Sunday, 25 October 2015

UKSSA writeup - Hogtoberfest

Race report by Rob Ashby: Originally hosted on the UKSSA blog
Hogtoberfest Poster – Thank you to all of our generous sponsors.
This years Hogtoberfest was the biggest ever yet both in terms of the number of skaters taking part over the two days and in the number of generous sponsors supporting us.
Hog Hill is a popular race location for our European cousins and this time round we welcomed Victor Martensson and David Berntsson from Sweden and Frenchman Vincent Tanguy who is becoming a regular visitor to our shores these days. After the usual exchange of pleasantries over coffee and bacon sarnies we began setting up. With Sam away I was ably assisted at Race Control by Nigel Allgood who manned the netbook that Andy had lent us to run the spreadsheets on.
It’s all go at Race Control – Louis Selby vs Richard Searle in the Hybrid Round of 8.
Photo by Gavin Palfrey
As ever first up was the Hybrid after qualifying we split the riders up; the fastest 8 forming the A Group and the remaining the B. In the A Group round of eight Louis Selby would be racing Richard Searle, Victor would be up against Ben Williams, Vincent would face David Berntsson and Mmedo would race John Nicholas. 
Louis was just too quick for Richard even with his wealth of recent European race experience he could generate the speed required to get close to the UK’s No 1.
Despite close times Victor advanced to the round of 4 after Ben picked up few cone penalties in his two runs. Vincent was blisteringly fast and accordingly dispatched David who was around a second slower and incurred a number of cone penalties and in the final pairing Mmedo beat John who despite getting faster was just a little off the pace. The round of 4 would see Louis race Victor and Mmedo would face his fellow countryman Vincent. After some intensely close racing it would be Vincent and Louis that would face each other in the final and Mmedo would have to battle it out for third against Victor. Despite some amazingly close runs the three cones Louis hit over the two runs would essentially be the difference and so it was Vincent that took the 1st place in the A Group. In the consolation round the times were again exceptionally close with both riders running clean but  Mmedo just managed to edge out in front of Victor and so took third place.
Mmedo vs Vincent in the Hybrid Round of 4.
Photo by Andy Turner
Mmedo vs Vincent from another angle.
Photo by Patrick Dumont

Vincent vs Louis Final – 1st run.
Photo by Patrick Dumont

Vincent vs Louis Final – Run 2
Photo by Patrick Dumont
 After the excitement of the A Group Finals we ran straight in to the B Round of 16. Time was now getting on and I wanted to try and finish both Hybrid groups on the Saturday. Unperturbed by his recent board-snap slam at Summer Swine Stomp back in July Dobie Campbell returned to the Hill – this time to race. He was now armed with his recently acquired Pavel Paul Price Roadster which was shod with a set of trusty Lazer Slaloms and Zig Zags. It was a joy to see him pumping through the course in fine style. Again the group produced some fine racing with some great performances notably from newcomers Polina Fokicheva and Scott Hayman – both “graduates” from Louis’ Sunday Slalom School.
Polina getting to grips with the Hybrid
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

Scott Hayman (white course) vs Alfie Osborne B Group Hybrid
Photo by Patrick Dumont

Cyprien Dumont on his way to the B Group Final under moody skies
Photo by Andy Turner
The overall standard of racing in the B Group racing was very high and we saw some very close times, although the bottom section of the course was catching a few people out and adding decisive cone penalties to final times. In the final Cyprien Dumont would race Paul Coupe and in the consolation round the new improved aerodynamic Mk II Andy Turner would meet Trevor Baker. The first run of the final saw both riders run clean with Paul crossing the line in 16.12 just behind Cyprien on 15.61. The second run was even closer again both riders running clean this time Paul edged in front with a time of 15.69 to Cyprien’s 15.73. However the first run time had clinched it for Cyprien and so for the second time that day the French claimed another Hybrid 1st.  In the consolation round there was yet more neck and neck racing. However Andy’s cone count would be his downfall, 3 cones in each run to Trev’s solitary cone penalty saw him relegated to fourth spot while Trev stepped up to take a well deserved 3rd place. 
Andy test driving his lighter frame – his cone count meant he missed out on a podium. At the prize giving ceremony he received a special award of a D-S Street complete for his services to the UKSSA throughout the racing season.
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

