Tuesday, 31 May 2011

British Downhill Series, Rnd 3 - Glencoe 29/05/2011 .....oh boy!!

As we dive head first into June with the glorious hot sunshine, the clear skies, the ice creams, shorts and t'shirts, picnics in the park, walks with the dogs along the beaches, the pub gardens, the water pistol fights, everything that summer brings, everything we all look forward to. .....And here we are in Glencoe, let's all start again shall we?!

..."...It's a twister Aunty Em!..."...

Mud, rain, snow, mud, rain, winds, hail, mud, mud, rain, snow, rain, mud, holding-on-for-dear-life-on-the-chairlifts, mud, more strong winds, airborne-easy-ups, more rain, more snow... rain, rain, winds, gale force winds, flying-tables, more rain...... I think you get the drift now.....
Glencoe is a hard enough track, adding everything Mother Nature was throwing at it made it downright impossible! Needless to say the event was cancelled, which no one likes to happen however when you're swinging around on a chairlift in gale force winds whilst being belted by lashing rain and holding on for dear life, matters need to be taken into hand. Angie was totally rocking (literally!) the top and bottom parts of the course, however struggled a tad with the middle bits, it was a tough nut to crack. Really hard hitting with ruts appearing continuously through the day, each run being totally different, although as you can see with the photo below she takes it all in her stride! :)

(Angie deals with the mud and the spray with aplomb! Photo courtesy of Scott MacPherson)

Nick was up there Friday evening and it was as windy as hell, even just walking up the track he was blown over a few times. Come Saturday morning it was just downright miserable weather. Getting the chairlifts in the howling wind with the rain cutting into your face is not a great idea. Further up the hill it changed to snow and hail, this is supposed to be the end of May! Simply put; Mother Nature was seriously pissed off this weekend!

(Did we mention the gloop? Here's Nick taking it all on! Photo courtesy of Jamie Rodda)

Although the top of the track is nice and flowing it gets steeper and steeper like a roller coaster, it's a brutal course in normal conditions. Nick managed 4 practise runs thankfully unscathed, but had to pop up to Fort William for more waterproofs. There was a lot of talk in the pits as to whether the racing would go ahead due to the weather conditions worsening.

(Nick in a very brief sunshine interlude! Photo courtesy of Scott MacPherson)

Sunday morning arrived and we all hoped it would die down, sadly it wasn't the case, it was progressively worse. Nick had never been as frightened as on that chairlift, hail hammering his face and the chair swinging like a banshee in the gale force winds, nearly hitting the pylon supports, absolutely terrifying. Once at the top he stayed in the hut for the winds to calm down and taking his chance headed off. An amazingly fully clean run, he was really happy with it. Once at the bottom though it was pandemonium. Easy-Ups were being blown away, a table flew past only stopping after going through a car's windscreen. With the winds hitting over 80mph it was decided to close the hill and cancel the event. As Angie put it "Complete 'Game Over', now for Fort William, can't wait!"

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