Claymore Challenge

One more of Cam showing the way to win...
Justin Wyper stepping down or stepping it up???
Most of the pro finalists
Clint McMahon came so close to pulling this and finished 5th overall... not to mention the mullet.
Cam in the middle of a big 3 in his winning run
These guys came to party....
Andrew Taylor throws down a Superflip on FreeBird
AC hipflips into 3rd
Dave's weapon of choice
Mark Hayes and the event namesake and trophy... the Claymore sword
1/4 pipe options
The Wall and Shred Shed in the back ground
Overview from the Lodge... like I said... options
The Highland SS from the hip landing above turn 2

Hoo F'n Ray!!!... 2008 has finally brought some events to the States on par with Canada and Europe! First there was the Wham Bam... more a glorified jump contest than a slopestyle... then the Teva Mountain Games... a fun low impact event but not quite a true slopestyle but getting better every year... then Crank Worx Colorado, a one line event and definitely a mountain bike course... now this... The Claymore Challenge held this weekend at Highland Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire.

The Highland's crew lead by owner Mark Hayes and designer/rider Dave Smutok, built a sick slopestyle course with numerous choices of how to get down the hill both big and small. Dave built a course that traversed Highland mountain starting with 3 lips (options 1-3) stepping down of varing heights and lengths with most pros choosing the middle line setting them up for bermzilla #1 and into big 90 hip to the right with 2 (options 4-5) different lips side by side. After blasting the hip, a 25’ tall landing carried you into berm 2 which brought the rider to a dirt jump where again the rider could choose from either a 10’ or 16’ gap (options 6-7) where upon landing we had yet more options… an 8’ quarter you could choose (options 8-9) to air as a 1/4 or boost out of the top left corner into a fast downhill left hand 90 berm. If you aired the 1/4 you then hit an S turn that takes you to a beautiful 8’ dirt spine which again led to more options, if you hit the 1/4 hip into the berm you could hit the biggest jump on the course a 25footer with a Quick 8’ lip.

This brings the option count to 11 and that doesn’t include the fact you could use the spine to transfer to the dirt jump landing or attempt to blast away into a hip landing on the far left. All of these options deliver you to the wall. A huge wall with mutiple… you guessed it…Options. I’m not even going to bother naming those but our tally is easily 17 at this point.

Now the final 2 obstacles are literally loaded with choices. Aaron Chase designed the “Shred Shed”… to be basically a building with a pitched roof 30’ wide and 50’ long completely surrounded by lips and landings for a full 360 degrees… which brings us to the “Freebird”… a giant dirt… uh… bird that again acts as lip or landing from almost anywhere you can imagine!!! The last day I was there the water dried up and the dirt was fast and tacky.

This course was full of imagination and fun to ride… had it not been for the week of torrential rain days before the contest the potential for the best event ever was clearly a possibility. Dave and his crew worked long and hard repairing the rain damage and taming the 6” thick layer of “buffalo skin” that threatened to slow us to a craw in some places.

The finals were insane as tricks went down off of everything... Clint McMahon surprised everyone when he dropped in with a huge bag of tricks including hipflips in both directions and flipping the start drop & tailwhips... he came close to a flipwhip but never quite got it under him. Phil rode well with a big 3 transfer from the the spine to a landing of the big jump as well as big airs on the 1/4 and 3'ing the FreeBird. Aaron rode into 3rd with a beautiful hip flip, a 3 transfer on the spine earning a dagger for his efforts. AT took home the 2nd place sword with Superflips, a huge tailwhip on FreeBird and extended Indian airs on the first hip. C-Mac was unstoppable as he flipped into the course every run... dumped 270 on the hip, Superflip the 1st dub, downside whip the 1/4 step-down. His ridiculous 3 on FreeBird sealed the deal and got his dowsed in champagne, thrown in a lake/pond thing and shot in the head with fireworks... Nice job Cam!!! 

Adam rode well in qualifying but crashes in both final runs kept him off the podium this weekend but he did stomp a 650 on the hip as well as a perfect 270 whip directly after hitting his head... the 270 made him so dizzy he had to end his run early. 

I’m sure this event is going to be a huge invitation only event soon but at least the course is open to the public and fun as hell!!! Mark, Dave and the rest of the Highland Mountain crew pulled an amazing event… can’t wait to come back next year or in Oct. for their jump jam.

Results:

1. Cameron McCaul
2. Andrew Taylor
3. Aaron Chase
4. Phil Sunbaum
5. Clinton McMahon
6. Tyler McCaul
7. Jamie Goldman
8. Justin Wyper
9. Adam Hauck
10. George Ryan
11. Dane Berke