Words By Dale Goodwin with Photos by Will Edgecombe and Bodhi Keen.
2016 has been the first full year of the British Downhill Skateboarding League and what a year it’s been. Without question, races have had far better attendance than Outlaw races in previous years and the quality of racing has definitely improved within the UK scene.
Without question, the most dominant rider this year has been Pete Connolly and we thought we’d take you through an analysis of his season. There were four National races this year, starting off with ‘Fumble in the Valley’ at Sheepy in Wales. Pete narrowly missed out on the Final, but instead won the Consi Final to take 5th. But in the other three National races, Tregz, Bleek and Bolsterstone, Pete was dominant, taking 1st in each, despite some very close finals with Chris Vanstone & Bodhi Keen at Tregz and Bolsterstone respectively.
As for the Regional races, Pete didn’t manage a flawless score, but still obtained the highest Regional score of any riders, with 1st at Gurston Time Trial and 2nd at Slide Path-fect & Hog Hill. The only rider to come even close to Pete on Regional points scored, was Oscar Taylor, just 43 points behind after 1st place at both Hog Hill & Hits Outlaw then 9th at Dale’s Fumble.
Big Congratulations to Pete, but also to all the race winners this year!
Next year’s racing promises to be even more fierce and competitive, with lots of top UK riders promising to attend more BDSL races. In my opinion, any of the riders who’ve managed a Podium this year, could challenge a top 3 finish in 2017, these riders being: Ras, Tom Campbell, Luke Batchelor, Oscar Taylor, Dale Goodwin, Chris Vanstone, Lewis Taylor, Aaron Skippings, Bodhi Keen, Alex Clark, Olly Goodwin & Pearse D’Arcy.
The younger riders are also getting themselves recognised as forces to be reckoned with. Ruben Loosmore took the Win in the Juniors this year, but also placed 5th (Consi Final Win) in Open at Tregz, which was arguably the most competitive race this year. Ruben also would have placed in the Open top 8 if he’d just attended one more Regional. Richie Rogers also has potential next year, after being the closest to beating Aaron Skippings at Abercynon Outlaw, he placed 8th. Richie would have also been in the Open top 10 if he’d attended one more National race.
As for the Women’s, we’re hoping more Women attend races next year with Hermione Pearson on top all year. After podium finishes at IDF races around the World this year, Jenny Schauerte could definitely challenge if she attends a few more races.
As we look to 2017, the initial events calendar is looking very interesting, with lots going on behind the scenes to bring new races in and improve the running of all future events. If you want your voice to be heard, be sure to attend the BDSL AGM on Saturday 3rd December at 3pm @ Roll for the Soul, Bristol.