Events: 2002 Highland Wheels Extreme -
Aviemore Scotland - 6/1/02

From the message boards...

2002 Highland Wheels Extreme Race Summary - Official Results

Posted By: Hod on Date: 6/5/02 @ 10: 17p.m.

OK, from memory, until we get the official results, we can add to and correct previous incomplete/provisional guess qualifying and results postings :-) filing in the gaps. Here's my go:

Buttboard final:
I cannot remember much about this as the luge races and adrenaline have wiped large chunks of my memory. Not as eventful as the luge race, but Dave Auld only came 6th bacuse he hit gravel on a too-shaky gunbarrel exit.

After Gunbarrel I do't believe there ere any significant changes to the final positions, much to my chagrin. There was much synchronised arm-flailing and wobbling as 5th place Hod copied almost every movement 4th place McBride did rathern than concentrate on passing him.

The first three were just wonderful, as usual, Jerry taking the first ever UK home podium on buttboard or luge (still yet to happen).

But first, the StreetLuge final:
A really close race, and great fun for spectators and participants alike. It had something for everybody, and all the hallmarks of a classic. A non-injuring crash, drafting galore, 4 or 5 riders arriving at the two sharpest corners at once, and Dave Rogers practiaclly leadig from start to finish. Well, you can't have everything ;-) and in fact Dave was under pressure throughout.

I got the best view in the house, laying in 5th or 6th most of the way down. I recommend this tactic, which may not be best for winning (though it could get u a podium if you have the experience) as the best show on earth...

At the start, five in a row all the way down, getting identical starts, (except yours truly, weakling arms, abysmally a couple of yards behind). Into the first corner (Gunbarrel) some sorting occured, naturally, the order exiting roughly being Rogers, Eliot, Kahn, Lott, Hodkinson, Auld.

Hod then stuffed up a passing manoeuvre on Lott at the end of the flat section coming into Sugar Bowl, overbraking and allowing Auld to pass him on the outside coming through Sugar Bowl.

Ahead in the straight coming down towards the juice box, accelerating fast, the order was Rogers, closely followed by Eliot, Lott, Auld entering the juice box together, and Kahn just behind, with Hod trailing by a few yards. The crush at the juice box (juice crush?) allowed Kahn and Hod to catch the pack by the bottom end of the course, the somewhat heavier Hodkinson bombing up from behind and drafting Kahn to the left halfway up the penultimate straight, then near the end finding three abreast, something like Auld to the left, Lott in the middle and (slightly trailing, he is a light chappie) Eliot to the right, blocking up most of the road.

What to do? Just a second or so to think (duuuuh.. oops), so just before the last corner, Eliot being the closest bod, Hod drafts Eliot up the right hand (inside) just before and through the last corner. Eliot gives him a good bumping, but he gets through (all those pies, you see), but now (and maybe not anyway tot ell truth, and now we'll never know) unable to catch Lott before the finish line. Hod still wondering if he should have gone left.

Meanwhile, Dave Auld drafted and passed Lott, on the last corner, to end up in 2nd, indeed just a second or so in time behind the inimitable Dave Rogers, and then in line, Lott, Hodkinson, Eliot, all practically head to toe.

Kahn in the meanwhile, had been drafting Hod after being overtaken, and when Hod went right past Eliot, Kahn went left to the outside. Unfortunately, he caught his footpegs (those darn things again) on Eliot's board and went backwards off the outside of the corner. Spectacular, and happily not injured at all... In fact he was jumping with glee as is his general happy habit, and crossed the line a few seconds later picked himself up and trundled across the line kneeling on his luge and grinning like a leprechaun. That boy, no, man, is a great competitor. Somebody please bottle what Jeremy's on and give it to some of our glummer friends and the world may be a happier place ;-).

Finally, taking it for granted that Dave Rogers walks on water, of course, I'd like to applaud Dave Auld's run from 6th to 2nd after a terrible Gunbarrel exit as perhaps the finest performance here.

Definite StreetLuge Results:
1. Dave Rogers
2. Dave Auld
3. Darren Lott
4. Richard Hodkinson
5. Pete Eliot
6. Jeremy Kahn

Definite ButtBoard Results:
1. Darren Lott
2. Dave Rogers
3. Jeremy Gilder (Hooray, a Brit gets a medal!)
4. Chris McBride
5. Richard Hodkinson
6. Dave Auld

Streetluge qualifying times:
Dave Rogers 2.33.17
Dave Auld 2.36.93
Jeremy Kahn 2.37.63
Darren Lott 2.39.99
Peter Eliot 2.39.99
Richard Hodkinson (about 2.40)
Jeremy Gilder (about 2.48)
Chris McBride (?)

