Eastbourne Speed Days

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Eastbourne Speed Days

Eastbourne, England

For the third year the IGSA World Cup series returns to Eastbourne in southern England. The race starts at the top of world famous Beachy Head. The course isn't the best, with only a 200 feet drop and one difficult turn. Although this year the course was lengthend back to its original mile.

Thursday, August 20

There wasn't really much going on today, although it did rain a bit. The course was being built.

We hung out at the Beachy Pub and welcomed some of the people arriving.

Friday, August 21

The start line is down the road a ways, at the first layby, but the road is closed at the pub.

At some point, while I was still in line things got underway. I think I only missed on run,

drove us up the course and dropped us off at the start. Then they would take the long away around to meet us at the bottom.

After a few more runs we broke for lunch, which was included in the entry fee.

  I think there was five different flavors, but only one was extreme in any way. The others didn't have not much flavor.

After lunch Standup qualification started.

Street luge was going to follow,

We quickly ran the classic qualifying.

Saturday, August 22

Today's schedule was almost identical to yesterdays. Practice in the morning, qualifying in the afternoon. The difference is that today the weather was clear skies with almost no wind.

I rode with Will a couple of times, and we were fairly evenly matched, he would beat me off the line, but I would catch him just past the turn. On one run he got out in front as usual, I was trailing just behind him, gaining on him into the hard turn. I always needed to slow just a bit for the turn, and I was working on taking the turn faster.I entered the turn right behind him, but probably faster than I had taken it all weekend, and I started to drift out, with Will on my outside, but in front of me, Will suddenly hooked up and shot back to the inside. I could have put my foot down to slow a bit, but I didn't want my foot to be on the road when we collided. I sat up just as I clipped his back end. I kept on going, but Condon and Deltour were behind me, and both of them slammed into Stephenson. Fortunately no one was injured.

Lunch was the same as yesterday, except for today they also had cheese for the sandwiches.

I had a few hours to hill while standup qualfied.

and to make sure I get a practice run in.

I ended up getting to the top a lot earlier than I needed to. I chatted with Dave, a member of the camera crew that was filming the race for network news. He was revieing some of his footage when Kolby offered him his and Condon's footage. Condon was wearing a POV camera when we wrecked earlier. So he was showing Dave the footage

These two got a real big kick out of the wreck. The footage ended up on their news reel, and was shown around  the world!

We finally underway and took our practice run on the tail end of standup qualifying.

The party was held at the Beachy Head Pub this year.

Sunday, August 23

Looks like race today would be another beautiful day.

and classic finished off the morning races.

Just before lunch we ran our luge warmup.

 Since I missed lunch, I picked up a hamburger on the way down to the corner.


I had to head up early, our warmup run would take place behind the semi final of standup.

Of course, as we were getting ready to start the luge race, someone sent up the other bus! So much for saving time by squeezing us into a small van.

We took off in our luge race. Will had the best start, but the rest of us were right behind him. As usual I got to the turn, I ended up breaking just a hair too much. I had to slow down because of the traffic, but it was more than I meant to. I think they also pulled out of the turn faster than I did. Coming down the back stretch I also screwed up and didn't draft as well as I could have. I did close the gap, but not fast enough. As the finish line approached I saw Eliot and Labarthe split Stephenson. I was getting closer but didn't think I had the speed to pass him before the finish. I was getting closer, and had more speed than him. But I didn't think I was going to make it, so I started to scoot forward on my luge. I was out as far as I have ever been. And Will just beat me. I thought it was only by a foot or so, but replay show he beat me by a half board length. Immediately after crossing the finish line Will hit a bump. The road is pretty rough, for the bottom half the course. Rough enough that you can actually catch some air as you get bounced around. We were doing 55 to 60 MPH coming across the finish line, and Will hit a bump and slammed into me. This knocked me off the course. The course is lined with a berm, built to keep cars on the road. Early in the weeked we used this berm to sit on and wait for the busses.

And he was visibly in pain. He was taken to the hospitable. I was ok, although I would be sore tomorrow, and my ankle was tweaked.

After Will was carted off, the standup heats came down to finish off the racing.

but the battle for second and third was a photo finish. Smith edged out Switzer by about a foot.

Shortly after the race finished, the awards ceremony was held in the corner. The intent was to give the awards out while the crowd still lingered. Norm, from the Eastbourne council, who had taken over organizing the race, started the ceremony.

Street Turtles:

Dirt Surfer:

Pfister, Martland, Barnes

Gravity Bike:

Stinton, Bailey, Davies

Classic Luge:

Serek, Stephenson, Eliot

Junior Standup:

Klawitter, Wegge, Mckie

Women's Standup

Kornienko, Backlund, Edwards

Street Luge:

Eliot, Labarthe, Stephenson

Standup:

Erban, Scoot, Switzer

The event was over, and the majority of the riders packed up and started heading home. I went to the hospital to see how Will was doing. They weren't really sure, but they put him in a cast.

We grabbed a bite to eat, and headed back to the pub. But it was fairly late by the time we got there, and no one else from the race was there. Looks like it was really over.

Turns out that Will didn't have any major injuries. He damaged the nerve in an accident at Newton's Playground last year, and I think he just hit the elbow while he tumbled, and reinjured the nerve.

I think he was the only one with a serious injury. One thing I am very thankful about, from our accident, is no one was sitting on the berm when we came blasting through. I, or someone else, would have gotten seriously injured! The council wants to finish paving the road, but doesn't have the money. Now they are looking at it as a safety issue, so perhaps?