Cyprien (White lane) vs Paul Coupe – B Group Hybrid Final
Photo by John Nicholas
We cleared the site in double quick time and headed off to Lambourne End. Things have changed quite a bit since we last camped there; a brand new hut has been built incorporating new showers and toilets in place of the tumbledown hut and insect populated toilets/showers.  The campsite is also now accessed via a very narrow sleeper bridge – a long wheelbase Transit is not the best thing to get across it but Andy did a fine job squeezing it through.  After pitching our tents Andy, John Nicholas and I headed over to Better Extreme in Barking for the evening session. As is often the case we pretty much had the bowl to ourselves and were joined by Christine Maier and Toria Jaymes for a rad little sesh.
The organiser (and author) gets his skate on at the evening session at Better Extreme, Barking
Photo by Andy Turner
John Nicholas, Frontside Air, Better Extreme evening session
Photo by Andy Turner
On arrival back at the campsite the spangly shiny new hut was doing a good job of accommodating many a drunken grom. Ben Stainer could be seen trying to keep on top of the mounting detritus busying himself pushing a broom around the mud and booze spattered floor. Seconds later there was a crash and much wailing as someone had accidentally dropped an entire mug of tea right where he was trying to sweep; I decided to leave them to it and headed for the relative quiet and sanity of John’s V-Dub – quiet that was apart from the classic tunes coming from the stereo – The Dead Kennedys, The Clash even The Higsons; “top choons” as I believe the yoof say these days? After a quick cuppa it was time to turn in and leave the groms cultivate their hangovers with various noxious concoctions.
After a chilly start the sun emerged and beamed down on the myriad of squinting hung-over faces hanging out of tents. The hut was now a veritable hive of activity as the clean-up team set to work restoring it to it’s former glory whilst a seemingly never ending line of pale, pasty and in some cases seedy looking skaters queued at the urn for boiling water for life restoring tea, coffee and err….soup!
Good Morning Campers…….Hi Di Hi!
Photo by Rob Ashby
We packed our tents up and loaded the van which Andy then managed to manoeuvre back out across the rickety bridge without alarming the trolls underneath and so we headed off for day two. On arrival at Hog Hill the access barrier at the entrance was still down. However for Caterham owners this proved to present no problem to access at all as we observed Michael “limbo” underneath with inches to spare. Pete Davies on the other hand chose to take his VW camper cross country and skirted around the barrier. We just waited patiently for it to be raised. 
With the large number of heats to be run on the main hill for other disciplines we were under pressure to get things on the GS hill finished by 1 o’clock so that the chicane that links the two hills could be opened up for the downhill racing.  A fairly gusty head wind was blowing as the practice session got underway and it showed little sign of abating when the actual racing began. Times fluctuated with the wind conditions and riders soon began choosing their optimum moment to launch themselves from the ramp in an attempt to shed valuable tenths of a second from their times. Vincent’s first run had been clean and super quick his 21.56 became the time to beat. Louis came close with 22.15 but picked up two cone penalties, each cone penalty added .2 of a second. Mmedo put in 22.66 but like his Pavel teammate he also picked up cone penalties – four in all! Joe Baldwin was really going for it, after his first run he opted for the Lycra suit in an attempt to shave a few seconds off his previous time and it worked – he put in a clean run 22.16. On his final run he pulled out all of the stops and went for broke, swapping his conventional helmet for a streamlined downhill one but ended up putting in a marginally slower time? Try as he might Louis was struggling to run clean and in the end had to settle for his first run time with the two cone penalties making his final time 22.55.  So it was then that Vincent added the GS crown to the Hybrid one that he had picked up on Saturday, Joe took second place, Louis 3rd and Victor (22.59) just edged Mmedo (22.63) into 5th place.
Jim “Nutsac” Parry Jones Stylin’ through the GS
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

Dobie – Style is everything.
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

Victor Martensson blazing on the Hog Hill Tarmac
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

Victor’s Teammate David Berntsson getting a taste of the Hog Hill GS course
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

Is it the Green Goblin? No it’s Lycraman Joe Baldwin – Look out Sam!
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó

