"Return of the Chaos" - BDSL Final Race Lake District 25-27/11/2016

Updated post event write up:
Wow, what a blast we had up in the Lake District the weekend just gone!

Here I am in muddy glory, photo by Andy Denness In my muddy attire. Photo: Andy Denness


After taking the last runs of the weekend by myself I was dressed in mud and smiling from ear to ear, but I'm getting ahead of myself, let me take you back to the beginning....

James Gunn and Pete Connolly in Motorvalhalla


8 hours of driving with Mr UK Downhill (Pete Connolly) and Yung Master (James Gunn) had left us tired, but when we arrived at Patterdale Hall on Friday night, the motorway miles melted away despite the frost outside doing it's best otherwise.

Inside we were greeted with a spacious and warm living room where our hosts and some of the Scottish riders had settled in for a cozy friday night in, playing catch up briefly I knew we had a long day ahead of us on Saturday and I called it an early night.


Winter wonderland at Patterdale hall with James and Will Edgecombe



Clear skies and freezing temps had been at play all night, resulting in some ice around the Hall, not knowing what to expect we convoyed over to the track for 10AM and found Thrill Hill still hiding in the shade.

IMG_8481 The view from up the Hill, while the track was still shaded.


I took a hike up the hillside to soak in some rays and air out my feet, I could hear the riders below starting to tackle the track with cheers from onlookers and those still getting ready.

Skate To Escape's Andy Denness bossing it into corner 2 Photo: Will Edgecombe Skate To Escape's Andy Denness bossing it into corner 2 Photo: Will Edgecombe


The surface was consistently grippy until the sun hit the first corner and "started" drying the run up to and exit of corner 1, this is when it became it "greasy" feeling and many riders struggled to get past this corner for the rest of the day.

Transitioning from rail to rail between corners in the grease was a delicate operation!

Around 2pm the No Paws Time Trial began, with Ben Stainer, Andi Denness and Lewis Taylor taking part, but none managed to make it down the track without putting a puck down.
However before the greasiness Ben Stainer did do a full run hands free and Lewis decided Ben as the winner of this segment.

Hermione (front) and Mist (behind) the last riders on the track Saturday, Hermione (front) and Mist (behind) the last riders on the track Saturday. Photo: Will Edgecombe


Around 3pm the sun dipped away, Mist and Hermione were the last to finish skating and were taking the chance to dial in the lines for race day.

Mist has come a long way this year, attending several EU events and getting her setup dialled in, it was rad to see such progression!

Gear in the drying room, getting ready for another day on the hill. Gear in the drying room, getting ready for another day on the hill.


We all retired to the hall, hung up our soggy gear in the drying room and enjoyed hot showers before tucking into an amazing dinner put on by the Hall staff.

That night we played Cards Against Humanity and Joking Hazard in the living room, followed by a screening of LGC's Open documentary, I felt the ZZZzzz coming and hit the hay, ready for another day.

We were blessed with cloud cover, a spot rain in the wee hours and a warmer temperature this morning.
All signs of ice had disappeared and the Hall's generous breakfast filled us up for more sideways action than you can safely shake a grilled tomato at.

I did my usual hill climb and came back down to gear up and tear it down, the track was fully consistent in it's grip all the way down, thanks to the earlier rain.

We were left with a tad muddy surface, but no streams of water like last year's riders had to endure.

I started taking runs with Will Edgecombe as I'd mostly been skating solo until this point, we rode close together and had fun chasing each other down the track, this was a turning point for me as I remembered how much riding close to others is something I'd long since lost.

Pete taking care of the racing scores and heats. Photo: Will Edgecombe Pete taking care of the racing scores and heats. Photo: Will Edgecombe


The race structure was an elimination bracket with just under 19 riders taking part, 2 riders per heat.
Pete took up the mantle of Race Director and had us paired up with our competitors in no time.

I was up against Jack Patton in my 1st round and pushed off in front to get the line I wanted, in the 2nd round I had Dale Goodwin, I stayed behind and overtook him between the 1st and 2nd corner to secure the win.
Then I came up against Ras Rasalas, fellow Newton's Family rider and top UK contender.

Ras and I (behind) pushing off for our heat together. Photo: Will Edgecombe Ras and I (behind) pushing off for our heat together. Photo: Will Edgecombe


I pushed off behind Ras and stayed on his tail but couldn't find the right spot to overtake so he progressed into the finals, meanwhile due to a snaffu with the racer setup, the other semi finalists Lewis, Ben and Aaron Skippings settled on a 3 man heat to decide 5th place.

