IGSA WC Newton’s Nation – Bathurst, AUS

IGSA WC Newton’s Nation – Bathurst, AUS

Mt Panorama, I love you. Just not in the rain…

Bathurst was awesome this year. It was good to be back on the track and push hard. My setup hasn’t changed since I did the speed record and it feels flippin’ great! I was able to charge the whole course. On Friday I was practicing and slowly learning my limits on the track. We had one timed qualifying run to do that day.

Finishing up practice I felt good but wanted to push harder. When it came to put in a timed run I was confident but not as good as I knew I could be. I qualified 2nd and was quite happy with that. A few times I got scared when people pulled really fast times just bellow mine like Patrick Switzer! Dalua got me in the end and he was riding solid and threw down one crazy late footbrake, and I mean LATE!

Now I haven’t explained the new format that was adopted this year but it was so-so. It had a major flaw which I knew it had as soon as I heard someone explain it but gave it the benefit of the doubt that maybe they had something to deal with it. We would get one timed run that seeded a racing bracket of odds and evens. All the odd numbers in one half and the evens in the other half. Question. Do the two halves ever meet? You know to find and actual winner? No.

The racing part of the qualifying madness would only allow the 1st place qualifier to get first and the 2nd place to get second. But hey, isn’t the 3rd place qualifier on the same side as the 1st place qualifier? Yes he is! That’s means that placing 3rd in the timed run is better than placing 2nd?!?! Problem! I thought it was unfair the first time I heard it and there was no final heat to bring the two sides together. They just left it at that. The odd side ranked 1, 3, 5, 7…. in positions was just filled in with the odd side 2, 4, 6, 8… to fill in the numerical sequence 1, 2, 3, 4…

So, I won all my racing heats on the even side and could only get 2nd place. There was no way that I could reach first place qualifier. Now this is where I also wish they had a final….it rained Sunday! We could have potentially had a legitimate race with results from Saturday to substitute for Sundays bad weather. Instead, the race ran in the wet. But I am getting ahead of myself.

On Saturday we also ran a bonus timed run for $1000. The top 10 riders from Friday were put to the test to push harder and fight for the pride in the fastest line down the hill! The order was in reverse with the fastest last so I was 2nd last to go. I was feeling amped and totally psyched to give it another shot. During the race heats and practice earlier that day I dialed in my line through the dipper and couldn’t wait to prove to myself I had more guston in me!

I pushed off well and flew straight through the dipper awaiting the forest elbow. Coming into the footbrake zone for the elbow I straight up choked. I broke hard and somehow when re-applying my foot to my board, I ate it and smoked the ground knee first! Damn it! Oh well, there’s always Sunday! No. Stupid rain. I try to force myself to adopt the “other side” mentality to include rain riding as a skill set to have, but it doesn’t work. No matter how hard I try I refuse to accept that racing in the rain is a valid form of racing. It’s too slow and there is no pushing the limit like when it is dry! I just hate it!

Sunday morning there was a vote to see if the race ran in the dry and I never stuck around for it. I just made my vote known, as I had already made my decision, to the organizers and left (it was still pouring at this point). Supposedly the non-majority favored rain riding and so the race was approved… I was kinda bummed but I wasn’t going to risk my knee from the crash the day before and travelling with only one board I wasn’t ready to have it get water logged for the next two races.

Kevin won the event defending his title and won his 10th race of the year! Congratulations Kevin! The rain continued to come down for the remaining days of my stay in Australia. I suppose it’s time to look the other way now and get excited for Cape Town and the ever growing lank kiff scene down there! Cheers Mate, Hey Bru!