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Unofficial Hardtail Champs, Gawton dirt 1.04 track.

Unofficial Hardtail Champs, Gawton dirt 1.04 track.

Iain Woodley

Oh yes, back again, late season this year,  down at Gawton on the Super-Tavi track,  aka the dirt 1.04 on Sunday 12th September 2010.

Unofficial Hardtail Championships

So the deal then,  Hardtail is not a proper race class here in the UK,  officially we dont exist, there is no BC/UCI Hardtail race class, therefore we are unlicensed , mostly unsponsored ,  unprofessional racers.  After feeling shut out we got into the 07 National champs at Rheola and it’s gone on from there.  No frills bikes,  some riders that are proper animals, maybe some beer and a chance to sort out an Unofficial ranking.  Maybe some prizes, maybe not, but a get together to rip down some hill, have a laugh and work out who is the biggest animal on a bike.


As things stand the Hardtail class is run as, aged 14-100 male or female and a hardtail, thats it,  one big happy family nice and easy to manage,  there can only be one champ male or female.  I add to this event that anyone who races DH or 4X at World Cup level is NOT ELIGIBLE to take the title of Unofficial Champion,  you are most welcome to lay down a time and race, but will not be up for the title,  lets face it,  if your doing world cups you ain’t an unofficial type,  then again one of the animals might beat you anyway :)

As this year is also the dirt 1.04 then i will do an unofficial HT leader board, which will be for anyone,  maybe some beer for the fastest HT 1.04 time,  one for the worldcuppers there.  (i belive the world cup is over when this race is on, so we might see some proper professional types at a loose end) 

The rules of racing and equipment are those set by the host venue, they have final say in all matters, check there website for armour requirements, and make sure your bike is raceable and have bar end plugs in, the rules apply to everyone.  Me and Deakin cant race in the jackets as they have studs in,  rules is rules ( i might de-stud for this).

There will be practice on Saturday 11th,  racing and practice is PUSH UP.  Race day is £25 all booking and entry for the race is via www.woodlandriders.com the host venues main website.   And a day ticket for Saturday is £5 this can be booked and got from www.dartmoorcycles.co.uk anyone caught without a day pass on Saturday will be chucked off site,  all information and directions can be found on these 2 sites along with info on where to camp out.

I am only making this happen by hi-jacking,  myself and www.hardtailnation.co.uk have no official involvement or control over the track. we have no part in booking or other arrangements.   This race is Round 3 of the Gawton summer series.

Think that covers most of it,  as yet i have not been to or ridden the track,  i belive the track is rideable by anyone, and the big jumps have chicken runs,  maybe more for the experienced riders this year, but still ride-able.   I was talking last year about fort william,  didn’t think to many would be up for that, maybe save the world cup track for later… a few people tried to get me to use Gawton last year, but i felt woodland riders needed more time to settle in and they hadn’t raced it.  I was thinking of going to the midlands this year, but when Chaz got in touch and asked me,  well it would be rude to say no,  and it’s the first time someone has asked if we want to race,  for some strange reason some venues are scared of us and wont let us in.  Add to that the dirt connection and things get exciting (maybe they will come down and race or send Billy) with the ongoing 1.04 times being set by pros,  well we get to compare times against World cuppers…how close can we get…will we scare them,  i know some of you out there cant wait to have a go.048_1

the current Champ, the man mountain that is the Deakinator,  aka Ben Deakin.049_1

Andy Payne on the left in 3rd place riding a Curtis.  Deakin was on a Ex Atherton 4x commencal race bike and on the right is Ben Baker in 2nd place, he was on a Spank puff, this was also Bens first race since getting the all clear from a broken neck and he can be found at World Cups riding for Astrix and Axo.


Special mention goes to Clair Lloyd, the first female racer we have had in the unofficial champs,  as i make things up as we go there is a Queen Bee prize for fastest girl (not worldcuppers)  Clair had a good go at the track, the shiny dmr trailstar got cartwheeled a few times but she just got back on and got going again, no fuss no drama…. unlike some of the blokes, apart from the ones that went to hospital that is.

