Eastbourne Speed Days
For the third year the IGSA World Cup series returns to Eastbourne in southern England. The race starts at the top of world famous Beachy Head. The course isn't the best, with only a 200 feet drop and one difficult turn. Although this year the course was lengthend back to its original mile.
Thursday, August 20
There wasn't really much going on today, although it did rain a bit. The course was being built.
Friday, August 21
The start line is down the road a ways, at the first layby, but the road is closed at the pub.
At some point, while I was still in line things got underway. I think I only missed on run,drove us up the course and dropped us off at the start. Then they would take the long away around to meet us at the bottom.
After a few more runs we broke for lunch, which was included in the entry fee.
After lunch Standup qualification started.
Street luge was going to follow,
We quickly ran the classic qualifying.
Saturday, August 22
Today's schedule was almost identical to yesterdays. Practice in the morning, qualifying in the afternoon. The difference is that today the weather was clear skies with almost no wind.
Lunch was the same as yesterday, except for today they also had cheese for the sandwiches.
I had a few hours to hill while standup qualfied.and to make sure I get a practice run in.
I ended up getting to the top a lot earlier than I needed to. I chatted with Dave, a member of the camera crew that was filming the race for network news. He was revieing some of his footage when Kolby offered him his and Condon's footage. Condon was wearing a POV camera when we wrecked earlier. So he was showing Dave the footage
We finally underway and took our practice run on the tail end of standup qualifying.
The party was held at the Beachy Head Pub this year.
Sunday, August 23
Looks like race today would be another beautiful day.
Just before lunch we ran our luge warmup.
Since I missed lunch, I picked up a hamburger on the way down to the corner.
I had to head up early, our warmup run would take place behind the semi final of standup.
We took off in our luge race. Will had the best start, but the rest of us were right behind him. As usual I got to the turn, I ended up breaking just a hair too much. I had to slow down because of the traffic, but it was more than I meant to. I think they also pulled out of the turn faster than I did. Coming down the back stretch I also screwed up and didn't draft as well as I could have. I did close the gap, but not fast enough. As the finish line approached I saw Eliot and Labarthe split Stephenson. I was getting closer but didn't think I had the speed to pass him before the finish. I was getting closer, and had more speed than him. But I didn't think I was going to make it, so I started to scoot forward on my luge. I was out as far as I have ever been. And Will just beat me. I thought it was only by a foot or so, but replay show he beat me by a half board length. Immediately after crossing the finish line Will hit a bump. The road is pretty rough, for the bottom half the course. Rough enough that you can actually catch some air as you get bounced around. We were doing 55 to 60 MPH coming across the finish line, and Will hit a bump and slammed into me. This knocked me off the course. The course is lined with a berm, built to keep cars on the road. Early in the weeked we used this berm to sit on and wait for the busses.And he was visibly in pain. He was taken to the hospitable. I was ok, although I would be sore tomorrow, and my ankle was tweaked.
After Will was carted off, the standup heats came down to finish off the racing.
Shortly after the race finished, the awards ceremony was held in the corner. The intent was to give the awards out while the crowd still lingered. Norm, from the Eastbourne council, who had taken over organizing the race, started the ceremony.
The event was over, and the majority of the riders packed up and started heading home. I went to the hospital to see how Will was doing. They weren't really sure, but they put him in a cast.
Turns out that Will didn't have any major injuries. He damaged the nerve in an accident at Newton's Playground last year, and I think he just hit the elbow while he tumbled, and reinjured the nerve.