Going round the bend – he led with his 1st run time the eventual winner of the Hogtoberfest GS Vincent .
Photo by Rooster Josh Szabó
At the prize giving ceremony there were special awards of Cult Wheels to both Polina and Scott for their performances in the weekends competition, Dobie was awarded a set of Road Rider wheels for “Best Beef” at Summer Swine Stomp and a D Street complete was awarded to Andy Turner for “Services to the UKSSA”. He has transported the ramps to Hog Hill throughout the year as well as providing his netbook at short notice to use for the Hybrid timekeeping which save a lot of grief.
 As ever a massive thank you goes out to Michael Stride and Octane Sport for their support of all things slalom.
Big Thanks Dept. –  DAS Industries – Timmy, Hannah and Louise for all of their hard work both behind the scenes and throughout the weekend, to Andy “Transit” Turner, Nigel “Fingers” Allgood for assistance with timing, Mmedo “Chalk” Duffort and Louis “String” Selby for course setting and Paul “Wires” Coupe for help with the timing system and to all of the usual suspects for mucking in and getting things moving – many hands make light work!
Thanks also to all of our  uber generous sponsors; everyone at Kryptonics, Half Dead Skateboards – Lee Bryan and UK Rep Stewart Savage, Seismic Skate Systems – for the Race Spreadsheets, Van Dem/Lush/Cult, Shiner & D Street Longboards, Mindless Longboards, One Tree and all of our other brilliant supporters.
St John’s Ambulance – London Region for patching people up, Ian Coles and all of the wonderful staff at Redbridge Cycling Centre for continuing to welcome us back, Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning, The Camp Clean Up Squad for doing such a good job on the hut that deposit actually came back this time!, to Lyn and Richard Case for use of the stable for ramp storage and last but by no means least to all of you wonderful people that came and took part – thank you.
 Hogtoberfest Slalom Results
A Group
  1. Vincent Tanguy
  2. Louis Selby
  3. Mmedo Duffort
  4. Victor Martensson
  5. Ben Williams
  6. John Nicholas
  7. David Berntsson
  8. Richard Searle

B Group
  1. Cyprien Dumont
  2. Paul Coupe
  3. Trevor Baker
  4. Andy Turner
  5. Dobie Campbell
  6. Graham Driver
  7. Alec Brown
  8. Scott Hayman
  9. Alfie Osborne
  10.  Trevor Hickey
  11.  Mark Phelps
  12.  Luke Baxter
  13.  Dill Hill
  14. Polina Fokicheva
  15. Gavin Palfrey
  16. Chris Skalowske

Giant Slalom
  1. Vincent Tanguy 21.56
  2. Joe Baldwin 22.16
  3. Louis Selby 22.55
  4. Victor Martensson 22.59
  5. Mmedo Duffort 22.63
  6. Ben Williams 23.69
  7. David Berntsson 24.57
  8. John Nicholas 24.68
  9. Richard Searle 24.69
  10. Paul Coupe 25.25
  11. Seb Price 25.34
  12. Andy Turner 25.80
  13. Chris Charalambous 25.88
  14. Trevor Hickey 26.00
  15. Paul Borrell 26.43
  16. Jim Parry Jones 26.46
  17. Dill Hill 26.76
  18. Gavin Palfrey 26.83
  19. Alec Brown 26.91
  20. Dobie Campbell 27.30
  21. Scott Hayman 27.74
  22. Chris Skalowske 27.98
  23. Alfie Osborne 28.68
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Thank You Posts - Venues

Without venues we'd all be stood outside a starschmucks in Romford picking our noses and wondering what to do. Having us back every year means we can do what we love, so thanks to these guys:

Hog hill is called hog hill due the the ancient name of the hill as documented on the OS map I have on a shelf somewhere.
It's actually called Redbridge Cycle Centre.

It normally looks a little like this...
Originally built for Olympic cyclists to practice without hitting manhole covers, cats, cars or your gran crossing the road. Them lovely slalom guys hired it out for a weekend some time in 2010 and we've been going back ever since. It's a fantastic venue, and we really appreciate being allowed to go back time and time again to do our thing and confuse cyclists. Huge credit goes to Sylvia and co in the cafe for keeping us safe and fed all weekend.

