Photo Epic: Dual Slalom - Crankworx Rotorua 2021

Nov 6, 2021
by Clint Trahan  

I’m going to say it - the weather in Rotorua in November is something I won’t forget. Arriving on-site, we were welcomed by a beautiful Rainbow. The morning/afternoon were sunny and hot, if not a tad windy. Settling down in the mid-afternoon, the clouds rolled in later in the day.

Kicking off qualifications under the same hot sun, which caused more than a couple of sunburns today; the mood changed dramatically; and quickly. A few times.


I’ve personally never seen a weather system change its mood nearly instantly. Hot and sunny to dark, moody clouds, opening sky's dumping buckets, then back to rainbows. Don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes. Like it? Wait 5 more.

With the unpredictable weather came some pretty interesting riding conditions. Line choices became something more like wishful thinking than strategic planning. Riders put in more footsteps than peddle strokes through the middle / lower part of the course. Those on-site gathered to watch the carnage. And Carnage there was.

fasthouse norco fox rocky
While the rain was short, it came with force and drenched the track

Seek shelter

Despite the tough racing conditions, riders were having so much fun on track

Sam Blenkinsop knows a thing or two about riding in mud with all of his DH experience

Some of them even managed to stay upright

Harriet, doing all she can to keep the wheels upright and turning in the final few corners

fasthouse norco fox rocky
Once the sun came out, spirits brightened and it was nothing but a good time

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene was a madman on course letting things slide the whole way down

The dirt here in Rotorua can stick to your tires like cement and it becomes a real challenge to keep the tires digging in

Left to right: Jenna Hastings, Kialani Hines, Martha Gill

Left to right: Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, Brook MacDonald, Dan Booker

The finish to the race was as wild as the weather. Popping the berm in the first corner, Brook MacDonald seemingly handed the victory to Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, however in the second run, Tuhoto suffered a race costing mechanical in the final section of the course; handing the win back to Bulldog. Dan Booker found himself beside Brook and Tuhoto on the podium when the mud settled.

On the women’s side, Jenna Hastings, again, kept the theme of 3’s running with yet another podium, this time, finishing third. For those keeping score, Jenna finished 1st in DH, 2nd in Dual Slalom and 3rd in Pumptrack this year at Crankworx Rotorua.

A future Queen of Crankworx in the making? Stay tuned!

Kialani Hines took top place, and Martha Gill finished 3rd.

The highlight of the day, however, was the slip and slide effect of the rains. Hoots, hollers and grins could be seen and heard throughout the track. Both Sam Blenkinsop and Brook mentioned it was one of those great days on the bike that’ll be remembered for a long time.

It certainly will.

Must Read This Week


  • 13 1
 Dual slalom in the wet is great to watch. After DH it’s the best event and would love to see more slalom races on good courses. Great viewing
  • 7 0
 It wouldn't be NZ if we didn't have our usual four-seasons-in-one-day carrying ons.
  • 5 0
 Four seasons in one day but no of them is summer...
  • 3 0
 Wow. What a mess. Nice win for brook
  • 3 0
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know what bike Jenna Hastings was on? It looks really cool. Her jersey says pivot.
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 Natural terrain golf Dry-conditions curling A day at the cat races
  • 1 0
 SOO GOOD!!!!!
  • 1 0
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