The Butcher and the Duck went down to Chicksands at the weekend for the annual Chicksands Club race. The Duck took some great photos and the Butcher raced his bike. But luckily James Renwick was also at Chicky so has sent us a race report, here it is:
Chicksands October 19.
End of season race report
As usual, Chris Roberts and the guys at Chicksands had put a lot of effort into getting things running smoothly, from the track to the new pro-gate. It has to be said; this new club owned gate is the best I've ever used. It goes down so hard and fast, Madonna would struggle to keep up.
Not everything went to plan though, having not had time to get my 118 outfit the previous day, I could no longer parade around like a fancy dressed tit on race day, leaving it to my riding to get me noticed. Needless to say, nobody noticed.
That was not the case for a few of the local lads. With Spank's new rider Elliot Simmons out of the running due to an incident with my back brake, it was down to Big Max, Stephen Simms, Billy Evans and a few others to get their rad out. It was not going to be easy for them though, with a good turn out by top riders from all over the country, including Dale Russell, Lewis Lacey, Scott Roberts, Tom Knight, and some emo kid called Harvey who had a load of style.
As ever, the vibe was very chilled with a laid back family atmosphere, not to mention a few groupies, and a fantastic turn out of yummy mummies. It was a warm, sunny day, one of those that you'll think back to with a smile, as the winter unleashes itself over the coming months.
Practice went well and to schedule, despite the strangest display of lemming like attempts at the infamous 28ft "Triple" towards the end. It seemed everyone was determined to bean themselves on this monster jump during the final few minutes of practice. Surprisingly, everyone survived unscathed, despite one lad's rear wheel being blown to pieces.
We were limited to just three motos due to the lack of daylight hours. For me at least this added a little pressure and spiced things up a bit.
The first couple of moto results didn't throw up a great deal of surprises, with Liam Munn, Tom Knight, Isaac Mundy and Suzanne Lacey spanking the opposition in nearly every moto. Lewis Lacey and Tom Dowie had a particularly intense moto, with Tom doing all he could to get round Lewis' snaking rear wheel, only to be closed out at the last.
Results were not however as predictable as they were in this year's NPS. Big Stephen Simms was getting faster in every moto in Seniors, pulling out huge winning margins. Billy Evans, racing for the first time on 26", with gears was launching the triple and bringing it home in Youth. Max Lenthal on the other hand had put in some solid performances in the NPS this year, securing fourth place overall in Junior. However, he clearly had no intention of coming home in fourth this time round. Having ridden trails for the past two years, this boy is making a few more established 4X riders very nervous. He also does a mean gangster impression.
Quarter final time and everyone had settled into their stride. All the big names were through and looking focused. Liam Munn tore past me leading out his quarter, so it came as some surprise when I was told he'd crashed out on the last jump, having pulled a super flat table and not got it back in time. Christian Hatcher, having mashed his gears on the start straight, fought his way back into second, despite a valiant effort to take him out by my good self. Sean Hanson was doing his thing in Vets, looking fast and controlled, and Billy, Max and Suzanne kept on winning.
By finals time, the riders were clearly in death or glory mode. Suzanne Lacey saw off World Junior Downhill Champ Katie Curd, taking the win while clearing the triple as smooth as you like. Jack Hall had been riding well all day, taking the win in Youth, with local boys Billy Evans and Alec Barnet coming in second and third respectively.
Lewis Lacey took it home in elite, with Tom "Hopalong" Dowie getting second place, despite a load of metal in his ankle. Isaac Mundy blitzed Juvenile on his battered old Specialized Hardrock. Can somebody please give this kid a frame before the old Spesh crumbles under his radness.
Stephen Simms had it wrapped up in the Senior final, clear of second place Dale Russell, he made an unnecessary blocking move on the penultimate corner and went down hard. Dale took the win, followed by Tom Knight, riding Senior's for the first time, and Tom Gethin in third. Stephen's riding was immense all day, and if he gets a full season next year, there is no reason why he shouldn't clean up.
Junior's only ever had one winner, Max Lenthal. At 6ft 4" and built like a brick **** house, if this boy gets out in front, the chances are you won't get passed him. Harvey styled his way into second, followed by Scott Roberts and Ross Hammond.
George Roth took the win in Masters while Keith Wilson did his thing in Vets. Interestingly a guy called Billy Stupple came fourth in Vets. Is this the same Billy Stupple of the mid 80's, known for his ability to air out of a bowl like no other? An old school BMX name, there were a few, more mature riders stoked to see their childhood hero doing his thing.
Moments worth mentioning include, Snapped Sam and Grant Wilkinson racing with broken arms (in cast), Chris Bradbury riding the heaviest 4X bike known to mankind, Liam Munn for being himself and most importantly, the large turnout of Sprogs. There were twelve in total, with their super skinny wheeled cruisers, showing incredible amounts of skill. It was fantastic to see such a turn out and such a high level of riding, with the top two, Ben Turner and Max Taylor going big and getting rad. These little fellas could teach some of the older riders some serious skills.
In all, it was an awesome end of season race, with plenty more to come. Chicksands is always evolving and improving, with talk of Dual Slalom races afoot, but only once the track has undergone its modification. And what of the 4X track? I won't spoil the surprise…
Photos: The Duck.
4x mountain bike race report and photos from Chicksands