Wednesday, 21 July 2010

National Champs. AE!

So it came to that time in the year again where everyone flocks to (usually Scotland) for the National Champs. This year it was at Ae Forest in Scotland. Not so bad, only 6 or so hours from me, at least it's not Fort William.
I took up Milky and Dom again, so we left at 11 on Friday, and obviously got stuck in endless traffic jams along the M6 for about 3 hours. Anyway, got to Ae at about 7.30 and walked the track. It looked pretty simple, it was a hardpack top section, hardpack middle section, a little bit of a new bottom section and hardpack bottom bottom section.
We then pitched up the tent and ventured into Dumfries for food, got to KFC and it was closed, then some drunk Scottish guy (what a lad) told us to go to "Jumping Jacks", when we asked him how to get to Burger King. Jumping Jacks turned out to be Dumfreis' biggest night club. So we drove around for another 20 minutes then eventually found a Dominos Pizza.
Got back to Ae at about 11 and pretty much went straight to sleep.
Woke up Saturday morning to pissing rain and no-one felt very pumped to get up the Hill. We waited for a while and it stopped, so me and Milky headed up on the third coach with Rich Thomas, Danny Hart and Scotty Mears.
Got to the top and ran down the hill to get them coming down.
The top section was pretty cool, open and through the heather so some slow-mo "Clay Porter-esque" shots were in order. I met Sam Oakes up there who has walked up (what a weapon!) and we made out way down. I wanted to get most of my shots done on Saturday as I knew that the rain was supposed to come in heavy on Sunday. The weather was alright on Saturday, some heavy rain showers in the morning (which made for some of the raddest shots I've taken!) resulted in out ghetto waterproofing coming out. I went for the plastic bag approach, where Sam went for a plastic shed type idea. Both did the job, not well though.
Saturday night was a ball of laughs. Went up to the freeride section and some of the lad did some big whips and hucks, Joel Anderson was killing it with bigger whips than anyone else. Then we came back and watched a few DVD's in the tent while Jamie from Wideopen got drunk and tripped over his laptop.
We stood around the Andersons 'pits' for a good hour or so and chatted and watched Chaz from Juice Lubes demonstrate how good Brake Juice is at aiding a fire (don't try this at home).
Woke up sunday morning to more pissing rain, and this time it didn't stop. Me and Dom both managed to miss all of the Sunday practice, which meant his first practice run on Sunday was his seeding, and the only shots I got on sunday was seeding and finals. Peaty managed to crash just up from me, meaning he went past me real slow, great, one less shot of the winner. Al Bond stopped in front of me after crashing at the rock garden then getting red flagged when Brayton binned it.
Went up to a similar place for finals as I was for seeding, and again, some spectators thought it'd be a good idea to stand right in front of me, great, another shot ruined of eventually the winner. Current shots of Peaty: 3. The crowd were going mental though, loads of crashes and they were loving it.
Gee went down and everyone had forgotten about Peaty as he qualified pretty much last. We then heard through the radio that Peaty had won by 3 seconds. 3 seconds on a 2.15 is a lot of time to pull out of the ex-World Champion. Needless to say Gee was upset, but Peaty was over the moon. Stoked he put it together in the end, and great to see him on form.
Champery is this weekend and it's going to be absolutely mental.
I'm up at Triscombe shooting with Jay Williamson, Tom Coles and Adam Lock this weekend so look out for a video for that next week!

Oh, and here's the video!

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