Saturday, January 17, 2009

DH Nationals

This last weekend was the 1st SA DH Nationals of 2009, conveniently held up in Jonkershoek a whole 3 min drive from my house.

I went to check the course & get a few shots at Saturdays practice & decided to take the shuttle up & walk down rather than lug all my equipment up the mountain & was definitely a better idea. The course was not too technical with no rock gardens, but it was extremely dusty & in no time the roots were uncovered & making things a challenge for the riders. With 2 road gaps a small rock jump, a jump into a steep slope with another jump at the bottom, loads of trees lining the track (a few a little too close for comfort) & a long mellow stretch to the finish the track was fun, but not too crazy. The dust did however work in the photographers favor (besides it getting all over the equipment) , beams of sunlight coming through the pine trees lighting it up made quite a cool atmosphere. The loose surface also made good opportunity for roost shots.

Louis Knipe was probably the most unlucky rider of the day, after a crash in his 1st run leaving him with a mild concussion he was told that he was fine for his 2nd run & never having a concussion before he trusted the medics judgment & halfway through his 2nd run he blacked out & hit a tree. Needless to say that was it for him.

With Andrew Neethling home for the race it was pretty easy to guess what the results would be & he clocked in the fastest time of the day with 2 min 11sec.

Pierre van der Merwe on his new green Morewood with a green & white kit to match & now riding for monster was a photographers dream with crazy speed & great colours. He was the fastest junior down the mountain with 2 min 20sec.

Ricka Olivier had a little more competition this time than she normally does, but wasn't enough to stop her & she was the fastest female down the mountain with 2min 50sec.

2 days of crazy downhill on my doorstep meant a good weekend for shooting & great weather to be in a forest watching the action. Next DH is George in Mid March, so should be good.

top 5 overall:
1. Andrew Neethling
2. Johann Potgieter
3. Jonty Neethling
4. Garry Barnard (& co)
5. Pierre vd Merwe

for more info check EXTREME MTB

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