Keeping Focused: Frozen Fumblin’

I’m back for another Winter instalment of Keeping Focused. As a Brit, it’s difficult on a normal day to go without mentioning the weather at least once… but in this case it’s a defining feature of my story, and I suppose a pretty expected one given our remote location and the current season.

While we would hope for a dry spell, we can’t wait for one and events and sessions keep coming cause skaters-gotta-skate! The Brianne Collective – an affiliation of shredders; Tom Campbell, Ry Swanton, Sion Hughes and Cam Deegan, brought us their sixth or seventh event, this time to Sheepy Hill in Rhayader, Wales.

The ‘return of the: RETURN OF THE: Fumble in the Valley‘ is in its third installment and I’m not sure this naming convention was properly thought through, but we were stoked for an event.

Rider registration in the car and general discomfort outside.

Rider registration in the car and general discomfort outside.

75 riders showed up with rain grooves cut, game-faces on and a fair few fresh sets of leathers.

43 of these riders even came to race!

New for this season, points are being awarded in the first official year of the very new British Downhill Skateboarding League (BDSL) and everyone is frothing to collect ’em. [More details to come on this]

In the interest of getting shit done quickly in really crappy conditions, names were drawn from a hat for a straight single knockout contest to decide the semi-final line-ups. Weather alternated between howling wind and howling wet/hail, which conveniently left the track consistently soaking wet versus the warmup runs with more patchy conditions.

Rain made a mirror of everything.

Rain made a mirror of everything.

In the finals, Lewis Taylor made a daring and swooping overtake on the outside of the final sweeper, just pipping Ras Sarunas Rasalas for first place, and followed by Tom Campbell and Pearse D’Arcy in third and fourth places, respectively.

The racing was fun and the community is most solid right now; it was great to see so many good friends and heavy hitters in action alongside talented younger riders and I’m just stoked how much we love skateboarding down hills – enough to get up at 5am, drive to the middle of nowhere and willingly go outside on a day reserved by most for the couch and a duvet.

Next time: Sunshine?

Are you from the UK or maybe coming for a visiting? Find out more about the Brianne Collective events, follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up. The next event for the new BDSL will be Abercynon, join the Event Page for more info here.

Finally, thanks for reading and don’t forget to Follow me on my insta, @WillEdgecombe, for almost-daily doses of skate and photography. Cheers!