Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 4 – 8 Ball!!!

The final day of Teva Mountain Games and it was time for some really crazy action in the 8 Ball race. This no rules, full contact, head to head extreme race is one of the best events I have ever been part of. The aim is to get to the bottom of the race course and across the finish line first in order to progress to the next round and ultimately win. 

Hansel aka Chris charges down the 8 Ball course

The only thing here is that unlike most head to head races, in this race being fast doesn't necessarily help neither does getting the best technical lines. In this race your success depends on how well you take the hits, recover and get back on line. Why? because this is 8 Ball and, in this class 2, 4 paddlers at a time head to head race, the key to success is avoiding / surviving the impacts and hits from the human 8 Ballers.10 or more fully padded kayakers, who will be sitting waiting and ready to pounce, to do everything possible to stop you from completing the course.

Hobbie takes out Dane Jackson and another 8 Ball competitor with a massive hit.

In the heats I got destroyed by 8 Baller Mike Dawson in the first round so didn't make the finals but this didn't matter as instead I was invited to become an 8 Ball!

I'm charging down the course in the yellow Jackson Zen and black full face helmet.
Mike is in the red Zen about to take me out and end my 8 ball journey... next year maybe ill make the finish line!!! 

Nick Troutman managed to excel with some funky twists and turns and win the men's race and Anne Hubner destroyed the 8 Ballers to take the win in the ladies event.

Full contact kayaking... Amazing!!!
It was the perfect finish to a great weekend of whitewater action at the Teva Mountain Games. Especially as in the final no holes barred everyone against the 8 Ballers mass start run at the end; head 8 Baller 'Hobbie' got absolutely destroyed by the competitors and finished the event with a booty beer after a crowd pleasing swim :o)

A parting shot: Pringle takes a green boat in the face as he approaches the finish line.