We were pretty excited to be racing at crankworx rotorua and the event didn’t disappoint. The event itself is set around the base of the skyline gondola with amazing scenery, with the manicured slope style course amongst the huge redwood trees, the dual pump track basically in the pit area and the downhill finish just above that, and honestly, i don’t think I’ve ever seen a better finish to a downhill course ever, really entertaining for any spectator!
Claire and i had entered both the downhill and enduro and little did we know what we were in for. We managed to get a few enduro laps in the first day and i will say I’ve never ridden anything as technical, off camber, rutted, rooty, blind, wet, blown out, sketchy, blind , wet, blown out sketchy you get the picture, and did i mention the transitions and climbs! These are amazing trails but after a taste of what the Enduro and the DH track had to offer we decide it was best to take a step back, as the enduro and DH practice over lapped each other it would have been quite a big ask to perform %100 at both so we decided to focus on DH.
The DH track looked like the crew had put a lot of work into it with some decent sized jumps, berms, off camber sections and man made rock gardens and it was super fun to ride not to mention the dirt in the woods was amazing, super loamy. Claire and i were both pumped to dial in our last 2 runs before racing in the afternoon, claire hit a hole and went over the bars in the woods on her first run and got sent venturing into the jungle pulling muscles in her back and neck, i went over the first man made bridge at the top section, slid on the wet wood and went flying down the other side like a penguin into the grass, gotta love that combo wet wood! Second run was great untill we both suffered rear flat tyres on the second man made rock garden, not the best start to a race day but thats where the tough prevail and re focus, right.
For race run claire said she toned it down as she was sore and not her best performance but managed to stay on pretty clean, she was killing it on the big jumps and even womaned up to hit the huge step up hip jump before the finish one of only 3 girls to attempt it, big effort and a 4th place. My run was going well and i was enjoying the loose conditions but again suffered a rear flat tyre on the second rock garden, i was pretty dissapoionted as i was really looking forward to coming into the off camber finish section hitting gaps with that crowd buzzing!
Considering the circumstances we had a blast here, the trails and woods are unreal and everything is pretty close to access, it always really cool to see all the gravity riders in one place shredding,hanging out with mates and having a good time.
Here’s some footage on Vital that will give you a good taste of what we were enjoying: