Race Report: Rocky Trail Superflow Rollercoaster Round 5, Kempsey 6 & 7th August 2016
The final race of the SUPERFLOW series was nigh, so we made a Kempsey recce a few weeks before. They had had a bit of rain in the run up to our visit and the trails were in good condition. The digging teams had been hard at work prepping the trails and excitement was high.
We met with some of the locals who showed us round. The area comprised of a hill with all the tracks starting on the very top and going North, South East and West. Below this hill is a larger flatter area out towards the golf club. Trails were varied, flowy and lots of fun with plenty of floaty jumps punctuating them. None were particularly steep and pedalling was required here and there to keep up speeds when pushing hard.
We all expected Round 5 to be interesting for lots of reasons.
Firstly; that it was the last round so the series points would be decided.
Secondly; it was being run with a format change – 4 race runs on each of 2 days, so a total time of 8 runs deciding the results.
But no one expected the 20mm of forecast rain ending up being a 150mm deluge, making race weekend conditions pretty tough with some sections of trail turning to utter slop that was close to being unrideable.
The huge rainfall made for extremely tough racing conditions but what is amazing is just how close the racing was on the first day. About 125 riders entered making a new Kempsey record turnout for a Rocky Trail Superflow round.
The magic total time for the front runners was 17 minutes. In the Elites 6 riders went under this but only split by 7 seconds total. Antony Elliot and Tim Wynan were tied on 16:53, Jake Devries was on 16:54, Daniel Lyons was on 16:56, Rhys Flahive on 16:57 and Chris Dowsett was on the dot of 17. Amazingly tight considering the unpredictable and sloppy course conditions.
In other categories, Darcy Plunkett led the Expert by 8 seconds with 17:22, Daniel Morgan had a healthy 52 seconds at the front of the Vets, and in the very competitive Masters field Doug Pollock had 15 seconds lead on Daniel Segeri with 17:10. Fastest of the women was Rebecca Wyatt in the Women’s Elite with 20:25
But again the big story of the weekend goes to the Juniors who showed everyone up with some truly devastating times, the kind that has had me double and triple checking the results sheets while writing this just to make sure. In the U17’s Harrison Dobrowolski clocked a total of just 16 minutes and 10 seconds, a full 43 seconds faster than anyone else on the day, unbelievable!! Second on day one in the U17s was Sam Patterson also with a sub 17 time of 16:58 that would have also put him in the mix with the top Elites. Jon Gatt posted 17:02 in the U19s that would have also put him in there.
Race runs on day 2 were all on Sunday morning and due to the prevailing trail conditions…atrocious! Three out of the four tracks were dramatically shortened. I was personally very glad to see the very long uphill flog of Camelbak binned but I think the other long trail of Fox, could have/should have remained. It was one of the few sections that really was fun to ride in the conditions.
The event area was noticeably quieter on Sunday with visibly less racers turning out . Much of this was due to the conditions taking a large mechanical toll on bikes. I know of a few broken chains and drivetrains everywhere sounded disgusting with plenty of dropper posts struggling by the end of Saturday.
By the end of 8 race runs anyone with a time in the 24 minute mark could consider themselves very fast. The top Elites all went very, very fast with sub 24s but one rider alone smashed it out of the woods recording a sub 23 total time of just 22:38, a full 56 seconds faster than ANYONE else! That was Under 17 Harrison Dobrowolski. That’s a name that’s not easy to spell or for my tongue to say but it’s definitely one to remember as it’s got to be one we are going to see plenty of in the future.
In the Elites it was incredibly close but Antony Elliot eeked out 4 seconds on Tim Wynan for the win with 23:42 and Rhys Flahive was just 3 seconds behind in third.
Just one second in the Expert split Darcy Plunket in first with 24:43 and James Wright in second with 24:44. James Radcliffe completed the podium in third with 24:59.
Veterans (30+): 1- Daniel Morgan 24:57, 2- Daniel Mcgoogan 25:51, 3- Chris Hughes 26:20
Masters (40+): 1- Doug Pollock 24:22, 2- Daniel Segeri 24:43, 3- Jamie Green 25:11
SuperMasters (50+): Phill Leslie 27:09, 2- Graham Scholey 33:06, Jim Rae 33:17
Hardtail: 1- Staun Rasmussen 29:34, 2- Lachian Northridge 30:05
Junior U19: 1- Jon Gatt 24:02, 2- Jacob Mossner 27:11, 3- Blake Tipper 27:34
Junior U17: 1- Harrison Dobrowolski 22:38, 2- Sam Patterson 24:07, 3- Max Smith 24:46
Junior U15: 1- Henry White 27:46, 2- Sam Couch 28:29, 3- Jack Rae 29:00
Elite Female: 1- Rebecca Wyatt 28:44, 2- Vanessa Thompson 29:45, 3- Kellie Weinert 30:54
Veteran Female: 1- Natalie Ganderton 40:27, 2- Sophie Challoner 43:56, Maree Hutchings 47:15
Master Female: 1- Belinda Green 30:48, 2- Rebecca Lorch 33:48
Junior U15 Female: 1: Bridie White 47:54
The full SUPERFLOW results can be found for this round and entire series here.