Thursday, January 29, 2015

A blubbery burn - race report

"Is this the A or the B race start?" she asked. A 15 year old girl about to race the Island's most technical and beer infused cx race! "I'm sorry, there's only one race." I said, "everyone starts at the same time."
But the thought remained...either we are getting soft, or we're raising a hell of a good crop of Crossers. I think it's the latter and the fact that a bunch of Teenagers came out to race the Blubber Burn Classic says something about our community. Great to have you out there, but...please don't crash

Mark Curbwizard bunny hopping the barrier. ©Nick Kupiak
A brief race report and more photos from Nick Kupiak after the jump.
Scramble Le Mans start. ©Nick Kupiak

 The 6th Blubber Burn Classic is in the books. We had about 35 racers out there along with a few dedicated spectators. The attendance was a bit lower than last year but the mix of racers was more diverse than in the past. We had an 11 year old racing against a 52 year old. We had women coming down from Cumberland and Campell River to race (where were the guys?!). We had racers and spectators from Vancouver as well as a peppering of the good old crew from Vic. A nicely rounded group of racers made for a fun race.
Blake rode the whole race on just a front brake. ©Nick Kupiak
Jamie drops in on Niteshift. He only rode the whole trail once...©Nick Kupiak
The race was started rather abruptly by Colin Henley. As the countdown hit "one" I managed to scream out "5 laps," and that was it. Colin explained to me later that he was tired of my incessant jabbering and wanted to get the show on the road (fair enough). Colin was the scorekeeper this year but we forgot to start a timer, and besides, time is irrelevant. The racers scrambled through the woods, up and over a rock face by the start line and to their bikes. Starting like that sets a nice tone for what's in store during the race: Loosely organized chaos.

 Check the video

After some consideration I'm fairly sure we only did four laps. The ever-vigilant sentinel of score-boarding and race directör extraordinaire (Colin Nelson Henley) must have felt that four was enough punishment and to be fair, no one was complaining. Four was quite enough.

Jamie ripping on Niteshift. ©Nick Kupiak
The race itself is kind of a  blur. I know that I started well, coming through in third place after the first climb (I attribute this to my honed four-legged scrambling style). Ahead of me were Drew MacKenzie and Rob Parkin. Soon I got passed by a few guys. Scott Mitchell blew by on the fire road after patiently waiting his turn. Then it was Terry and shortly thereafter Raph. Those guys made me feel like I was standing still. On the second lap I remember wondering where Jamie Cameron was but it turns out he took a wrong turn and did the whole Niteshift trail as opposed to just the bottom part. Those Scots are gluttons for punishment.
After the fast guys blew by, I dialed it back a notch. I was so cross-eyed at this point that I was having a hard time with depth perception. So after chilling out a bit, things got a lot smoother and probably not a lot slower. This "strategy" netted me a surprising third place finish due to untimely flats for Terry and Scotty and a "bio-mechanical" for Drew. I was then closely followed by Curb and Clay for 4th and 5th respectively.
Clay Webb targets the Blubber Burn and gets faster every year
Joele took the ladies win by a healthy margin over Kelly Jones from Vancouver, with Emilia Thy from Cumberland coming in third.

A special mention goes out to Ethan Paulie (14) who finished first in the youth "category." I guess we'll have to have non alcoholic prizes for those guys next year.
Only the finest "dad beers" for the winners. @Nick Kupiak
Rob cracks a celebratory beer (he has no blubber to burn). ©Nick Kupiak
Best dressed: Terry McKall photo: Nick Kupiac

Results:
Men
  1. Rob Parkin -Red Bull
  2. Raphael Lalumiere -Russ Hays
  3. Halldor(ss) -NZ-Kiwi racing/Naked
  4. Curbwizard -Team LeMond
  5. Clay Webb(ss) -Search and Rescue, Vancouver Island div.
  6. Cam Maysmith -Maysmith Cycles / Columbus420
  7. Jamie Cameron -Naked Scotland
  8. Blake The one brake wonder(ss) (Blair finished in this spot but gets DQ'ed for his MTB...Dang!) 
  9. Warren Cederberg -Pro City Racing  
  10.  Andrew Russel -Wheelers
Women
  1. Joele Guynup MacKenzie-Eric the Cat racing/Campagnolo
  2. Kelly Jones -Steed
  3.  Emilia Thy -The Waverly 
  4. Roanne English 
  5. Kiya Kelly River City Racing