My first full year of filming the UK downhill scene has been a busy one. From my local grassroots series at Cannock Chase to the Caersws Cup series and the revamped BDS national series. I have learned a lot, met some great people on the way and seen some awesome racing over one of the best summers in quite some time.
Here is my full length video capturing the UK race scene from 2010.
In trying my hand at shooting a couple of downhill races in 2008 and 2009 it was a great shock to be asked by two race series to come and film their entire season for 2010. After agreeing and looking at my old Samsung camera I thought a little investment was needed. With a very small budget I bought a Canon HFS 100 camera and a new lap top to take to races with me and so began a busy, but amazing year of Downhill race filming.
Since its beginning in 2007 I had been doing edits of the monthly Racers Guild timed runs at Cannock Chase. This is a free to enter all day session with live timing and as many runs as you can fit in. The event has been a great success and tries to give youngsters a taste of downhill action and a chance for them to learn from the more experienced riders, some of whom are racing at a national level. They have even had the like's of Steve Peat and Martin Ogden down for some race action over the years.
It May Be Local But The Racing Is Fierce
It is not a race and there is no podium, but the personal battle to beat your best time and be the quickest on the day leads to some great action.
Lee Graton In Squadron Colours
The club has created its own race team, the Racers Guild Squadron, who raced at the BDS nationals this year with some success seeing Eliot Machin move from his first year as an expert to elite level. This acts as great motivation to the younger riders and as the current Squadron Riders move on they will hope to get a place on the team for the next season.
Caersws is known by all downhill riders in the UK and has been raced on at national level many times. The Caersws Cup run by Chris Roberts of Naked Racing uses the hill's multiple lines to host a five race series from March to October. For many riders it is their first step into the proper world of downhill racing. Famous for its bad weather and with it being so open I thought this could be a tough assignment, but the weather held for the whole year and dust was more of an issue than rain. I have felt close to this series as it was the first downhill track I ever filmed at, so to cover it as the official videographer this year meant a lot to me.
Some Amazing Views At Caersws In 2010
Dust Was A Big Issue For Riders And Media
Andy Hughes From The RG Squadron
British And Proud Of It The 2010 BDS Logo
The biggest shock of the year was being asked to cover the BDS series by event organizer Si Paton. I had met Si at the Racers Guild in Cannock which he part sponsors and I went to two of the 2009 NPS races and was about the only one to be filming them. I thought "would I be alone filming them in 2010?", but not a chance, thanks to Si's new partner David Franciosy's marketing savvy the whole of the mountain bike media world turned up to capture the action, from MTB Cut and Wide Open Mag to gifted young film makers like Sam Oaks and Tim Lake.
Steve Peat At Molefre
Rachel and Dan At Fort Bill
Marc Beaumont BDS Series Winner
Turning up and filming the event as every film maker knows is only half the work as once you get home the editing starts. Normally I have 400 - 500 raw clips to go through from a race weekend so it takes time to go through them. Once this is done and you have chosen your music, the edit can begin. It is a long process to make sure you get the finished result you want and with races it normally means a very long day after the race weekend or a long night for guys like me that have a 9 - 5 job.
Editing the BDS Section Of 'For The Glory'
The edits for the BDS became almost like a race with a least 4 or 5 videos appearing within 24 hours of the last rider down the hill.
Now that the race season is over I have had time to finish an end of year edit, which I started back in August of this year. It is just a snapshot of what I have seen from the three series showing the progression from Grassroots of the Racers Guild to Elite level riders at the BDS. The film is not about the winners of the races, it just shows great riding and the strength of the UK downhill race scene