BSX is short for bicycle supercross, it's a stripped back variation of BMX racing. With two separate tracks for riders to compete against each other in a one on one elimination style format. Instead of physical strength riders depend on skills and finesse, on a track like this even the smallest mistakes can be costly. As much as it's challenging and fun for riders, it's also designed for spectators and more particularly to raise money for the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation. All profits raised from gate takings, auctions, raffles and merchandise sales go to the Royal Children's Hospital.
A special thanks to our 2006 partners.
Dirt Designs (www.bmxultra.com/dirt), Torque Sports Drink (www.fostersgroup.com.au)
Bayswater Cycles/ Cyclelink (www.cyclelink.com.au), Safe and Sound (www.safeandsound.com.au), BMXTronic practice gate rigs (www.bmxtronic.com), Stella Artois.com (www.stella-artois.com), Corona Extra (www.corona.com), One Bicycles (www.onebicycles.com), Alpine Timber Windows and Doors, Kadarina Berries and BMXUltra.com.
For those of you who missed out on the BSX2006 race we have compiled a couple of videos for you to download in Windows Media file format. Click the images to the right to start watching.
Email us about the DVD at email@example.com.
There are a whole bunch of photos from the event, click
here to check them out.
XBR Magazine took a whole lot of photos on the day and provided us with the disk for promotional purposes, we picked the best of the bunch and created a new gallery. Click here to check out the XBR photos.
by Shane Jenkins - bmxultra.com
A little background...
I must admit, the idea of one on one BMX racing is hardly innovative. There have been various similar events held in the US over the past few years where pros race against each other one on one on purpose built technical and tight tracks. From the Gravity Games, to the John Purse sprint race, to double downs, to Stumpy's sprint trails. We have all seen photos or even footage of this unique style of racing. Where BSX is different however is that it's primary objective is to raise money for the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation. The timing was perfect, Australian BMXers have been looking for something new, something that would put some fun back into the sport for the pros. Especially since it has turned into very serious business with the debut of BMX in the Olympics just 2 years away.
Instead of doing something directly for the sport and trying to raise money for a huge prize pool for the riders, we decided it was time to try and shake the "BMX Bandits" name that seems to have stuck with BMXers since the early 80's Nicole Kidman film. You know the deal, you would regularly hear that kids on BMX bikes would steal old ladies handbags and shoot through on BMX bikes. That is pretty much all the press that BMX would get. We all know this is not what BMX is about. Well, damn it, it's time to set the record straight. We are here help others, and why not make it a charity like the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation. Besides, BMX has put it's share of kids through the hospital.
The only major hurdle for the event was insurance...without insurance the event wouldn't be possible. BMX Australia could only offer insurance if we were to affiliate the backyard track and pay sanctioning fees, which seemed a little harsh since the idea was to raise money for a charity in a one day event. So after talking to a bunch of insurance brokers we found a policy that would suit the event, covering the riders and spectators.
The funny thing was how easy it was to find support from riders, and sponsorship both inside and outside the BMX industry. Raising money for a charity like the Royal Children's Hospital seemed to open doors that normally wouldn't be open to BMX, and running the event independently meant that there were no restrictions as to how we ran things and what products we could help promote on the day.
Before we get into the details of the event, there were a bunch of people who have dedicated a lot of time to help us get this thing off the ground especially Craig Merritt of Dirt Designs, David Collyer of Kadarina Berries (who supplied the dirt and a bobcat for many hours), Shannon Rademaker, Jamie and Brandan Bullows, Scott Bradley, Adam, Chris and Barb Carey. Of course we couldn't have done it without our gold partners who liked what we were planning and joined us early in the piece, including Adam Robb from TotalBMX, and the folks at ManageSoft. TotalBMX helped us to fund setting up the event so we could start getting everything ready months in advance. It's no secret that I am also the webmaster for ManageSoft, but how they managed to get involved isn't so obvious. In September last year I was sent off to the Boston office for two weeks to work on a marketing campaign. During that time I hit up the ABA Canadian Grand Nationals and the NBL Supercross Nationals at Woodward, after some good results, which included a win at the Canadian Grands, ManageSoft ran an article in their company newsletter where the charity event was mentioned. Michael Carabetta, my manager, got right behind it and organised a donation from the company as well as making a significant donation of his own. The ManageSoft employees have also organised fund raising events and 9 employees volunteered to help on the day (Thanks guys). Without their support the event would have only been half as successful.
