With just two months to go til the start of the BDSL 2020 season, we decided to interview our winners from last year in the Open & Luge categories.
First up is Oli Roder, who won Open for the first time ever! Oli currently resides in Ireland and has been taught by 2018 BDSL Champion and now IDF World Cup Podium placer, Pearse D’Arcy.
Shot by Duck Vader.
1) When did you start Skateboarding? – I started skating at the beginning of 2016 but only seriously went into downhill when I moved to Ireland mid 2017.
2) When was your first Downhill Skateboarding event/race? – Bela was actually my first ever event that I had gone to in 2018 and my first race was the double weekend of Labyrinth/Sheepy in 2019.
3) Random other hobby? – Professional time waster I’d say.
4) Goals for 2020? – Goals for 2020 would be to compete in IDF races and do my first Eurotour in 2020.
5) Who do you think might challenge you for the 2020 season? – Haha the boys would naturally be the toughest this season, super stacked in the BDSL this year by the looks of it.
6) Favourite ever moment when DH Skating – My favorite downhill moment so far would definitely be when we did dawnies at Großglockner mountain in Austria last year.
Next up is our Luge Champion, Harry Bentley. Again, Harry is a new BDSL Champion having never won it before. Harry dominated in 2019 in every race and will definitely be hard to beat in 2020. Harry has honed his Luging mainly at Beachy Head with the South Down Shredders in the last couple of years. Here’s what he had to say.
Shot by Jamie Evans Photography.
1) When did you start Luging? – My first try at luge was Tregaron 2018. Andy Speight had made me a custom build after a series of longboarding injuries led me to quit. I found luge really accessible. It meant I could stay a part of the UKDH community which was important to me.
2) When was your first Luge event/race? – My first official race was Labyrinth 2019. I had watched everyone racing in 2018 and set myself the goal of joining in without ever really expecting to do well. My aim was just to experience the thrill and banter of competition.
3) Random other hobby? – I’m focussed on luge. I’ve made so many friends and been to so many beautiful places in the UK and abroad that if I’m not thinking about how to take a corner better or brake later then I’m thinking about how I can help anyone else experience what I have.
4) Goals for 2020? – I’d definitely like to help more people try street luge and I’d also like to get the whole downhill community more recognition. I know from my own experience that everyone wants to ride safely so if I can support safe and well run events then I’d like to do that, even if it’s just by loading up my car with riders so they can get there.
5) Who do you think might challenge you for the 2020 season? – You can’t trade off last year’s performance. A single mistake can cost a race. I won my first BDSL championship so anyone can. It would be great to see more lugers racing and coming to events. All the people I rode with in 2019 have the potential to win races.
6) Favourite ever moment when DH Luging? – My first European event (Velefique) was really special. I hadn’t ridden for as long and hard as that before (something like 7 minutes). That for me was just perfect and gave me much more confidence.
Thanks for that both!
Finally, with our first race weekend just 2 months away now (see our race calendar), we’ve now got a date in the diary for the BDSL AGM. 28th March, 6pm at ‘The Crown Inn’ in Rhayader, Wales. See event link. This will be a few hours after Sheepy Race finishes, meaning lots of people interested in the outcomes will be able to attend. Look forward to seeing you all then.
Written by Dale Goodwin.