Written by: Dustin Rudman
Images: Terence Vrugtman
There is definitley some kind of explosion that happens within me when organising and hosting an event. I would say a huge combustion of mixed feelings all giving the mind a run for its money. From doubt to anticipation to excitement to its actually (beeping) happening! Its pretty awsome in the end, especially watching all the fellow riders having the biggest grins on their faces.
This time round the build up a we(eek) before the event was quite chilled, which made me worry quite a bit, there was feeling of, "have I done all that needs to be done". It felt like I had left something important out (turns out I never did). Nevertheless I continued going through the motions as I would normally.
It was Friday! A bunch of us pitched up trackside in the afternoon to do a little track maintenance, bunting and some make shift bridge measurements. We were cut a little short by a thunder storm. Although that was already around 7pm that evening. We at least got the bridge sort of 'designed' (thats a strongly used word right there) and most of the bunting done.
The 5th of December arrived, early start for the crew! Arriving on location Cyril ‘the squirrel’ and I tackled the 'well' designed bridge across the river. We had some KZN boys arrive fairly early too and they offered their assistance in finishing the bunting of the track and sweeping a couple of corners before we kicked things off, this helped a ton. Mikey , Matty, Kelv, Justin and Andron set off to do the honours. Shot a-lot okes! Cyril and I managed to nail this structure together which after the event proved to be well done! Thankfully! With all the structural objectives taken care of I took a stroll up the little hill to have a final check. I was chuffed!
One of my favourite things to observe at these events is the transformation of when I leave the parking/pit area and when I return after my little stroll. It amazes me every time! All of a sudden there was a huge comotion of gazebos being put up , vehicles lining the sides of the road and the eager hussle of riders getting entered! It was a buzz! I could not wait to see the first shuttle load head up and watch the good peeps come down and ask what they thought of the course. There was no need to ask them, I saw a whole lot of smiling going on! Track conditions were perfect, with the rain that fell the night before made for a really grip filled track. However this would not last long as the amount of traffic coming through turned it into super loose and dusty. This did not change the pace of the riders one bit, the pace of them having a jol as well as their riding capabilities! I unfortunately was a little ill so I headed home for a quick power nap, did me wonders, well sort of. I could not resist the temptation of having a couple of rides down the course, i managed to get two practice runs in , one on each track, it was chaos! I had to stop and catch my breath on both runs, not good. I ended up sitting out and watching the rest of the riders enjoy their last couple hours of practice. With practice drawing to an end it was now time to pack up everything and try get an early nights sleep. Pack up we did , early nights sleep , NOT!
Race day, 6th of December!
Rolling on through to the track I was in a super state of anticipation!! With the start gate placed on top of the hill and a little track walk going down I was ready to take on race day with a mighty size grin on my face!!
I made the decision to extend our practice time by a little, I am sure it was much appreciated as it seemed time was on a pace of its own that morning.
It was now time to get down to business. Stokage levels were tipping the scale big time from all riders and spectators, it was so good to see this massive energy happening amongst all. I think this is what makes it all worth it and brings an event together.
First race run went underway with the intensity building on top of the hill. Its all chilled until you get into that start gate and the clock becomes real!! Theres just something about it, so if you reading this and havn't experienced that come and do just that. Be warned its addictive, anyway back to this writing stuff.
There was some close racing going on in the first run which made for a grand second run. Baring in mind both runs were on different tracks. K-Dub (Kelvin Purchase) was on form riding his Pyga Pascoe through the finish line into first place with David Hogan hot on his tail. First lady through was Elja! She was pretty pinned and smoked a number of the gents. Nicely done Elja, makes me worry a bit actually.
After a little break it was now time for the final race run. Doing it all over again on a slightly different track. I decided to give it a go after all riders did their deed, unfortunately i ended up puncturing a quarter of the way down. I reckon the universe helped me out there.
Nevertheless all came down the little hill safely , which is fantastic to see . We decided to hide the final times or try and do so should i say so that it would be a surprise for all the winners. Worked out well i rate. Keeping them on their toes.
While we were sorting the prizes we had a little fun with a Huck To FLAT comp! Basically launching as far as you can go off the wooden launch. It was great fun. Kelvin Purchase nailing the longest jump there! He has the boost of a roo thats for sure. Good going bru!
Drawing to a close it was time for the prize giving with the results as follows...
Top 5 Overall
1. David hogan
2. Kelvin Purchase
3. Frank Meyer
4. Keegan Clarke
5. Andre Pretorius
1. David Hogan
2. Kelvin Purchase
3. Frank Meyer
1. Des Ellis
2. Nic Venter
3. Rob Demont
Ladies( Super impressive! We had a total of 8 ladies, a full podium, awsome job !!!)
1.Elja van Urk
2. Michelle Reynolds
3. Nikki Alvin
4. Sonja Engelbrecht
5. Maude Badenhorst
1. Keegan Clarke
2. Wian Kellerman
3. Matthew Minter
1. Rory Grobler
2. Stepho Brookstein
3. Sean Schlebusch
We had a total of 77 entries, of this 68 raced. If it wasn't for all you guys coming out and giving it a go these events would not be possible, so big high 5 and thanks to all participants and well done!!
There is a lot of organising that goes on behind the scenes so I want to thank all organisers involved in putting this one together, mainly to Laura Minter. Much appreciated.
To our sponsors involved in the event! Man you guys are awsome thanks so much for the support! I hope we can carry this on through to the 2016 season! Yes its going to happen! Dates released soon.
So heres to the sponsors,
RedBull SA, Rapid Studio, Skullcandy, AdventureLife, Shreddtech, G-Form, Five10, Cafe88, Trailhead, Kitted, Westhouse Media. Cheers to all.
A special thanks to Arthur Driver for organising us the big truck for shuttles and to the driver Joseph, thanks so much. It helped a 'ton'!
To Cyril for building the ramp and organising the music, shot man.
To the medics, Quick Response Service, thanks for being there, and looking out for us.
The timing system!! Thanks so much to David Messem and Ryan Heukelman, so good to finally have something that works that well.
All the marshals from Rapid Studio, thanks guys, standing out there in the sun can't be too fun,but your enthusiasm is much appreciated.
All in All, good going to all, see you at the next one!! Keep it tidy