So... You could assume that everyone is down to the wire on this thing, but you'd be somewhat wrong. The course has been finished since Saturday the 28th and Claw put in his final test lap at 8pm and called it a day. Obviously there's still minor prep going on to ensure everything is fine-tuned in terms of visuals, scaffolding structures, sponsor banners, viewing areas and beer gardens, and there will be more on that later. BUT... Point is, the course is finished and dialed in so the riders can sleep happy.
Here is the quick brief in a montage of photo and some go-pro to give you an idea of what's going on five days prior.
Just to give an idea of how dialed the course is this year Claw's done up the popular Go-Pro previews for everyone, complete with narration.
Claw giving the one-two on this years course:
Top to bottom on the #pro-line2012:
Top to bottom on the #am-line2012:
Summing up the last few days is fairly easy. Thursday afternoon we worked through a few issues on the course and pointed out what needed to be remedied, Friday rolled around and there wasn't a ton of pressure so it became a day off for most. Saturday Darren got cracking on the remedies to the course quickly. The big jump after the drop was throwing people way too far and putting you into the next jump with too much speed, so we did a little switch-a-roo.
The ramp for the big jump after the drop is gone, it's now the ramp from the jump after. To address the high speed issue instead of a booter Darren decided on something to get your loft on. The second to last jump is now a sort of spine, the gap is only about 8 feet with a couple feet of step-up to it. Places you incredibly well into the final quarter pipe.
Here's a quick preview of all the features and what they look like when you're not riding it...
Opening skinny entrance and exit:
Which leads you into the first speed jump, then into a boner log:
From the boner log you move into the re-built hip:
The hip sets you up to either the pro line step-up to drop, or the am boner log:
From there they divide into their respective jump lines:
Here's Darren putting the seal of approval on the course:
With the deal sealed and the weight lifted off the shoulders, it left a nice window to hit the high seas and get our Captain Highliner on. Darren is an incredibly busy man, and this was his first time hitting the water this year for some fishing. Solid down-time after grinding so hard to get the course wrapped.
We set out to grab some halibut, and had a solid afternoon. We wrapped up, and while the day wasn't lucrative, it was more or less about the experience and the ability to soak in a minute of leisure activity.
After today there's going to be 4 days until riders start showing up, and we will keep you updated on the final finessing that will happen to get this contest together and ready for public consumption, then dive head-first into a media frenzy once things kick off.