On the day...
After a funny week with rain and storms leading up to the event the weather was perfect on race day. It started off overcast and a little cool but once the clouds cleared it was a beautiful sunny day. We fired up the webcam early so people who couldn't make it could watch as things were set up and people arrived. The webcam went down very well, we had sponsors, rider's parents, and BMX fans from all over the world watching and listening in for the day. The gates weren't supposed to open until 10:30am, but there were a number of people keen to get in early so we started to let them through at about 9:30. As the big guns started to show up for practice there was a little carnage, the tighter corners brought even the best riders unstuck. The BSX track corners were much different to a normal track, you couldn't hit them at full speed, which a lot of riders learned very quickly. Some even struggled with the steep (30 degrees) short starting hill. 30 & Over open wheel class rider Brian Kelly tried to snap as you would a normal gate and found himself flat on his back quicker then you can say "ouch". It knocked a little wind out of him, but he was back for more and after a slight adjustment he had the gate all sorted out. After dropping his bike twice, Luke Madill was spotted smiling and giggling and he continued through practice. When we asked him what was up, he said "I'm just having fun with it, when I get too serious I crash". It seemed to work pretty well for him too.
As practice finished we found that only 30 riders had entered for the pro open, an announcement on the PA calling for 2 more riders out of our crowd took the numbers up to 32, the minimum we required for the event so that all riders would have to race in an elimination race in the first round. A couple of extra minutes of practice for them while the rest of the riders got together for some photos and had a discussion about how things would be run.
The first of the seeding timed runs was supposed to be an exhibition run by 12 year old Brandan "Boxhead" Bullows, but to make up numbers he was the youngest rider on the day he set a cracking time of 22.93 to get things started. Here's a useless piece of trivial for you; Brandon was 30-ish years younger than our oldest competitor, 80's BMX superstar Jamie Hales who was competing in the 30 and over open wheel class.
Next up was the pro women, Renee Junga took a tumble during practice and decided to pull the pin, when we spoke to her later she was disappointed because she really liked the track and it would have suited her style of riding. That left Ziggy Callan the fastest female by over 3.5 seconds with Rochelle Luke narrowly beating Carolyn Sobotka for second.
|1||Ziggy Callan||Redline/Total BMX||VIC||23.79|
|2||Rochelle Luke||Undecided/Freedom Felt||WA||27.52|
30 & Over Open Wheel class had only 4 riders but made for interesting viewing. On paper you would expect Brian Kelly, 2 times Australian Champion, to take the fastest time, but a slip up in the third straight brought him unstuck throwing him over the handlebars, he picked himself up and finished the lap, and left Ross Domigan to ride the fastest lap time for the class. Dean Coles narrowly beat out Jamie Hales for second.
|1||Ross Domigan||direct link/megaburn||QLD||23.60|
The 32 riders in the pro open provided plenty of entertainment
for the spectators. Retired AA Pro Scott Lacey and I both missed
obstacles which meant a 3 second penalty (you would think as the
track owner/builder that I would know it well enough by now right?).
The penalty idea was to stop people taking the faster outside
corners when they should be taking the tight inside corners, but
since that didn't happen and as Scott said "missing an obstacle
means you wash off all your speed anyway" I think we'll dump
that rule in the future.
Daniel Johnstone set an early track record with a scorching time of 19.84 seconds. Josh Callan set the fastest time by an A pro shortly afterwards, clocking up a very respectable 20.53 seconds. Chris Flemming and Tom Siinmaa dropped their bikes in the last corner and both elected to pick up their bikes and run to the line. Danny Galea, not to be out done, dropped his bike in the third corner and ran one and a half straights to finish his run. Levi Collins was looking good during practice, he managed to pull off the fastest time for a Victorian, just beating out Josh Callan, with 20.35. Billy Jolliffe was also putting in a very fast run but tucked a little too low on the dirt jump doubles at the end of the third straight and nose bonked them, it washed off a little of his speed costing him dearly. He would have to settled for fourth fastest time with 20.06. Tony Harvey did his run with style finishing up with an attempted 360 on the last jump and still managed a time of 20.83. Luke Madill had a very clean and fast run, just beating out Daniel Johnstone's time with a new track record of 19.81. He was followed up by Wade Bootes who very experienced and well suited to this style of racing, he looked like he could be on track to beat Luke's time if it wasn't for a heavy nose bonk on the second jump on the second straight. He managed to push through that and keep his momentum going for a time of 19.86, the third fastest time of the day.
