by luck than judgement, we managed to sort it long enough to get through the first runs in the round of 8. After further tinkering and replacing a tape strip we were ready to roll again. During the downtime the A Group had agreed to let the Bs race through to their conclusion opting to run the rest of the “A” heats and finals on Sunday.

The B Group the round of 8 saw Richard “Well Suspect” Searle take on Dobie Campbell. Our relative newcomer from the West Country Darren Miles, who had travelled up for our informal post-pandemic Hog Hill get-togethers but this was his first “bells and whistles” race, and he would be racing Polina Fokecheva, Dread City’s John Nicholas would face Mike Fish and Tiago Fanha (long time no see) would be up against Kim Jungreuthmeyer.

The first heat was incredibly close with both Rich and Dobie DQ’ing a run each, just the slightest of margins seeing Dobie advance to the next round. Elsewhere despite a heavy cone count in his first run Darren went through against Polina, John Nicholas breezed past Mike Fish who DQ’d both of his runs and Tiago emerged victorious against an on-form Kim.

In the round of 4 Dobie beat Darren by 1.08 over the two legs and Tiago consigned himself to the Consolation Round after DQ’ing his second run against John.

The first run of the final between Dobie and John was very close, going into the second run it was pretty much a case of one cone penalty separating the two. Unfortunately, Dobie pulled out of the course at the bottom and so it was John that took the gold medal position. In the Consolation Round both Darren and Tiago DQ’d their first runs leaving it all to do in the second. Tiago took out a large swathe of cones at the bottom of the course while Darren ran smooth and clean, earning himself a very well-deserved 3rd place podium in his first Hog Hill Race.

Sunday began under fairly heavy skies, the GS was set, tweaked a bit, tested, and tweaked a bit more before practice began.

We had almost got through the first timed runs when the rain set in. Riders sought shelter where they could but most squeezed in the back of Paul’s van. The rain stopped, the sun teased us but then the rain came back with a vengeance and that was that.

We could at least use the qualifying times to decide the A Group Hybrid results. However, because not everyone got a first run time on the GS before the heavens opened there was not a lot we could do – “rain stopped racing”.

The Usual BIG Thanks Dept:

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

Gary Hillock – for transporting the ramps to and from their stable and taking the old Octane stock back after the race.

Louis and Paul for course setting, marking etc.

Paul (again) for letting us take shelter in his van

The Crackling 2022 Results

Hybrid Slalom

A Group (Qualifying times used due to rain)

  1. Louis Selby
  2. Sam Gordon
  3. Chris Charalambous
  4. Paul Coupe
  5. Dill Hill
  6. Paul Taylor Crush
  7. Alex Ireton
  8. Lance Martins

B Group

  1. John Nicholas
  2. Dobie Campbell
  3. Darren Miles
  4. Tiago Fanha
  5. Richard Searle
  6. Polina Fokecheva
  7. Kim Jungreuthmeyer
  8. Mike Fish

Giant Slalom (Rained off)

First Run Recorded Raw Times Only – No cone penalties (in brackets) added

  1. Louis Selby                           24.45
  2. Dill Hill                                   25.48 (1)
  3. Sam Gordon                         26.14 (1)
  4. Lance Martins                       26.68 (1)
  5. Paul Taylor Crush               26.73
  6. Alex Ireton                             27.07
  7. John Nicholas*                     27 89
  8. Darren Miles                         27.93
  9. Mike Fish                               28.07 (1)
  10. Paul Coupe                           DQ

*Practice Run Time

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