With the bad weather and postponements of 2012 in the back of our minds the heavy rain that the South East saw last Friday definitely got us worried on the lead up to this years first round. We turned up Saturday afternoon to find a small pond on the run out of the last jump and even the local Wisley crew were worried whether things would be rideable. Its funny what a few men and some determination can do though. With a mixture of sunny weather and some hard work from the trails crew, the jumps were sorted. Round one was on!

A few of the UK’s Pro riders had made the trip out to Poland for a comp but with 15 riders in the Open category and 14 in Pro it was a pretty decent turn out. Morning practice definitely showed who had been training hard over the winter months. With a couple of riders moving up to Pro and a load of new faces in the Open category the day was set to be an interesting one.

Qualifiers took the 15 Open riders down to 8. Some riders seemed to struggle to find their flow whereas others were bossing it through the jumps from the start. Every rider knew that they would have to really ride hard and put down some technical runs to make it into the finals. Expectations were high for Essex’s Tom Cardy who after recent web edits had been seen riding well. Unfortunately things just weren’t clicking and although Tom was busting some decent stunts he didn’t look his usual composed self. He just missed out on the final qualifying 9th! Claiming their place in the finals were, in reverse order, Liam Tuite, Kerry Pert, Sam Lewington-Booth, Alfie Stephens, Daniel Stewart, Olly Parker, Ben Nolan & Tim Peckham. Tim’s qualifying runs looked like he had the form to run away with the Open category win. A 2.5 point lead over Nolan in second place was a really solid ride but all of the Open final riders were also gunning for the win.

Open Final results –
1 – Daniel Stewart – 37
2 – Alfie Stephens – 36.5
3 – Olly Parker – 35.5
4 – Tim Peckham – 34
5 – Ben Nolan – 32
6 – Liam Tuite – 28.5
7 – Kerry Pert – 18.5
8 – Sam Lewington Booth – 8

The Pro category saw most of the usual British domestic scene riders alongside one of the UK's top international scene riders, a less familiar face to Spank Dirt Wars events, Sam Reynolds. We even saw the return of a couple of riders who were familiar faces on the scene 5 or 6 years ago but not of recent times - Matt Scott & Phil Aukland. Unfortunately Danny Pace was back in the Motherland aka Swansea resting an injured shoulder and Clinton Johns who was supposed to be making the long journey from Cornwall never showed up?! Clint we hope you are okay!

Qualifying saw the 14 riders reduced to 9 due to Wig Lewington Booth & Matt Scott being drawn on points in 8th place.

Pro Qualifier results –
1 – Sam Reynolds (Polygon/Monster) – 42
2 – Matt Jones (Saracen/Bell/GoPro) – 38
3 – Ray Samson (DMR Bikes/Bell) – 37
4 – Freddy Pulman (Spank/Getabmx) – 36.5
5 – Phil Aukland (Identiti/Society/Halo) – 36
6 – Ryan Nangle (Dartmoor UK) – 34
7 – Rob Welch (Transition bikes) – 33
8 – Wig Lewington Booth – 30.5
8 – Matt Scott (Curtis Bikes) – 30.5
10 – Dylan Grell Pelsol (Identiti/ison) – 28.5
11 – Adam Williams (Rose/Alpinestars) – 27
12 – Rob Newman (Nookie/Marzocchi) – 24
13 – Jordan English (Animal/Nutrichef) – 22
14 – Charlie Watts (Void/Static) – 19

Each year the Wisley comp shows how all the Pro riders have progressed, and this year was no different. Each rider in the final had fluid style, huge trick bags and it was just a case of who could keep their trick bag open the widest, for the longest!

Taking third place was the returning veteran of the UK dirt scene, Identiti's Phil Aukland. Phil whilst having his quiet patch had been studying hard to become a doctor, but he definitely hadn't been slacking on the bike in this time! Huge one-handed 360 tables & 360 no footed cans were thrown with such ease and showcased some stunts never seen at our events before. (Unofficially I think he was the rider's favourite of the day to be honest.) In second place was DMR's Ray Samson. Ray looked like he warmed up slowly throughout the day and didn't unleash his banger tricks until the finals, but unfortunately for Ray it wasn't quite enough to beat his old teammate.

Taking the top spot in Pro Category was the S4P legend & Polygon Bikes/Monster Energy rider Sam Reynolds. Alongside Ray, Sam was one of the only riders to use the alternate line through the trails and his clean execution of flipwhips, flintstones and his general trails steeze sealed his first place.

Pro Final Results –
1 – Sam Reynolds (Polygon/Monster) – 45
2 – Ray Samson (DMR Bikes/Bell) – 42
3 – Phil Aukland (Identiti/Society/Halo) – 38
4 – Matt Jones (Saracen/Bell/GoPro) – 38
5 – Wig Lewington Booth – 37
6 – Matt Scott (Curtis Bikes) – 33.5
7 – Freddy Pulman (Spank/Getabmx) – 33
8 – Rob Welch – 32.5
9 – Ryan Nangle (Dartmoor UK) – 30.5

Freddy Pulman ended up taking the Slam69 Best Trick comp with a double truckdriver over the big last jump showing that as one of last year's Open riders, he has really been putting in the hours over winter to make the step up into Pro.

So the season has started, the first points of the series have been scored and it’s time to get ready for Round 2 @ Holdshott trails, Hampshire on the 16th of June!

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