Thule B24 in Bright

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Once again Gil and I hit the road, this time making our way down to the Victorian Alps. It was time  for the Thule B24 enduro at Bright. It’s the second year it has been running and word is getting around about the 24hr race and it’s trails, numbers were up on last year and this year almost 300 competitors registered for the race.

Gil and I arrived on the Thursday evening and scouted the course on the Friday. Although mainly the same course as last year there was a couple of changes to add in more single-track. The track runs out along the river before heading up into the pine forests on the mountainside above Bright. It dips into the pines of Treehugger before the return downhill through a flowing section called Gorilla Warfare and back out to run along the river again.

Race day saw temperatures up into the 30’s and a few people dropping out for a few hours until things cooled again heading into the evening. Many soldiered on though and continued knocking out the laps. As night fell so too did the temperature though not to the same biting chill like the previous year. Lights came on but Gil and I continued to shoot into the night. Eventually Gil and I called it a night.

As Sunday dawned we got back into the shooting in some beautiful mountain light. As the sun rose and the temperature climbed again I made my way deeper into cooling shade of the trees around the river. As the temperature rose even further I actually made my way into the river and cooled down a bit whilst standing knee deep and shooting from there. I wasn’t alone as the race neared completion more and more competitors who had made their final run came down to cool off.

A huge congratulations to all those who competed and a big thank you from Gil and I to all those who helped organise such a wonderful event. Already looking forward to the next one.

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Redass State Downhill, Round 4: Stromlo

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The weekend gone saw Gil and I make the trip down to Canberra to cover the final round of the Redass State Downhill at Mount Stromlo Forest Park and put on by Rocky Trail Entertainment.

It’s the first time I have shot downhill racing at Stromlo. Gil and I started at the top then leapfrogged our way down. It can be hard to shoot at Stromlo as the light becomes quite harsh through the day and race day was no exception. Birght blue skies and a glaring sun kicked up some harsh shadows on the course. During times like this you really need to pick the location well and let the rider ride through a sunpatch or use flashes to lift them out of the shadows. The track was dry and dusty which can make for some great shots though as the dust gets thrown up and can really add a sense of movement to the shots.

There is some great features on the course including the Rock Garden, G20, Road Gap and Triple Treat. Unfortunately they also took a toll on the riders this time round. Perhaps as it was the final round the riders put that extra bit into the race and pushed themselves just a bit too far. The dust also can be rather treacherous for the riders taking away from the grip of the tyres.

All in all it was a great finish to a great season. There is a few smaller races to coming but but the next big one will be the Cannonball at Thredbo again. Hope to see you all there.

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