ROLL ON: 17 Moments at Battle of Hastings 2017 - Ride UK BMX

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ROLL ON: 17 Moments at Battle of Hastings 2017

Battle of Hastings 2017.

The carnage was reborn. We’re still getting over it.


Words and Photos by Mike Drummond


Somehow that seems the only way to introduce this event – as grandiose adjectives, expletives and incoherent shrieks would be the best way to describe it, but a list of these wouldn’t really qualify for an article.

However, if you followed the live stream or have gorged on the fat juicy buffet of online content that oozed out of The Source Park in Hastings, you will be fully aware of the words and noises that I’m getting at.

To say the mood was electric would be a gross understatement and be far from doing the weekend justice. Imagine four hundred terribly inept and out of time drummers hitting wheelie bins with sledgehammers while hollering like apes. There you go.

“Imagine four hundred terribly inept and out of time drummers hitting wheelie bins with sledgehammers while hollering like apes.”

The crowd knew what was up and you could be damn sure they picked up on all the subtleties that come with tech street and gnarly bowl riding that was being sent, getting loud for all the switch, hard, oppo, nozza variations that were going down. These inept drummers were all connoisseurs of BMX.


 

Jason Watts.
Gary Young. Man of the match? We thought so.
Sergio Layos, the last man to ride in the finals. That downwhip was majestic.
THE FIDS.
Kriss Kyle slayed so hard, he won 'Rider's Rider.' Enough said.

With 11 teams competing on Saturday, it was a long afternoon of great riding, solid whooping, hollering, clapping, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a fair bit of bruising on the hands of everyone who was battering the barriers up top in the viewing area.

If you are yet to make a visit to The Source Park or haven’t even seen footage from last year’s Battle of the 44, you should crawl out from under your Supreme sponsored rock and get down to witness the impressive setup hidden beneath the Hastings promenade.

“Somewhat reminiscent of a gladiatorial arena in ancient Rome…”

Somewhat reminiscent of a gladiatorial arena in ancient Rome, the park is surrounded by a raised balcony that envelopes all sides, allowing for all to witness the transition and ledge based devastation that goes down.

Don’t allow yourself to think that the park sits idle during the months between the BOH either – the local scene is strong and growing, as it always has been. The amount of talented riders to drip feed out of Hastings and into the wider world is impressive, and that tradition continues with the likes of Stuart Chisholm and Jordan Okane, two solid locals that are great to watch. Those boys were ripping up the bowl as you would expect from locals with the inside track. Stuart being one of the weapons Isaac Lesser chose to be on his team this year and Jordan a solid reserve for any riders unfortunate enough to not be able to ride should the shite hit the fan.

Along with the homegrown talent there is also an influx of riders from all over the place, some now calling Hastings home such as South African bowl ripper Greg Illingworth, to name just one.


 

Chad Kerley.
Mark Love, doing it for Team Lacey, was an absolute treat to watch.
Joris.
Mr Wallride-to-Flair, Brad McNicol.
Captain of the winning team, Dennis Enarson.

Now you know some of the what, a little of the where and a fraction of the who it’s time to get down to the riding itself.

If you were to pick up a deck of cards and spot only kings, or if your Top Trumps cards came up all as T-Rexes or say Mclaren F1s (If you were collecting Dinosaurs or Supercars respectively) you would be a very happy customer indeed. That is, in essence, what the Source managed to come up with, a full deck of heavy hitters.

The 11 teams that had been assembled covered it all, ticking all sorts of bloody boxes. We had street giants, tech wizards, park rippers, trail shredders and bowl roasters.

“The sessions were as heavy as a set of Supra Es on G-Sports. 48 spokes.”

The two days of riding were very different. As much as it was great to see the madness of finals come Sunday, Saturday was a real pleasure to watch – 44 riders were having at it on the whole course. An afternoon of riding catering to all tastes isn’t something to be sniffed at, and what with the level of riding ever on the up, qualifying always sees riders giving it their all. The sessions were as heavy as a set of Supra Es on G-Sports. 48 spokes. You get me. Each dude egging the other on, enhanced evermore by the crowd and backed up by the booming voices of Darryl Nau and Andy Zeiss.

Darryl Nau’s trusty clipboard.

The whole package was provided, we had the vibes, had the bikes, had the faces and the coffee and nachos to boot. To be in amongst this year’s event was a treat and I cannot see a reason why this event shouldn’t continue on as an annual pilgrimage for all riders.

Maybe there’s a grandstand coming soon…?

Next on the agenda, BMX’s first stadium.

Until then, see you around.


Isaac Lesser.
'The Canadian Trashman' aka Corey Walsh.
A highlight for many, the super stylish Matt Cordova.
Chris Doyle.

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