|1||Luke Madill||GT Bicycles/Red Bull||NSW||19.81|
|2||Daniel Johnstone||DK/Answer/Freak/DJ's Bikes||QLD||19.84|
|3||Wade Bootes||WBR Racing||QLD||19.86|
|5||Levi Collins||bmxultra.com/ONE Bicycles||VIC||20.35|
|9||Tony Harvey||Avent Bombshell/Skin/TotalBMX||VIC||20.83|
|24||Josh Phillips||DK Bicycles||NSW||22.91|
|25||Brandan Bullows||Team WBR||VIC||22.93|
|29||Shane Jenkins||bmxultra.com/ONE Bicycles||VIC||26.27|
Once the timed runs were over the riders were awarded with the
special BSX number plates that they would use until they were
With small numbers in the Pro Women and 30 & Over Open wheel class we let them go for exhibition races to allow them to get some practice under race conditions and show off their skills.
In the Pro women Ziggy Callan was racing against Caroline Sobotka and looked to have the race wrapped up early until she fell victim to the tight fourth straight going over the handlebars.
In 30 & Over Ross Domigan and Brian Kelly had a close race with Ross taking the win while Jamie Hales showed Dean Coles why he was once Australia's fastest pro racer, leading from start to finish.
In the pro open, no real surprises but a couple of upsets. I was hoping to make it to the second round, but a match up against Jon Jon Hoare wasn't going to be easy, I planned to stick with him and see if he'd make an error, but instead tried to tuck too low on the second doubles in the second straight going over the handlebars superman style and taking out the crash of the day. It wasn't a great day for me, but at least I went out in style. Scott Lacey was looking comfortable and very fast on the track until he entered the inside first corner a little too fast and low and shot over the top of it, allowing Michael Vockenson to cruise through to the next round. Nathan Evans, who was having some success in the A Pro class during the Track Attack series, pulled a hard gate against Billy Jolliffe when cranking out of the second corner into the third straight he was still leaning over hard and washed out.
The Women had their second exhibition race, this time Ziggy Callan was matched up against Rochelle Luke, Callan rode a clean race and hung on for the win.
In the pro open Tony Harvey and Luke Madill met up and it looked like it was going to be an interesting race until Harvey cut too low entering the inside first corner too fast and dropped his front wheel over the top losing the bike and the race. After his crash Harvey signaled the 360 again and the crowd watched on, but again he didn't quite pull it off. The match up with Levi Collins against Jon Jon Hoare proved to be close, that was until Jon Jon dabbed his foot in the third corner allowing Levi to pull away enough to take the win. Wade Bootes outsnapped Shannon "Rudy" Rademaker at the start and proved to be too quick around the rest of the track leaving Rudy in his dust all the way to the line. Jamie Gray had a clean run against Matt Willoughby and started to pull away out of the first corner, Matt just didn't have the legs to match Jamie. Daniel Johnstone looked like he would just beat out Michael Vockenson until he stepped off the bike exiting the inside second corner, Michael went on to take the win. In a match up of Redline/TotalBMX stable mates, Luke Pretlove and Josh Callan, Pretlove made a couple of small errors allowing Callan to take the win. Billy Jolliffe, despite looking a little uneasy, proved too good for Matt Hill. Phirebird duo Glenn Codega and Joel Clarke started off level but Codega managed to pull away and take the win.
Levi Collins met with Luke Madill in a match up that would normally look a little biased towards Madill, but Levi held his own in the first half of the track falling about a wheel behind Luke. Levi had a clean run but Luke had the faster finish and took the win.
Wade Bootes met with Jamie Gray, and again it was a close match up, with both the riders at full throttle but Gray had a little trouble on the fourth straight and just couldn't maintain the same speed as Bootes. Bootes took the win to progress to the next round.
