BDSL 2018 Winners Interviews by Database Dale

With the BDSL 2018 Awards Ceremony fast approaching – 17th November in Bristol – we decided to interview our 2018 Open & Luge Champions, Pearse D’Arcy & Gareth Chamberlain.

Pearse had a dominate season in Open BDSL Standup winning both National races, Tregaron & Bleek, and one Regional, Gated Hill. More race wins than anyone else!

Photo by Duck Vader

Pearse, when did you start Downhill?

I got my first longboard in 2011. Started skating down small hills straightaway. My first race was IGSA Bo Peep in 2012.

Where do you want to see the BDSL going next year?

I’d just like to see better turn outs. I’d love to see more multi-day closed road events too.

Favourite race of the year and why (UK & worldwide if applicable)?

I’d say my favourite UK event this year was probably Tregz; two days on a closed road getting shitloads of runs in with uplifts. While it wasn’t the most exciting hill, the atmosphere and people made up for it. In terms of worldwide, I pretty much haven’t stopped thinking about Vulcan since I left Romania. That hill really f*cks with your head, really makes you skate top to bottom at your highest level, pushes you in ways you aren’t quite comfortable with yet. Need more of that in my life!

Was there any rivalry throughout the championship?

I wouldn’t use the word rivalry really, but there was certainly competition. I’ve been skating with Aaron Skippings since Bo Peep in 2012 where we raced each other (he beat me, obviously). Aaron’s always gonna be hard to beat on UK hills and this year was no exception. He was in most of the finals and always kept the pressure on. I’m sure if Joe Baldwin and Pete Connolly had been able to make it to more races it would have been much tighter at the top too.

Thank you Pearse!


Gareth had a tight battle with Aaron Skippings for the Luge Championship, but critically he won both Nationals. Some say he was fed up losing to Azzy last year who sat on his skateboard! He took no prisoners this year and that was projected in his race style.

Photo by CGSA

Gareth, when did you start Downhill?

Used to buttboard on my skateboard down Tillman’s Mead at about 5 years old with my best mate Greg. I started downhill properly about 4 years ago at Gurston. I was doing an A-Z of extreme sports and found streetluge was still in existence. I had seen it at the X Games in 2000 and always wanted to try it. I was hooked!

Where do you want to see the BDSL going next year?

I would like to see more people competing in the BDSL. More closed road events spread out across the country would help! Would be great to get the racing filmed (Vice???).

Favourite race of the year and why (UK & Worldwide if applicable)?

Best race of the year in the UK is Tregaron, great road, well organised, good town, big campfire & great food at Y Talbot! Tom and Ry do a great job! Best race outside of the UK has to be Kozakov. Fast, safe(ish) and amazing racing. The world’s best turn up! There are tracks that are faster and longer, but Koz is amazing!

Was there any rivalry throughout the championship?

Rivalry.. kind of… has always been between me and Aaron. We are like Senna and Prost – evenly matched! Last year he was hard to beat, but this year I took both Nationals to win the Championship but only just! Tregaron could have gone either way!


Thanks Gareth and to everyone else who has attended BDSL events this year! Attendance has been better than 2017 and without your support we wouldn’t be able to continue.

Catch you all at the BDSL 2018 End of Year Awards Party on 17th November



BDSL Mid-Season Review

With only a few BDSL races left to go, we thought we’d give you a roundup and some of the important stats from all the races that have been and gone so far this year!

In Open, only one rider has won more than one event (Gated Hill & Tregaron), Pearse D’Arcy, who unsurprisingly leads overall. Pearse has been shredding hard at every event and now looks poised to always be a worthy A-Bracket contender at IDF world cup events. Pearse somehow won Tregaron on medium grip freeride wheels, just by dialling lines and timing his slides to perfection.

The battle for the top spot is closely fought though, with Aaron Skippings just 15 points behind in 2nd, though he would still be first overall, by 3 points, if Oscar Taylor hadn’t snatched 2nd from him on the last straight of the Tregaron final! Due to Aaron having a better ‘Top 2 Regionals’ total after winning Ride the Dragon & 2nd place at FITV & Gated Hill.

Aaron can likely snatch back 1st place overall if he wins any of the upcoming regionals (Bo Peep, Bolsterstone or Skate to Escape’s Time Trial), but he will need to beat Pearse at the next National, Bleek, in September to secure the top spot. Pearse also has the opportunity to improve his ‘Top 2 Regionals’ total too though, so it’s going to be tight to the very end!

The rest of the top 10 in open is still very much open for anyone to move up or down though, with 3rd place Bodhi Keen & 10th place James Pethybridge seperated by just 240 points, a margin that could be turned on its head by 1 or 2 good future race results.

In Luge, Gareth Chamerlain currently leads after winning Tregaron & Hog Hill (an event that excluded Open). Though the lead is extremely narrow at just 2 points, due to Aaron Skippings having won Gated Hill & FITV Regionals.

It’s all going to come down to who wins at Bleek National and whether or not Gareth can improve his Regionals overall score, by winning Bolsterstone or Skate to Escape time trial!

As for the rest of the luge pack, 3rd to 7th is very close, with Ell Macey in 3rd just 141 points ahead of John Lee in 7th. A margin that could be totally overturned from one event.

Finally, in the Womens, Hermione Pearson leads by a big margin after three consecutive race wins. The rest of the women haven’t attended as much, so 2nd place is currently Erni Villanueva, who placed 2nd at Tregaron National, 3rd place is Mist Einarsdottir who placed 3rd at Tregaron.

We look forward to seeing everyone for the rest of the BDSL events this season!

Our awards ceremony at year’s end is in the planning stage and looks like it’ll be in November in Bristol again, for those interested in attending. We’ll be sure to update you via our Facebook page when we know the date/location.

Written by Dale Goodwin.