2013 is done and dusted, and so is the ol faithful ’04 nationals course!
The final round for the series was run and won on Sunday, with some super tight competition in all categories.
This season we saw a change to the DH format the club has run since the 90’s. Gone was the morning practice and designated 2 race runs.
We started from scratch and created a brand new format, which was welcomed with wide arms and had the thumbs up from all racers.
Rock up, grab your number plate, take advantage of the designated 2hr practice time-slot then it was up to you. For 4-5 hours the hill was ‘open’. Any rider, at any time could go up and log a time, or take another practice. No start lists, no waiting, no pressure. This proved to be both a more comfortable and relaxed approach to racing, taking out the stress and nerves that comes with patiently waiting in line at the top for your one of only 2 race runs. Instead, you could take your time. Choose a quiet patch to zip up and get a timed run. Not knowing who has gone down before you and what time you posted; you could also find the increased levels of competition and racers anxiety as riders came down 1 by 1, and found themselves getting pipped out for that fastest run of the day.
We created an atmosphere where more people were around all day, and more riders were coming down the hill for spectators. We gave the riders more time on the hill, and the best opportunity for them to take advantage of that to better themselves, learning how to take new lines, to find that extra second.
The buzz from seeing a rider come down the hill after 5 attempts and finally logging his fastest time and jumping back up to the top of the rank; and their utter excitement relief… That was what we were after, and it was a blast all year seeing the smiles of the riders enjoying racing in an entirely new style.
Of course the series would not have kicked off without the fantastic support from so many tireless helpers. I will do my best to point them all out, so forgive me if i forget anyone!
Normy, who spent hours late into the night only days before the first round re-designing the timing interface used for this new format. Purely trial and error, he came up with such an easy, foolproof, stress free and ultimately very accurate way to record masses of times, all at random starts.
The timing girls; Stacey, Lucy, Jade, Amanda. Keeping the day running smoothly, and the times popping up on the results screen quickly and without hassle all day!
Wayne and Dave Hannah who would donate the use of their beast of a truck to ferry the hoards of loud, dusty, sweaty riders up and down the hill all day.
All the shuttle bunnys; Graham, Tyson, Bill, Amanda (again!), Stuart, Ben, Chris and anyone else who has jumped in a 4wd this year!!
The food girls (and guys!); Wendy, Lara, Ian, Janette, barb, Fiona. We all loved the burgers this year!
Adam, because once again you cannot escape the enthusiasm, commitment and generosity this man puts into the club on so many levels and getting **** done!
St Johns; I know a few of you racing this year got some patch ups (Zane, Ken, Yanni, Paul, Jackson..) making sure you all can ride down that hill full pelt and go home at the end of the day safe n sound!
The race starters; Craig, Amanda, Alan… Not the most enjoyable job by any means, but we promise we kept the time fudging to an extreme minimum!
The commentator; Larry. Keeping the crowd up to date, and in the loop with the day. Giving those riders that last little push to the finish line, or the much deserved torment and cruelty to the riders who deserve it!
The spectators/family/friends/parents… The race would be damn dull without the cheering, clapping, banter, whistling, hooting, horns, bells and all the ruckus and enthusiasm you put into the atmosphere, and behind the riders!
The marshals; Again not a fun job at all, but they sit patiently all day sometimes just to ensure you are not left on the track cut in half. Always an area we struggle with help, and with a bigger and longer course ready for 2014, we need more of them!
Lastly but not least; the sponsors for 2013 who without them, well nothing would have happened at all. Larry and the crew at Discovery Cycles spent a lot of time and money into getting everything ready for the year. The podium, the banners, the seating, the medals; They helped create a far more professional atmosphere and venue for you to participate in, and we hope this continues further!
Results; published and updated! Head to the results page on cairnsmtb.com and see where you went! All end-of-year prizes and overall category winners will be presented this Sunday (the 17th) ad the AGM.
Thanks again, it has been a blast!
Reilly hurst & Craig Nissen.