In a match up of the young guns, Michael Vockenson and Josh Callan, racing was tight. Callan dabbed his foot in the second corner which was enough for Vockenson to pull his wheel in front and stay there to the line.
The last of the quarter finals was a tough one for the riders and the judges. Billy Jolliffe and Glenn Codega were side by side to the last corner, Jolliffe dabbed his foot on the inside corner but managed to scooter across the line to win by the finest of margins over Codega.
Semi finals for the 30 & Over, Ross Domigan and Jamie Hales were going at it neck and neck until Hales got the speed wobbles up on the third straight and lost speed, he missed out on the final for first and second by only a wheel. In the second semi Brian Kelly took control early and never looked back winning convincingly over Dean Coles.
In what was one of the the best match ups of the day, Wade Bootes and Luke Madill, you could guarantee a close race. With both riders giving it all they had, the result would be determined by who put in the smoothest run. Both riders were flawless, but Madill seemed to make better use of the tighter corners and jumps which got him to the line about a length ahead of Bootes.
In a match up between Michael Vockenson and Billy Jolliffe anything could happen, and it did. Jolliffe seemed to get the edge on the first straight, but then Vockenson fought back and leveled things up by the halfway mark, it was enough to force Jolliffe to make a mistake. Again Jolliffe dropped his foot in the last corner and scootered across the line, and again he hung on to scrape through to the next round.
In the pro womens final Ziggy Callan got the stronger start with Rochelle Luke in tow, until Rochelle slipped her pedals on the second straight, allowing Ziggy to run away with the win.
30 & Over men.
In the race for third and fourth Jamie Hales blitzed the gate pulling a couple of lengths down the first straight over Dean Coles, the early lead was enough to allow Hales to take third for the day despite losing his pedals in the last corner.
Brian Kelly dominated the final for first and second place, Ross Domigan was hanging on and seemed to be making ground over the last half of the track but didn't have enough to reel Kelly in.
In the battle for third and fourth it was close all the way to the exit of the second corner where Vockenson looked to have put the power down in some loose dirt and washed off some speed, he got it together enough to keep going but not enough to stay with Bootes. Bootes took third and Vockenson fourth.
Luke Madill was super clean on the first half of the track in his race for top dollars. Billy Jolliffe was struggling in the first two corners, it looked like he was just trying too hard and it cost him too much time. Madill had run away with the win, Jolliffe had to settle for second.
While the presentation was running, a number of riders stuck around and continued to ride the track. We got through the presentation quickly and on with what some thought was the most fun for the day, the auction for the riders signed number plates. This auction alone raised $789. The most prized plate was Luke Madill's and when bidding stopped it sold for $200.
While some people won plates at the auction for a bargain some of the more popular plates went like this:
1. Luke Madill $200
2. Jamie Hales $42
3. Shannon Rademaker $40
4. Wade Bootes $35
5. Jamie Gray $30
6. Shane Jenkins $25
7. Levi Collins $20
8. Ziggy Callan $20
9. Carolyn Sobotka $20
10. Billy Jolliffe $20
11. Joel Clarke $20
I would like to thank everyone that made the BSX event a success. To all the riders who participated you put on an awesome show thank you all for your support. To the spectators thanks for your support and coming along and helping us raise money for the Royal Children's Hospital. To our partners thanks for everything leading up to and during the event, it has been great dealing with you all.
The Total/ManageSoft BSX raised over $3000 for the Royal Children's Hospital, but there are still donations and t-shirt sales coming in, so we won't have a final figure for a couple of weeks.
More information, video and photos at www.bmxultra.com/bsx
BSX 2006 was supported by TotalBMX (www.TotalBMX.com.au), ManageSoft (www.managesoft.com), Dirt Designs, Cyclelink.com.au, Safe and Sound, BMXTronic, One Bicycles, Torque sports drink, Corona Extra, Stella Artois, Kadarina Berries, Alpine Timber Windows and Doors, and BMXUltra.com.
Look out for BSX 2007.
December 2005. Click the images for a closer look.
From the end of first straight.
From the beginning of the fourth straight
Some newer photos from December 31, with TeamWBR rider Brandan Bullows putting the track through it's paces. The photos include the finished starting hill.