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    Hopkin Skate Blog — Cameron Kite

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    The Wild West Outlaw

    The Wild West Outlaw

    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.

    IGSA Mt Keira World Cup day one videos

    Here are a few videos from Day one practice session. Simple phone videos with Jacko voice overs. The track was wet, it was slippery. The days results are up on ASRA. Louis Pilloni was the fastest today followed by P Swiss. Best placed Aussie is Ben Hay sitting third. Yatesy is 9th and Cam is 17th. Lea is the top placed woman qualifier and is sitting 56th in the open which damn fine for her first IGSA race! Hopkin Racing team has never been better placed in a world cup event. Adam Yates, Mischo, Dalua and Switzer all cruise past in this practice run. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 practice  Steez corner followed by faceplant and Tony Graves inspecting the haybales. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 practice with Tony Graves Rob McWhinnie shows us how to crash into the haybales. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 practice with Rob McWhinnie  Louis Pilloni shows us the right way to crash into hay bales. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 and crashing with Louis Pilloni

    NZ Tour 2012: man down in a game changing crash

    Words by Yatesy DAY 5 How to put this. best place ever. Yeah Julia for hookin us up with the hell pad. such a comfy base called home even if it was for a few days, ur home was ours and we treated it as such!! Journey north to Ruapehu. what a day. the crew hit the road early with the kitchen a cookin in town of wellington. best bakery pie and sanga combo ever and a quick stop over for the boys to get rugged up at campers paradise before the journey to Mordor! Best way to describe the trip is one of Gabes earlier photos. A to B on NZ roads- allow more time. We certainly took the long way and that was no more pronounced than the drive that took us through Rimutaka Mountain Pass. Wet as hell, bendy as and just as tight as a rich man's wallet. A lil too gnar to turn wheels so enjoy we did from the comfort of the IMAX. Man this truly was the country of Hobbits eh. Furns, Waterfalls and all things mondo kuzzi styles. All we needed was a few Kiwis and Moa's to be shreddin the shit with us. Co pilot for the journey Benbro and I felt the need to share the stoke with a Tui or two. oioi! Ok so now we'd been driving for the best part of 6 hours and all everyone wanted to do was turn wheels and get hella pitted on Mt Ruapehu. Stopped at a gas station to fill up and get our munch on as its been a SAFE journey as always. Can never be too safe eh. Especially on roads your unfamiliar with. I asked the Luvvi at the gas station what the mountain was doin. her reply was " see that cloud au, its behind there and blowing like mad bro" haaaaaa. again. too much chur bro kuzzzi tafe eh!! Anyways, full of treats but slightly devod we journeyed into the sun of the afternoon to look upon Mordor and its heavy clouds. booooooo. Benbro was shattered. I was too. I'm sure just quietly everyone wanted to see all its glory, not hidden behind the weather. Turn right into the Whakapapa Village and Mordor was there in all her glory. Still she had a cover of cloud on the lid but the landscape was that of the moon. Rocks and nothing but lumps and bumps. So to the road. Butter pavement again and NO straights, just mondo turn after hectic hell super grip fun as f&ck turns yo!! Thing I've been leaving out is the wind! Try in the ball park of 50-60knt ( 120-130k/p/h) and blowing down her tight tidy curves. After a few runs down with the boys, Gabe, Benbro, Jack, Bondi, Myself and Luca all had our jedus running full tilt. Nothing sets off the flow than skidding down one of the most epic roads in the world with a tailwind of 120kms?? CRAZY??? Stayed at the top of Ruapehu in some dorms that Bodhi and Speedy hooked up. Mate, hats off to u two. U really got the Crew sorted in some hell accommodation. Anyone thinking of N-tense D-centz tour for 2013, DO IT. GET ER DONE EH!!!! these boys run it proper. Hell feed cook up by Kuzzi Ash, rounds of beer pong and some beats, need less to say it was good times! DAY 6 --- DAY 1 of the N-tense D-centz It was to be an early rise with the excitement of a whole day of sk8in Mt Ruapehu. the whole crew were buzzing. the conditions were sunny and dry but still hella windy. Not the intensity of the previous afternoon but the gusts were still ferocious none the less. A quick bite to eat and a stretch and punters were getting stoked and it wasn't long before the call was made. Speedy got us into gear and Bodhi warmed the bus. Here it was, Day 1 of the tour and what a place to be. Standing with all ya buddies on top of a volcano, stoked on the ride ahead. An unfortunate turn of events was just around the next bend, literally. As I stated earlier, the gusts were violent and the unpredictable nature of them was to be the undoing of my brother, a true soldier, Jacko Shapiera. As he puts it, he was coming into the top section not really feeling it. He didn't feel comfortable and as he took a long sweeping left turn, a violent gust held him off his apex and forced him to put it into a slide with no chance of controlling the apex and eventually drifting into oncoming traffic. Lucky for Jack that the driver had seen the events unfolding on the road in front and slowed nearly to a stop, minimising impact. I was around 150 metres behind and didn't see the impact but to come around the bend to see ya wingman looking back at ya - words were not needed here to know how he was feeling and the unfortunate result of the accident. A true professional as always, Jacko controlled himself in a manner that was a lil un-natural. He was calm. Portraying himself as a professional, even under these unforgiving circumstances. The 1st response team for the mountain were quick in getting a splint on and the particular things they do in an emergency. They called St Johns and he was off to hospital for x-rays and a cast. This wasn't the final trip for the man today. A total of 3 and a half hours in the back of ambulances, 15mgs of morphine and 4 bottles of what the docs call " jungle juice" and we were at Hamilton and Waikato Hospital. After being emitted into the E and A, Jack went in for surgery to re-correct a sever compound fracture to the Tibia/Fibia bones of his right lower leg. I cannot begin to describe the emotion that we shared on the way to the hospital. Words sometimes are just for those involved. I will say, I love Jacko like a brother, he's like blood. Kindred. This was to be a massive year for Jackson Shapiera and to have it all taken away in one powerful stroke from the hand of god just seems cruel. There must be different plan for Jacko this year. Whatever it may be I'm sure it will be GREAT and to say that Jacko will be a serious contender when he gets back from rehabilitation is a warning to the world. This guy does things right and usually gets what he wants. Bro, anything, anytime. U holla at ya wingman eh! Open letter from Rob and Maga McWhinnie to Jacko Maga: Accidents are going to happen, its all part of the sport and the risky life style we live. It could happen to you or the person you love the most. Jacko my friend, you are probably surprised and devo'd, from my experience I can tell you time flies, if you keep yourself busy and open to opportunities, wounds heal if you give them the right care and when some doors close many others open for more positive adventures. Acostambo got Rob and me closer and we had the trip of a life time, Rob became a talented filmmaker, I started skating and fell in love with the speed and adventure and we realized that accidents are part of sport but also part of our life. If we decide to learn from them, we could get many other fantastic adventures and grow up in life. Experiences are the direct way to learn and make us wise. love ya jackson, Maga Rob: Jackbro, I'm shocked and still coming to terms with what you've done, I logged online last night to upload a video about returning to Acostambo, where I destroyed my leg years ago and found that you too had destroyed yours, funny timing, I hope you watch the movie and see my perspective, how things like this make and create us and direct our lives. A huge thanks to the rest of the team that helped you to hospital and gave you support when you needed it. I'm sure all of you are a bit rattled by the events and I think a team safety meeting is in order to recap and rethink the year ahead. Jacko you will be dearly missed from Kiera and Newtons. you are our coach and leader and I hope your continue to inspire us and push us to be better riders. See you home soon bro, Rob