So there you go,  find a hardtail, come race, ditch the susser never know you might enjoy it.  I am now going to go on the scrounge and try to rustle up some prizes,  top 3 will get a trophy to keep and the Champions jacket might change hands for a year or will Deakin keep hold of it.  Wait and See.

  1. WAKi

    You guys should come to Poland on one of the races. Hardtail DH is pretty developed here. Some guys come close to first DH 10 elite racers. Could be great to see the clash of two HT Dh cultures :)

  2. torico

    payne has snapped his curtis and will be riding bounce from now on me thinks. could persuade husky to come out of HT retirement, might give the deakinator a run for his money.

  3. Olly P

    Well Done Claire!

  4. ace

    Ha ha would love to come to Poland, would have to get a passport first though. Good to hear HT is strong overseas and not just british maddness (some say the yanks dont get it)and it’s good to hear your HT’s are close to the sussers, happens here now and then, not many riders can pull it off, but it’s something else to watch when they do.
    Thought Payne was in love with a dialled prince albert ! reckon he might race, would be good to see Husky in action again on the HT, bigger question is would anyone lend him a bike :)
    Claire was great at last years race, girls are always welcome to race with us, racing needs more girls. Maybe Claire will drop in again with some mates.

  5. billy

    I’d love to come and race/crash/film, going through a tricky time at the mo but we’ll see.

  6. ace

    Billy, if you cant make it can you send some of your world cup mates over. I promise we will play nicely with them.
    Be good to see you race again, get out of the office an all that, i will try and arrange a vist to dirt HQ and rob your store cupboard for stickers and stuff, i will bring cake.

  7. Gaz

    mmmmmmmmm, wouldn’t mind a blast at this, raced hardtail at inners at the start of the year (while waiting for my transition tr450) and really enjoyed it.

  8. Leon

    Be sure to get tons of footage of this guys , I can’t wait to watch the chaos theory in full effect

  9. Jacob Gibbins

    there is a very good chance i will be down shooting the race

  10. Tom Hill

    Top work Clair!

  11. Sceptic

    I try not to be rude when I say that ‘Hardtail Class’ is surely a sort of sandbagging to a certain degree. OK so some of you guys can’t afford a full dh rig or maybe have a weird obsession with hardtails but I reckon a fair few just want to stand on a podium a lot easier than in senior or any other category for that matter. Of course the UCI/BC don’t have a hardtail class, how ridiculous. The guys that win would be s**t hot on a DH bike but just lost amongst the masses of talent we have already. Have fun but don’t expect to be taken seriously.

  12. hnscv

    Here in Czech republic we have Hardtail category in Czech DH cup. Here`s a little video of mine friend who was third in 2009 Nationals (flated rear in last third of the track) and third in 2010 Nationals (month and half after he broke his collarbone with wires still in) HT action starts at 1:10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBID56m6FjU&feature=related

  13. specialneedz

    Hardtail DH is awesome, yea it’s a bit of a niche, but if you can’t afford a fully and/or are prepared to smash yourself riding HT I think you deserve to be recognised.

  14. jack bennett

    well in deaks ripping it up on the hard tail,

    but come on dude leave your uniform at work (nice shorts)

    in fact you have forgot what work is these days

    bloody BOOT NECKS

  15. chris

    it clashes with the chicksands 4x, the final round of the nps series. i think more people would come, icluding myself, if you could change the date by a week either way! =D it sounds amazing though, i think they should have a hardtail category at every race. good luck!

  16. Jamazepam

    Nice to see some Hardtail news for a change. Not enough of it getting in Dirt mag these days. Its all full sus this, full sus that. Billy, get back to writing your hardtail column! @Sceptic, its not all about getting on “a” podium mate. Sometimes its just about doing something different. Each to there own an all that!

  17. Andy G

    Sceptic, if you think most HT DH racers want to be taken seriously then you couldn’t have missed the point more. Did you read the article above!? Who cares why some people want to race HT and not full sus? Who cares who takes any notice?

    Regardless of what anyone says to you on here, the only way you’ll ever understand is if you grab a HT, get down there and race. Only, make sure you let us know who you are so we can find you when you get “lost amongst the masses” of HT tallent come race day.

