Shimano GP round 4: Mt Stromlo

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The continuing series of this year’s Shimano GP took place over the weekend with round 4 at Canberra.  The day dawned chilly but not frosty like the previous weekend’s Rollercoaster. After a short pre-race briefing the race got off to a start under the cloudy skies of Mt Stromlo Forest Park.

Gil and I started off shooting around the start the Gil drove to the top of the hill and headed out along the skyline track. I started at the bottom as I wanted to shoot among some of the beautiful wattle that was in bloom down there before the sun burnt through the clouds and made the light too harsh. Unfortunately this meant that all up my day was spent walking uphill and shooting riders as they came uphill. As it was the soft cloudy light stuck around for most of the day.  Over the rest of the day we made the most of the soft light shooting in the trees but still trying to mix up the shots as best as we could to get a good variation of shots. There is some great views around the track which makes Stromlo one of our favourites to shoot.

One racer made my day when she brought me up a cup of coffee, Dalene you are a legend!!!! At the end of the day I ended up at Echidna Pass near the start of Rollercoaster. As luck would have it both Gil and I finished up in about the same area which meant I got a lift back down the hill.

You can visit the full gallery and check out the photos here. Remember if you raced over the weekend you can download your images for free thanks to the folks over at Shimano, just send us a message and we shall check you off the list and throw you the password.

To check out the full results swing over to the Rocky Trail website where they have them all listed

 

Mt. Stromlo, the Series finale

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This time it was back to Stromlo in Canberra for the series finishing round of Rocky Trail Entertainment’s Fox Rollercoaster.

With three tracks running the Rollercoaster covered a large section of Mt Stromlo. We went on the Friday so we could be there bright and breezy for a track walk and location scout. Saturday was practice runs at Stromlo. Gil and I decided that we would both cover the vapor trail or, as it was known on race day, the Camelbak Track. We have both shot the Luge to death in previous events and the other trail was the most technically demanding. Gil took to the top half of the Vapor Trail while I explored the lower half. I was quite keen on getting a few shots of the big wallrides in action plus we were just doing a bit of recon for shooting locations on race day. Not nearly as many people were hitting the wallrides as I had expected but I did manage to get a couple of shots. With locations scouted I started on my way back down heading via a field where I knew the kangaroos gathered and snapped a few shots.

Early Sunday morning and apparently the temperatures hit a chilly -4 so it was a rather frosty morning. Race day all went smoothly. Gil and I shot at the locations we had scouted the day before. Gil got some great shots of a drop up top while I shot lower down on a berm I knew of. I even managed to get a few more sneaky wallride shots.

Being the final race of the season the podiums included the series winners. A huge congratulation to all those place-getters and an even bigger one to Michael Vanos and Vanessa Thompson who won the male and female elite series. You can, as always see the full results on the Rocky Trail website here. All the images are available for viewing on our website here and don’t forget to download your shots if you raced on the day.

Gil and I would like to pass on our heartiest thank you to all those involved for making the series as wonderful as it was. Obviously top of the list is Martin and Juliana of Rocky Trail Entertainment without whom we wouldn’t have a series in the first place. To the fine folks at Fox racing and Camelbak for sponsoring all the races. It was with their support that we were able to supply you with all the photos over the season. To all those that care and maintain the great tracks that the races are run upon and of course to all the competitors who are the soul of the series and who make each event so much fun.

So thank you one and all and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Richard and Gil

 

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.

Go check out the full gallery of images on our website here

Rocky Trailers, we thank you.

Rocky Trailers

Rocky Trailers

Faster and faster we go, another year another series done but with all the memories experienced and captured in this years Rocky Trail Entertainment Shimano MTB GP we can hardly wait until 2015.  Its been quite an experience getting to know every twist and turn of this series and the faces that appear out of the dust, mud spattered and grinning ear to ear.  We have seen some funny moments, some crashes and some low-sugar survival mode zombies but a lap later that zombie is gone replaced with the determined, powering “Rocky-Trailer” we have come to know by so many names.

Martin, Juliane, Graham, Charlie, Max, Peter, Nigel, Chris, Paris, James, Callum, Andrew, Kirby, Ed, Eliza, Jamie, Wendy, Sara, Laura, Michael, Kevin, Spencer, Grantley, Jo, Jackson, Michal, Ondrej……. the list is endless.

For us its not about who is the fittest, who had the fastest lap or who beat who we will leave that up to the athletes.  It is all about being there in the dust, in the scorching sun supplying the local Culicidae with a fresh supply of blood just so we can say yes we saw that, we got it and now you can relive that moment too. We love photographing these amazing locations with the unique terrain and lighting conditions on offer from the sunny vineyards of James Estate, the dark forests of Ourimbah and Awaba to the relentless rocks of Stromlo.  Every round we push ourselves to find new images on tracks that are truly etched into your riding-psyche not settling on the first corner, first jump or closest rock, we hope we have achieved that for you.

What we didn’t plan on was the friendships we made along the way, between ourselves and with everyone we have had the time to stop and talk to while working the angles, looking for the right moment and after all the racing is done.  We want to thank you all who make our job easier and have a little fun out on the course for our benefit.    Its people like Nigel Jefferys and his wonderful ability to pull a wheelie, “Very entertaining Nigel :)”  Peter Selkrig being one of our “time to move to new location” counters with his fluro-kit.  “Thanks Peter we look forward to 2015 colours.”  Eliza Kwan and her energizer-bunny style and smile, “Thanks Eliza we cannot help but smile back.”

 

If you raced at this years series a big congratulations and thank you for your support, we would love to hear any feedback of any kind on what you feel would make 2015 even better yet.  If you have not raced a Rocky Trail event and are reading this and checking out the images we can promise you will not be disappointed in becoming a Rocky-Trail rider.  Come on down the trails are just right…. rocky.

Cheers Gil and Richard.