    NZ Tour 2012: Day 4

    Before I post the big one, I have to catch up and tell you a tale by Gabe that landed in my inbox. There will be a few posts today, be patient, I'll get to them all in the next hour. It will become apparent fairly quick why there has been no NZ blog posts the last 48 hours. Words by Gabe Gwynne We awoke late on Sunday morning, some had decided to hit the town the night before and it was pretty late in the day before we rounded the whole crew into the van and off to the slide jam that had been mentioned at the race the day before. The prospects were looking good as we rolled up into the suburban estates of North Wellington. But as we neared the top it became apparent that the hill was copping a gnarly headwind....FUUUUUUCK! After a handful of full tuck slide hill runs [yes, you literally had to tuck into each slide] Team Hopkin decided to not be a part of the competition. We chilled and jammed down the hill while the local groms battled it out for domination of the full tuck slide hill. After a solid couple of hours of jamming the hill, the winners were announced. In first place was young Luke Steezy Scott, the kid was killing it all day with his smooth toeside 180's and switch checks. Just behind him with pretty much equal steeze was Ryan MacMillan. Unfortunately we forgot the name of the dude who got 3rd, he was a tiny grom in a red shirt who was ripping mega monkey heel styles down the hill with some serious balls. Whoever you were little grom dude, you were rad! After a few full runs of the estate the jam was held on, we jumped in the van and followed the convoy of cars to a skatepark a few minutes down the road. As we came around the corner and saw the park there was an eruption of frothing and general stoke. I had never seen a park like this before, every single bank had a perfect transition for getting pitted on a longboard. The banks were massive, flowy and smooth and to make it even better there was a goddamn bomb INTO THE PARK! You could pick how far up the hill you wanted to bomb in from for ultimate pittage. After a quick jam I decided to chill in the sun and take some shots of the boys ripping it up - hope you like them!