A skater on a Hot Heels Africa Practice run. Photo Justin Boast
Kogelburg, South Africa - Today practice got underway for Hot Heels Africa. In existence since December 2003 it's the longest running event on the IGSA Schedule. The event is run in the beautiful Kogelberg Biosphere nature reserve an hours drive from Cape Town.
It’s the last IGSA World Cup Series event of the 2008 season is hosted by SAGRA (South African Gravity Racing Association).
The day started in the usual way at Hot Heels, clearing up wrecked hay bales and hay all over the track thanks to the attentions of the baboons! The regular team of Hot Heels marshals have had plenty of practice at this and did their usual efficient job! Luckily the baboons only showed up again for a short while around lunch. Otherwise it was registration, tech inspections by Eimer and lots of practice runs.
Former World Champion Leander Lacey negotiating the Kogelburg race course. Photo Justin Boast
Pete Connolly (GBR) and Zeid Bataineh (JOR) had quite a bad crash in their second run and did not practice again. Connolly pulled a tendon in his knee and Zeid was badly bruised on his back. Pete is hoping he will be able to push for the time trials tomorrow. Liam Fourie (RSA) took out a camera stand coming out of Lloyd's left. He received some minor attention from the medics and is fine. Luckily there was no harm to the camera. Some of the Cape Town riders will only register tomorrow due to work commitments. The large film crew from Bombproof Productions got some excellent footage.
The 1.9km Hot Heels Africa course demands respect, tactics and technical skill. Racing is held on the tight two-lane Buffelstal access road. Due to the road being so narrow riders are faced with a tight fast challenging race with a fast top section that leads to Lloyd's Left. Lloyd's Left exits to a straight past Buffelstal Dam and into the infamous "Baboon bend" and ending with a straight finish.
The weather was relatively calm for Hot Heels with a cool Southeasterly wind keeping the speeds on the low side. In the evening SAGRA hosted a fish braai for the riders, marshals and film crew at the Hangklip Hotel. Most of the riders are also staying at the hotel where they enjoyed a video show afterward diner. The atmosphere was very relaxed, with most of the riders who were at Fair Cape back together again. We are hoping the baboons will stay away for the qualifying runs tomorrow afternoon and look forward to plenty of practice runs with both the Mitsubishi Tritons on shuttle duty.