Oceania DH Champs, Results, Race Action and Interviews 4

The rain came down, the track slicked up and the hearty survived at the 2018 Oceania MTB Championship downhill race in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The rain came to Dunedin, New Zealand, and turned the Signal Hill downhill track into an ice skating rink for race day at the 2018 Oceania DH Championships.  Never before have I seen so many riders pull out of an event on race day.  It was not an easy track, and it wasn't so much a matter of "will I crash?" but "when will I crash?"  The course is rugged.

Despite waiting around in the rain all day, competitors enjoyed the event and it all ran smoothly.  A red flag in Elite Men's finals (for the last 6 riders) made for interesting racing, as those riders were given re-runs, and more-or-less begrudgingly took them. The idea of getting into the headspace to race down the treacherous track a second time was a mind-bending feat.  It was a rowdy affair to say the least, which can be plainly seen in the dadcam footage Eddie Masters compiled.  Madness. 


Elite Men's Top 5 (based on time, not Oceania-only placing)

  1. Sam Blenkinsop, 3:13.65
  2. Guy Gibbs, 3:19.82
  3. Wyn Masters, 3:29.77
  4. Gareth Burgess, 3:30.63
  5. Bryn Dickerson, 3:31.74

Full results can be viewed here

There was a red flag for the last 6 Elite Men, so Sam Blenkinsop limbered up for this rerun at the bottom.
Classic Sam Blenkinsop style, ET over the finish to a cheer from the crowd and a convincing victory.

Sam Blenkinsop in audio


Virginia Armstrong, aka Vinny, navigated the wild conditions in a spirited fashion and looked in control, which was impressive. 1st Place, Elite Women!

Virginia Armstrong in audio

Louis Vuleta was smashing the track all weekend. One to watch!


It's not often a random rider impresses on every lap, but Alex Barke delivered stellar riding all day - feet up, and going in straight lines...impressive.
Once again, Alex Barke showing some serious tenacity and skill!

It's amazing what you see out at the races sometimes!

Mooch in audio

Gold before it was trendy.
Now that's a sturdy mount...

Safety tripod was the move of the day, Tom Matthews deployed it well and frequently, finding 2nd in Open Men!

Tom Matthews in audio

It was either full-focus or turn-your-brain-off riding in the trying and terrifying conditions.

Art Bro. It was really wet out there.

Nick Kemp working his mechanical magic for the riders all weekend.
Louis Vuleta had a Nick Kemp special going for his race run - it worked!

Nick Kemp in audio

When we all woke up to rain, we knew the day was going to be interesting.
Littering and... Littering and...?  Reaching for a tear-off was a risky maneuver on the icy clay track.

A well-excecuted drift-to-corner-explosion is always appreciated. Billy Meaclem delivers.

He rode loose, he rode with a smile, and for his efforts Gareth Burgess landed in 3rd in Elite Men!

Gareth Burgess in audio

No stranger to the wild and wet conditions, Louis Hamilton look confident on the slick track.

Returning to racing, Sophie Tyas took the win in Open Women with sweet moves like this highline.

Sophie Tyas in audio

3rd in Open Men for Albert Snep!
Shania Rawson wasn't 100% for the race, but as someone on the hill said, she is tougher than most of us combined.  2nd in Elite Women!

Josh Oxenham holding it wide and letting it slide into 2nd in U19!

Patrick Hale avoiding the heckle cam for 5th in U19.

Calum Booth streaking into the finish.
Crashing wasn't quite what Calum Booth was looking for this wekend, but he was still upbeat about the weekend.
Guy Gibbs looked unphased by the challenging conditions even on his first run!
This is actually the most composed entrance into this section the crowd has seen up to this point.  Guy Gibbs was second fastest on the day, but being Welsh, he was relegated to the fastest non-Kiwi result sheet...from 2nd to 1st?

Guy Gibbs in audio

Another one of the talented Rotorua shredders, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene and his Zerode danced down the hill.

Bryn Dickerson dropping into the darkness in practice - it wasn't much better once the race was on.

Bryn Dickerson in audio

Cole Lucas was looking fast all weekend but fel victim to the unpredictable conditions in his race run.

Eddie Masters in audio

2018 Pivot team is going to be quite the scene.

Rupert Chapman, Pre-Race audio

How slick was it out there? Ask Rupert Chapman who accidentally ran over/into the guy in front of him (who crashed) due to a very steep chute. He salvaged for 5th in Elite Men.

Rupert Champman, Post-Race audio

Riders said spikes were just as bad. Tire selection was a bit of a gamble.

War Paint, ft. Billy Meaclem.
Throw your sickest shaka! Nils Heiniger, showing the stoke.
James Purvis made it through the weekend with basically a semi-slick rear tire.  Legend.

It was a really tough day on the hill.

Tough day in the office for Simon Read.  Hopefully some redemption at Nationals!
Simon Read was one of the riders to re-run...but it wasn't much of a fun time.

Simon Read in audio

Overcoming sickness and feeling like the mud he was racing in, Sam Robbie put down a heater of a run to take the U19 victory.

Sam Robbie in audio

Wrong way, the finish is behind you!

Wyn Masters is never not making a cool shape on the bike.  He put on a strong showing all weekend and nearly had the win - listen in for some insight.
Wyn Masters on his re-run...just moments after sliding out in the woods above.

Wyn Masters in audio

Sometimes, racing is Type 2 fun. Jake Byrne, reflecting.

Casual print jersey for a casual man, Reece Potter nearly had the FTD and won Open Men in the Process!

Reece Potter in audio

Sam Blenkinsop gets to keep this for another year!



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