On Sunday 6th August it was Dirt Wars next stop – PORC’s (Penshurst Of Road Club) time to open its gates to the public once more and host the latest round of the FMB Bronze series and UK premier dirt jump event DIRTWARS. Having had a typical week of Bristish summer weather and a changing forecast, arriving at the event it was clear that the weather gods were in our favour. The jumps were looking prime thanks to the countless hours behind a shovel from trail boss Terry and with the crowd of spectators growing, it was time to get the riders signed in and start the days event. Also Chris Greenwod needs to be propsed out here for all the banger images he has delivered! UK stays strong for quality work!
With the riders signed in and padded up, the course was opened and it was time to get used to the course and start entertaining the growing number of spectators.
First up it was the open riders to hit the course, competing on the smaller line of the two didn’t mean that the tricks would be any less impressive.
New comer to the DirtWars series, Aiden McMillen flowing through the course
Also riding here for the first time, it wasn’t long until Vitaljous Zarikov opened up his trick bag
Local rider James Firrel cruising through with a laid-back toboggan.
After a break from riding and competing, Joe Simkins shows that he’s still got it
With all 10 of the open riders acquainted with the course, they sent a massive train down the trails before kicking into competition mode. 3 Runs each, top 6 go through to finals.
Josh Venamore earning points with this no-foot can right in front of the judges
Zac Rainbow has shown huge amounts of progression this season, now comfortable enough to spin the first set
Although not quite getting the arms to full extension, Patrick Robinson still impressed the judges with his flip combination.
Another PORC Local, Kerry Pert already showing confidence in his tricks sending a tail whip midset.
Another new face to the scene, Antony Brooks was getting the judges excited with his mid-set backflips
A podium regular this season, Jack Cardy wasn’t messing about and wanted to show the others that he was there for the win, sending a big 3 whip over the last
After all the open riders had taken their 3 runs, it was time for the judges to tally up their scores to see who had done enough to make it into the finals.
Tom Reynolds with a timeless whip. With a few of the regular pro riders away with other commitments, there was a limited field of 6 riders and the decision was taken to run the first session as seeding to sort out the running order for finals
Just as the open riders did, the pros entertained the crowd with a massive train over the larger set of jumps. Freddy Pulman sending a huge superman at the front
It must be something about the name Tom Reynolds and Tom Isted with synchronised backflips
It’s almost like he wasn’t away, having missed most of the season due to injury, it was good to see Freddy Pulman back sending his huge 360 combos
A man with many combos, I don’t think I saw Harry Campbell throw a straight backflip all day
Although these were only seeding runs, the pros weren’t holding anything back and sending their big tricks. Alex Cahill with a huge Super flip on the last
Not to be out done by Alex, Tom Isted dropped in and sent the same trick on the jump before
With the qualification and seeding runs done, it was time to have a bit of a break and re-energise. For the riders it was time to take in what had just been laid down and calculate what runs they were going to have to put together for a chance of standing on the top step.
With the judges scores coming in so close between the open riders, the decision was made to take all ten of the riders into the finals and give them three runs to battle it out for a spot on the podium. Knowing that it would take their biggest tricks to get them there, the open riders were keen to prove that they deserved it.
Vitaljous Zarikov adding more to his run with a trick on each set.
Patrick Robinson was a crowd favourite and not afraid to send it, adding in extra features to his run with a 360 on the little set-up roller and finishing his runs with a flair attempt on the bank at the end of the course enough to land him the last spot on the podium and a bag full of prizes
Down but not out, feet still on the pedals Antony Brooks slides out of a 360 attempt that he would manage to land in his final run.
Miniflip Monday on a Sunday? Aiden McMillen keeps it low in front of the judges
With the riders starting to push each other with more and more tricks being put down, the level of competition and excitement went up. Josh Venamore adding in a table combination to his backflips.
With a run in the bag, James Firrel rolled the dice by trying to go 360 to oppo 360, unfortunately this time the gamble didn’t pay off and also missing out on a podium spot by just 2 points.
I think Joe Simkins spent more upside down during his runs; table backflip to tuck backflip to barrel roll, this would be enough to put him into 4th position.
Saving it for his final run and spinning every way possible on the 3 jump course, Zac Rainbow managed to put down the best run of his season with a 360 to Flip tuck and finishing with a massive f-bomb, he would end up with the joint highest scoring run of the day, but would have to settle for second after the judges had to take previous runs into account.
Bar-spinning his way into the course on the little set up roller, Jack Cardy rode consistently all day, throwing technical combinations as well as banger tricks, unfortunately it wasn’t to be his day and he would have to settle for 3rd place on the podium.
With the same top score as Zac Rainbow, it was Kerry’s consistency to throw down banger runs that earn’t him the top step of the podium today. Here he is boosting a tail whip before setting up for a 3-whip over the last.
After each run the smile under the helmet was the same, you could see through his riding how much Kerry was enjoying himself today.
Dirtwars Open Podium
1st Kerry Pert: Tailwhip, 360 table, 360-Tailwhip
2nd Zac Rainbow: 360, Flip tuck, Front flip
3rd Jack Cardy: Barspin set up, Backflip, 360, 360-Tailwhip
4th Joe Simkins: Flip Table, Flip Tuck, Barrel roll
5th Patrick Robinson: 360 set up, Tyre grab to toboggan, Backflip, Truck driver
After just seeing how hyped and intense the open competition had got, it was time for the pros to stretch and get warmed up before battling it out for the podium and cash prize
With the judges in place and the ever enthusiastic Dylan on the mic, hyping up just about everyone in the venue, it was time for the pros to drop in for their final runs
Keeping relaxed and sending the jumps with maximum style throughout every run, Ali Dunn was unable to put together a run with the big tricks we know he’s capable of.
Having put down his run multiple times during practice, Freddy was unable to repeat his actions in either of his 3 runs and would have to settle for a frustrating 5th place
After the first runs you could seen that the bar had been set very high, with anxious faces, the pros knew that they were going to have to delve deep into their trick bag to be in with a shot at landing on the podium.
It shows the level of competition is high, when Tom Reynolds can put a flawless run together that includes a double tail whip and a huge 360 table and not make the podium
After laying down a solid run of technical combos and ending on a huge front flip, Harry Campbell pushed his score higher in his last two by risking it with his massive front flip on the second jump and being rewarded 3rd place, his first podium in the pro category.
Entertaining the crowd with double flips on the last jump like they were nothing, Tom Isted pushed hard for the top step, double flipping the second jump, only to come unstuck on the superman 360 attempt and would have to settle for second place.
Which means Alex Cahill takes the top step of the podium, with a flawless run that included a DirtWars first of a 360 Tailwhip to late Bar-spin as well crazy combos including a Flip bar to late tuck.
The Pro Podium
1st Alex Cahill: Decade, Flip bar to late tuck, 360 Tailwhip to late Bar-spin
2nd Tom Isted: Tuck no-hands, Double Flip, Superflip
3rd Harry Campbell: No-footed x-up to late no-foot can, Front flip, Backflip one foot x-up to late can
Finally a massive thank you to all the spectators that came out to cheer the riders on. All the riders, for putting on such an incredible show and probably the most competitive round of DirtWars this year. Terry for all the hours spent making sure the jumps were running perfect all day! Last but not least, a huge shoutout to all of the DirtWars crew for all their hard work organising and making sure the event runs smoothly.
Keep your eyes peeled on the DirtWars website for announcements about the next round, which will be on Sunday 10th September.
Video: Henery Agger
Words and Images: Chris Greenwood