STATE ROUND 4 GOLDEN GROVE CHITTERING
State Round 4 saw the DH series move to the old trusty Chittering Golden Grove Orchard, a true staple of the DH scene for many years. This year saw the use of one of the original “old school” DH tracks much to the delight of many of the riders, it was fast, rocky & truly Golden Grove. Add a nice dose of sunshine and what more could you ask for?
Race day started with with all the riders getting together at the top of the hill to send a video message to club legend Adrian Walsh, a great sign of respect for a great bloke.
After the video message & the usual pre race briefing it was time to get down to business.
With just over 100 riders braving the relentless Chittering hill hike there was a great mix of juniors, women, new commers & elite with great competition among the various categories.
When it came to the juniors, competition was tight all weekend with the qualifying results being almost identical to the finals. Under 13 was won by Hamish Wilkes & Under 15 by Gus Kyme.
Under 17’s saw a mere 2 seconds split the top 3, Jaxon Saywer took another impressive win with a time that would have him compete strongly in Elite whilst Caelin Stuart in girls Under 17 threw down a time that would have seen her take 2nd in Womens Elite!
The juniors were then quickly followed by Womens Sport which was won by Jane Devenport & next the Elite Women. You can’t have an Elite Womens final without Vilma’s trademark live commentary of her own run but unfortunately today was not her day for the podium, Albany local Natalie Pearson was the victor with a tight field really stepping it up for the final.
A noticeable change this year with single crown riders allowed to compete where they like, this weekend saw only one rider in the old category. Darren Walker enjoying his new rig & bettering his qualifying time with a fast final run.
There was plenty of competition in Sport Men and perhaps a sign of more possible riders jumping to Expert next year with some fast times over the weekend. This round went to Brett Aurisch closely followed by Mitchell Poett who was less then half a second behind in 2nd, keen to see if he can take the step onto 1st at Yarloop?
It was great to see such a strong field when it came to the Masters categories and the times being put down by the old timers would leave must of the young guns wanting. There was no “old timers” talk happening but there was a clear “thank god I made it down” by one Steve Kyme after his race run. The Albanians had another strong showing with Paul Fage taking out Masters 5 & Joshua Pearson taking out Masters 3/4.
Some familiar faces came out of the woodwork to give Paul de Klerk a run for his money in Masters 1/2 and the racing was tight, the win went to Matt Bell this time with Paul close behind in 2nd.
Next up was Expert Men and there was another healthy lineup of riders vying for the top positions, the top 3 stayed the same from qualifying but it was a switch between 1&2 with Ryan Douglas pinching 1st place from Andrew Hannig in 2nd less than 1/4 of a second behind. Downhill racing really can be a game of milliseconds!
As the day got later the sun decided to shine a little brighter and we also saw the competition heat up further with the Under 19 shredders up next. Tremayne Williamson showed that he has recovered from his broken hand by taking the fastest time in qualifying. Come the final it was Yuliang Seow who took the top spot after smashing his qualy time by 11 seconds. Yuliang was closely followed by Declan O’Connor who also shredded his qualy by 14 seconds. Nice work gents!
Next up was Elite Men and there were plenty of riders going hard in practice & qualifying to see who could take the top spot, this year has seen a few vying for the podium and Golden Grove was no different. In qualifying Luke Ball showed everyone he was the one to beat with the best time of the day so far but there was stiff competition from Roly Kyme & Aaron Leagas only 2 seconds behind. When it came to the final Luke showed he had the ability to go up another notch and he took the win by dropping 3 seconds from his qualifier. Aaron was close behind in 2nd with Roly taking 3rd.
Last but not least was the Top 30 runs. This round was taken out by Aaron Leagas & closely followed by Benjamin Halsall 2nd and Alex Jaeger in 3rd.
So next round we look to a totally new venue YARLOOP! This race will be set on private land with no access to riders before the race weekend. Rider numbers will be high, anticipation will be even higher!!
All photo’s courtesy of Brent Owens.
See you all at GNARLOOP!!!!