Buttboard qualifying times:
Darren Lott 2.43.73
Dave Rogers 2.47.13
Dave Auld 2.48.19
Richard Hodkinson (about 2.56)
Jeremy Gilder (?)

Please feel free to add/correct

Scotland Technology Notes

Posted by: Darren Lott Date: 6/6/02, 7: 57 a.m

Scotland was a fabulous event. Excellent course preparation was required for the world's longest and fastest track. Chris brought an extra 300 (soft) bales this year (totalling 1440). I was flattered to take part in a really well thought out strategy for course protection that worked like a charm. Marshals each had a printed procedures book and were trained in first aid.

Everything went wonderfully, including the weather. When I assemble Kent's and Arlene's pictures, I'll do an event coverage on In the meantime, here are some technical lessons learned from the luge racing:

PEGLESS: Almost 40% (9 of 24 luge) racers participated with pegless luges.
Of the medalists, 2 out of 3 were pegless.
Although buttboards were allowed to participate in the luge class, no one chose to use one.

WHEELS: Of the medalists, 2 of 3 rode ABEC 11s.
The ABEC 11 wheels were the fastest of the wheels used.
In buttboarding, I noted that no one riding Flashbacks was eliminated in the first round. This continued until the five riders using Flashbacks were all in the final. Pretty impressive.

Chris Chaput is not a jerk for making sure racers know who does well on his wheels. Racers complain it is "unfair" if they are suprized by new equipment which performs well. With several races coming up, the sooner riders know they want something the better a chance they have of getting it on time. Race day is not the time to complain about needing better wheels. With brand new luge wheels, the current feeling is that Flywheels stick better than the 85mm Race Cores, but after they both break the skin (scuff), the Kryps provide more consistent traction. However, I think the ABEC 11 urethane seems to roll faster over certain surfaces.

I even accused Dave Rogers of hiding compressed air jets in his luge as at some points he would just gain several feet on me. I was running eight 85mm Kryptonics Race Cores compared to Dave's 6 Flywheels. I was not compelled to change the Kryps as frequently and think my two extra wheels made for superior traction, but not speed. Depending on your riding style, course, and willingness to swap wheels frequently, both the new Race Cores and Flywheels are highly competive luge racing wheels.

RIDERS & BOARDS: Overall the pack was much faster. Richard Hodkinson and Jeremy Kahn produced stellar qualifying and racing results on pegged Roger's luges. Both made the final. Both are now poster boys for "Most Improved." The standard Rogers luge is not obsolete.

Award for "Quickest Study on a Completely Different Design" goes to Chris Beard, who raced a duplicate of my Speed Stick. After only one day of riding, he won the Consolation Round. Impressive. Danny Bates and Pete Love also tried new Speed Sticks at the event and raced well. Fast track, new boards, good results, no crashes.

TRUCKS: The top three luge positions were taken by the three most experienced riders.
2 of 3 rode FIXED AXLES. I hope that sinks in. Dave Auld follows his X Games medal with a medal on the longest and fastest track. He rides and WINS on $30 RII-Bs. Dave is not stupid and he can certainly afford the extra $50 each for Randal Luge trucks. (Do we really need to hear another rider complain about how they can't win because they can't afford floating axles?)

All the Speed Sticks were equipped with Mollenium trucks. They are more expensive than the Randal Luge trucks and also come with fixed axles. Would floating axle Molleniums be an upgrade? Perhaps. But people will select trucks they like based on features of durability and handling. Floating axles are nice, but not the key to winning.

WINNING COMBINATION: So summarizing the medalists:
2 of 3 rode Metal
2 of 3 rode Pegless
2 of 3 rode Plastic bodywork
2 of 3 rode Flywheels
2 of 3 rode Fixed Axles
2 of 3 rode Randal Trucks

But none of the winners had a Metal pegless luge with Flywheels and fixed axle Randal trucks. I'll guess that some rider in the field did, but they didn't make the podium.

Dave Rogers was the fastest luge qualifier and racer. His pegless luge, plastic bodywork, and ABEC 11 wheels all contributed to a top notch performance. But last year he had entirely different equipment and was still the fastest luge qualifier and racer. It's not all about equipment, even in the luge class.

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