And it was fokin packed out. Great to see, though turning up and getting sheparded into parking spaces was a novel experience. You have to wonder if the large numbers were helped by the fact the normal £5 fee was waived for the day.
Rolling down to the jumps fairly early while it was only half full, I decided against the main lines on the full susser in order not to mess it up for the BMX boys who've spent all week digging that soft sand to masterpieces. Though you know the first cased twist is gonna ruin it all, but the thought counds and all that.
The Jam was officially meant to start at midday, but that came andwent, as did one o'clock and still no-one was any the wiser. And aside from the two sponsers tents who'd set up for the day (sorry, guys, I forget the companies, but some lovely Commencal bikes on display, so possibly their importer? Bikeactive or something?) I couldn't really spot 'judges' from the sit and watch crowd. All the riders had no idea what was going on either, but were going big for the crowds in true open jam style.
As far as I'm aware there was no actual mention of the comp at all until someone said it was finishing at 3 (this was about half 2) and we went from there.
All the regular Chicksands top riders were there, whose I struggle to name not being a regular jumper, but Dowie, Pilgrim and such were all in attendance.
It was also good to bump into Si Brettle, who I haven't seen for a few years now, and he's been getting his names in mags more frequently, but he's still a top lad. Kicked my arse on the 4X track, and was adding some great moto style to the jump lines, though you can tell the freeriders from the purist jumpers from miles back. Good to see variety though.
In terms of tricks, nothing majorly new was coming out. 360's seem to be loosing their 'dump' nose down style, didn't see a single off-axis flip or front-flip, though their were riders there that can do them.
Back-flip variations are still in, flip no-handers, flip-supermans (kind of's) And a guy I dont recognise going for some backflip-tailwhip variation that could have had a 360 or something else thrown in, but it was strange, and he as good as landed it.
Special mention to a rider called 'Stinky' (he wasn't riding one so I've no idea about the nick-name) who ended up in a pile beside me on the floor, shouted, rolled about and generally flailed. When asked what was wrong, he lept up shouting " flipped the first, I fucking flipped the first". Which he then went off to do another 3 times thanks to crowd chanting, each time landing the flip then smashing into whatever happened to be to the sides of the second take-off. Comedy genious.
Prizes were finally given out almost completely randomly (with the now compulsary free-stuff throw), to whom-ever tried hardest, had a laugh etc etc. In other words the big names got nothing, the kids pushing their all got free helmets and tyres. Best of all, the 'grand prize', so to speak; A Commencal Absolute full build, was given to some lad that had spent all day trying to clear the two smallish table-tops and getting gradually closer. In fact, while the prize was called, he was still off riding them, and the crowd called him over on mass, looking totally bemused as to why 50 people were shouting at him, to be given a brand new bike. Shocked he was, but a great touch.
As a final touch, Stu stole my bike to ride the 4X in full moto-gear. High speed required.
And the land-rover got all the way to Chicky and back without any more wheels falling off. Sweet