Aaron leading Lewis and Ben in the semi finals. Aaron leading Lewis and Ben in the semi finals.


I raced Lewis in the consolation heat, but didn't have the opportunity to overtake after pushing out behind, a tight run to the end was still more than fun and he took 3rd.

Meanwhile the Women's category competed too, but with only 4 contenders I missed all but the last run while I was in my own heats.

The end results for open class were:
1st Ras Sarunas Rasalas
2nd Aaron Skippings
3rd Lewis Taylor
4th Alex Ireton
5th Ben Stainer

In the Women's class:
1st Mist Einarsdóttir
2nd Hermione Pearson
3rd Katya Krasner
4th Sabina Edwards

Full BDSL Results can be found here:

With the racing over by 1PM the podium was taken care of and riders started to say their goodbyes, but for some of us it just meant more runs on the hill.

Chasing Pete into corner 2. Photo: Will Edgecombe Chasing Pete into corner 2. Photo: Will Edgecombe

I took to riding with Pete and Hermione for a few more hours, soaking in the mud and tight lines we were all smashing, vying for that overtake on every turn, grinning even if I couldn't get it.

After some close calls and lot's of laughs, we packed it in for the trip and said goodbye to our wonderful hosts.

I honestly think we couldn't have had better:
-place to stay
-people to be with

Thank you to all involved, specially the crew at Patterdale Hall where I highly recommend you stay if visiting the lake district.

Much love to the Skate to Escape crew for everything!

~Alex Ireton

My setup:
Rayne Libido Prototype
Carver CX.4 C2.4 trucks, rear truck dewedged
Venom Cobra Core Cannibals 72mm 76a
Fat Ant Barrel bushings
Zealous Bearings

Sponsors of the event:
Newton's Shred Longboard Shop
DaSilva Boards
Shred'o'Grande Downhill

Pre-event info:
Skate To Escape are putting on the outlaw by which all other outlaws shall hence forth be judged by.

Spaces are limited to 30 slots and includes mansion accommodation and food over the weekend:
Fri 25th to Sun 27th of November

Newton's Shred is stoked to support this event, I should be there with bells and whistles on.
~Alex Ireton @ NS

Facebook event page:

Details from the event page on 18/10/16:
"Bringing you the best of the worst weather… Skate to Escape’s ~ BDSL Return of the Chaos!

• 25th – 27th November 2016
• 30 available places
• Registration opens 1st October – 30th October payment secures place’s
• Registration enters you into racing (Open & Women’s categories)
• 2 Price Plans £90 & £52 see below for details

Last year we faced fluke storms which later destroyed the Lake District with massive floods, landslides & collapsing bridges. 60mph winds and constant rain which didn’t dampen our spirits :)

So let’s do it again! Limited no’s are in place to protect the hill, a shame but we trust you’ll understand.

Thrill hill consisting of 3 20-25% hairpins, speeds of 30/35mph, pot holes, bumpy surface, general gnar isn’t ideal for beginners. It will be two man race heats for safety reasons
(No haybails or protection, all riders ride at their own limit)

Patterdale Hall is more than happy to host us again and we feel this is well worth while with their excellent catering & hospitality!

Facilities include:
• Amazing, healthy, home cooked tasty food in large quantities, giving you all the energy you need.
• Dorm style rooms in small groups 2-6 persons
• Drying room! (an absolute godsend for getting all your wet clothes ready for morning)
• Games room (2 x table football tables, 2 x Table tennis tables & pool table)
• 2 living rooms 1 massive 1 smaller with wood fires, supplied with fridges for our beer & ample sofa’s!
• Constant free tea & coffee
• Bedding
• Can return for showers Sunday afternoon

£90 Price plan:
Accommodation - Friday & Saturday night.
Breakfast, lunch & Tea Saturday
Breakfast & lunch Sunday

£52 Price plan:
Accommodation - Saturday night.
Tea Saturday
Breakfast & lunch Sunday

*Arrive from 5:00pm on Friday (No evening meal on Friday)
*Breakfast at 8:30am
*Lunch is pack lunch that needs to be specified the night before
*Tea at 7:00pm

***Under 18’s… We & Patterdale Hall require a signed form with your dedicated responsible adult for the weekend & a signature from a parent. If you want to attend please contact us and a form will be provided. No younger than 16 sorry!

This is non-profit get together & costs are as supplied by Patterdale Hall 16/06/16"

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