  18. ace

    Sceptic will of course race and win the Champs :) wont you it’s easy.
    Fair comments, clues in the write up though, like i am from hardtailnation.co.uk :)
    As for sandbagging podium hunters ! you really dont get it. In hardtail you are racing all ages, i am close to Vets but race against masters/seniors/juniors/youth, and you think thats easy, is that why BC tucks you away in a age related group so you cant get beaten to the podium by someone younger and better than you, or worse a teenage girl might beat you.
    We will have to agree to disagree, you dont understand the point of it, but lots of us do and we aim to have shit loads of fun, you are most welcome to drop in and have a go.
    Never forget that the bulk of global bike sales are cheap hardtails, remove that and what will fund the niche market of DH race bikes, we may never be taken serious now days, time and technology have moved on, from 50’s clunkers to carbon monocoques in about 30 years, what will come next !
    Live a little, have a go, might make you smile, and just think how good your susser will feel afterwards.
    Everyone is welcome in hardtail, we take anybody.

  19. ace

    At Chris.
    Ha Ha, i get asked to change the dates every time, it’s not easy finding a host venue/race to hi-jack and it all happened a bit late this year. I couldnt say no to Gawton and Chaz cant change the dates
    As to hardtail class in racing, well it’s out there, not all series still run it. Expect to find it at local level and some of the bigger regional races, depends where you are, it’s run down south by the UKbikepark, Kustombikes, Woodlandriders, i think the 661 mini DH series have it, the dragons where scary awesome in HT the Welsh love it, try MIJ events at Taff Buggy, i suspect it will return with the WDMBA, sure Borderline events run HT too.The Caersws cup run it (did i spell that right) The Fort William Enduro run an unofficial class that isnt on the website, Hardtail came 4th overall there this year, bet Sceptic could beat him. Really depends where you are, seek and you shall find, we are out there.

  20. ace

    At Hnscv.
    Thats the stuff, get out there and rip. Just watched your youtube link, thats a big drop your mate pulls off in that film, maybe i wont come over and race you look to good :)

  21. billy

    Ace, I was down at Gawton yesterday…crikes almighty…Super Tavi on a hardtail will be bonkers! HSD is more like it at my age!

  22. ace

    Well i might get to the race at the weekend on HSD, figure i should really check out super-tavi while i am there.
    The race is only 2 runs, are you implying it might be harder than that fort william track i like :)
    Well if you cant make it Billy send us some of your worldcup mates to play with, i know some of the gang would love to go head to head with them…

  23. Sceptic

    If you’re accepting of everyone then why exclude WC racers?

    As I said before, if you’re good on a bike then you’re good on a bike, who the hell cares if you’re on a hardtail. Isn’t Ben Deakin winning proof of this?

    Don’t get me wrong, I respect you guys, a lot, I love riding my hardtail, but it really doesn’t deserve a race category. If you don’t care then why feel the need to rank those with inadequete bikes seperately. Oooh you ride a hardtail, great, ride a full sus and go even faster. You might have to accept coming 30th and not 3rd though..

  24. Chaz

    Supertavi is a tough track but it has been riden by loads of hardtails. My son is only 15, been riding for 2, 1/2 years now and Supertavi was his second track to be ridden just after joinign woodlandriders 2 years ago. But it is a hard track to master, I havent managed it yet lol!

  25. Luker

    Love this idea. We need more hardtail racing. Don’t know why sceptic’s getting so het up…

  26. ace

    The clue is in the name i think.
    Mr Sceptic will argue the toss over whatever answer he is given, i thought it was simple, HT is unofficial, WC racers are about as official as your going to get. And why argue the point that it will never be Official, thats a different topic altogether. Although i am sure you will find some arguement over that.
    I guess he wont be racing then, maybe sceptic cant stand anyone having fun.
    Although i am thinking it’s all a wind up from a faceless real-nameless keyboard warrior :)
    Going to try and get some more prizes sorted so will leave Mr Sceptic to run riot, maybe i find getting people into having a go and race more important than internet trolls, Billy warned me to expect some sooner or later, the joy of a comment box.


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