We couldn't do more than one day on the track without a campsite, and after numerous lost deposits and issues over the years, Lambourne End have hosted us again, and gave us another chance to prove ourselves. 
With great effort, everyone got it clean and we got our deposit back!!!! (see volunteers post!)
If you're stuck for a charity to donate to, Lambourne End, alongside being a campsite, is a charity that works with kids and adults of all abilities and disabilities as an outdoor activity centre. Any donations are greatly appreciated, and we thank them for letting us stay!

This was on their website. Someone stole their chickens. Why?! Who even does that? I can understand raiding maryland chicken after a few too many cans of stella, but live chickens?! How drunk do you have to be before that's a good idea...

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Thank You Posts - volunteers

So now I've had time to catch up on the hours of sleep I've missed, here's the first of many blog posts getting you all up to speed on all the deets of what went down.

These events wouldn't happen without you guys, the riders, being involved and dedicated, but to lay on events for you we need a ton of volunteers:

First, a huuuge thankyou to the campsite volunteers: we got our deposit back for the hut so you guys have done an amazing job on the tidying front: especially
Sabina, Lizzie, Alfie, Ed, Ben
But also all those others who mucked in. This is the first time in YEARS we've got it back, so a very sincere thank you!

Secondly thankyou to the sign up desk crew: Hannah, Louise for their work all weekend, Richie and Lana for their Saturday shift. Louise and Hannah don't even skate, so we're really lucky they put up with us and lend a hand.

Third, for all the regular volunteers: Brianne Collective (Tom, Ry, Cam, Robbie) for helping out all over, Tiarna, Dan, Louis, Andy driving the slalom ramp van, Dan ravenhall and Vince for being there just in case, and Luca for doing finish line duty with Lana.

Finally, Harry Phelps, Jamie Tharp, Jorge Higgins for being most vocally judgemental for all style based stuff and for starting racers, and of course Mmedo, Louis, the absent Sam and the fantastic Rob Ashby for the slalom organising

More to come this week!

Slide jam prep.  Credit: Josh Szabo

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Shops Spotlight! Surf n' Turf, LBUK, Octane, Newtons

We've got four shop sponsors this time around; Octane Sport and Newton's turning up to flog you gear on the day, and Longboards UK and Surf'n'Turf supporting from a distance through some gear

The only one of the four not based in London, Surf n turf offer awesome value and things like mystery boxes. Keeping prices down by having a few select products works well at restaurants, and the chefs at Surf n turf have done just that with their gear. Check them out and show some love to the newest of the four shops. We're getting wheels and an omen Deck from them, whoop!

Longboards UK are a solid bricks and mortar shop, in the middle of Camden! There's a lot of "are bricks'n'mortar shops outdated?" questions flying around these days, but having been in there on a regular day, they do a TON of passing trade. If we want to grow the scene and get people involved, we need to concentrate on hooking non-skaters into the scene; something physical shops do fantastically well because the boards are right there on a rack, in real life, for all to see. Kudos to these guys for supporting Hog Hills over the years. If you're in London, swing by and say hi; the guys are friendly and it's great to see future riders getting hyped on boards they can pick off a shelf and actually have a stand on. Thanks to these guys, we also have the manny pads to add to the ramps at hog.

Octane Sport boss man Michael Stride started off with the slalom crowd back in the hazy past before the arts council cared about southbank and there was no internet to distract you from actually skating. Boasting a cornucopia of products, Octane caters for every discipline, from Roger Bros. visors through to silly long bolts for your slalom board, if you can think of it Stridey's probably got it.
Octane also keep the slalom guys accurate with timing gear an fast using the ramps. Thanks for supporting the sport over the years!

With a focus on the downhill/freeride side of the scene, Alex and chums keep up to date with all the trends and gear through the Newton's Family - their extensive team of some of the best UK longboarders continually testing all the gear they sell. A few unique brands, such as One Tree, means you've definitely got a reason to check them out on the weekend, and if not hit up their website and see what you can find.

Signup details and full pricing in the registration tab

Signup details and full pricing in the registration tab
Signup details and full pricing in the registration tab