The Wild West Out law In the back country, far from Sydney's busy streets and surrounded by dirt roads, bush land and farms, BenBro and Duddy had found a long sweeping downhill run, starting in butter and ending in chunder. The ideal location for Australia's end of year outlaw to rule all outlaws. Maga has been looking forward to more Aussie races since we got back from the Euro tour mid year, after hitting 3 world cups and mobbing mountain roads like you wouldn't believe, coming home and racing footpaths and alleys just didn't cut it. I've been riding as many different styles as possible lately, moving from board to board, getting out on the my custom DH setup from Fibretec is always a step up, speed and concentration mixed with thrill and risk. The wild west hill would test you on all accounts and with riders travelling from around the whole country to race, it would only take one slip up to possibly ruin your day. When we left on the race morning, we drove up some nasty back road, 4wd stuff, we pushed on and with a little following the nose we came across the butter smooth tar that only teased you at the top of the run. NACCOS where there setting up hay bales and cleaning the track, we pulled up to find Yates, Kam, Duber and the rest chilling on the final corner, big hugs all round and a quick catch up over a safety meeting, Maga wanted to check the gnar hairpin that followed the chunder straight, so we walked up and had a closer look at what would be a pinnacle point of the race, Mustard came hauling through the left hander already getting it dialled, the steep straight into the hairpin had a unskateable entire left hand lane, it was full of craters and forced the riders to use only the right lane, the apex was late into the corner too and with exit speed imperative you had to stay wide and chop it like it was your job.
sector 9 bus captain Bruce de Graf"
The sector9 bus from the hopshop arrived, piloted by bruiser and stack to the rafters with speed hungry groms shitting their pants after seeing the bigboys course they were about to suit up and race on. You wouldn't believe it but I've have never had to race against Maga in a DH, BenBro started the day with a 5 round robin Qualify session that would seed you into a 32man single elim format after lunch, the round robin was a excuses for practice on the hill but also race practice with other riders, 1st round comes and Maga is suited up and ready to race we barely realise that we are in the same heat and it wouldnt be the last for us racing together on the day.
high speed style from Maga
I've got my game face on and so does she, after the push off you pick up speed really fast, its butter smooth and seems to get steeper, the corner drifts left before rallying to the right, you can't see around the corner and grabbing rail your other hand is floating over the inside scrub as you need to keep the line tight, the exit pinches back to the left and after accelerating through the corner you get dragged to the outside edge, trees fly by as you push 80km/h and the g force kicks in as the road comes back up to level, at this moment your fairy tale run ends and a sudden slap in the face with chunder chip seals almost gives you a bleeding nose, you need to hold on and stay in tuck
Kam killing it out in front"
The quicker you can maintain across the rough the better chance you have, the road slowly risers up hill and over a right hand crest, the outside lane, the left lane was smooth around here, and even when racing hard you needed to remember it was faster too. i would have a chance now to get worried about maga. did she really make that? id check behind and have a look and SHIT YES there she was, getting rattled to death on the chunder but still rolling. seeing her mobing hills was enough to stoke me out and calmed me down as i headed into the final section of the run. Shes been progressing well, surprising me and impressing others as she's getting to more and more races and sessioning at freerides.
local shredder Caspian hanging out front while dominating Quals"
After a solid morning session, and a good stack blowing my line around the big left hander and going bush bashing in my leathers, i had qualified equal first with Caspian. Maga Equal 16th with Penny, a solid result and a goal we have been aiming for a while. Making the cut in an OPENs event can be only half the challenge for a aspiring racer, and beating half the field is the way to do it. Benny and his lovely missus and prepared sandwiches and put on a massive esky of beers, water and supplies, the 32 man tree meant everyone got to race, we had barely any traffic and had plenty of time thanks to JackBro being solid on the books and the sector9 bus running smooth. Dejan flying around the final corner while young rippers chase him down
i had made it to the semis, bonus round guys, at this point you have raced all day and its only gonna get better, the first heat was all the grommies, Jayden, Dijon, Kelly and Mail while the second heat was Yates, Kam, Chad and myself. i was stoked on all the Hopkin boys holding tight and still in it, i wasn't really worried about the outcome and knew what happened happens, i trusted everyone to not do anything stupid and the fastest rider would take the win, Kam pushed off hard like a mofo, made me wake up a bit, he was hungry hey, i slipped in behind him and we peaced out on the others until the left hander when Yates tried making a move, but when following me in he was was borked by a mad wobble i got over the inside line and he lost control in the apex, kam was stoked in 1st and had momentum going into the finals, dijan and kelly made it too, so the Finals would be a Hopkin Race Team battle with Yates racing for 5th in the consi. BenBro hosted an awesome event, it was a great moment when i saw his face stoking out on all the boys making the finals, even though i knew he wanted to be here with us he was happy to just cheer us on as the bus drove back up the hill one last time. Lining up against your best of mates is one of the great times in DH racing for me, you spend so much time mobing hills with these guys and jaming out on monster runs its hard not to be stoked when we get a whole race hill to our selves. [caption id="attachment_4333" align="aligncenter" width="618" caption="one very tight run with yates and myself"]one very tight run with yates and myself
I wasnt gonna let Kam beat me off the push this time and dejan has smoked me off the start line before so i had to be ready to attack and take them by surprise. off the push Kam shot off and i had to dig deep to slap the foot down hard and fast, i heard the other guys stop pushing and threw an extra one or two big ones, i had the lead and kam was sniffing my arse, but now i was in the lead i could drive the car, i needed to cover my line and drive it home. as we hit the chunder i felt a small push from kam, i was hoging the smooth lane so he wasnt able to pass, hahahha, we mobed over the crest and now kelly and dejan where both drafting us too, we entered the steep section before the big left hander and dejan came up on kam and gave him a push now kam wasn't going to push me again so he moved up on my outside as we entered the corner, we looked at each other and judged our speed and entry line, i was about to get shafted as he moved in closer so a friendly shove kept us at arm's length, we dove in faster than ever and it was too tight, we were going to lose traction, but who would lose speed? i had some hectic proto type wheels on ,over 100mm contact patch, 75a with 99a core ( thanks Jacko and old mate at S9 ), i had trusted them to not float off and they didnt disappoint, Kam kept drifting and i griped up and ripped it, all the way out to the apex and down to the final right sweeper, Dejan and kelly got bucked off and both dislocated their shoulders some how, shit eh. Kam followed us in and the celebrations began before we crossed the line.
ash maga and alix taking the girls podium.
Maga won the girls too and had a great time doing so, we havnt been so stoked from a race for a very long time and will remember that weekend for a while yet.
hopkin race team, Dejan - Rob - Kam and kelly grom
I'd like to thank BenBro and family, Duds, duber, PC, bruiser, Ryan, jackbro, all of NACCOS and every volunteer that made the event possible also the sponsors that supported the event, Sector9 Australia sent riders down from Qld and forked out $$$ to get Sydney groms to from the race in the event bus. also Otang, Glyde, Oneliner and Hopkin for helping out sponsering the event. and all my personal sponsers especially Fibretec for helping me build a board that i can win races on, Kahalani for trucks when i want to go fast, Riptide Bushings to stay stable and Hopkin Skate for everything else. these are rad days il remember for a long time. all photo credits to Astrid Carey, thank you for donating your time and skill. -Rob.