Hells Bells 2011 – Victory for Team Mountain Designs
Well, what can I say……Gary’s magical mystery tour this year certainly took us on a route to victory without too many hiccups!
Leg 1 – Trek - Parklands
This year for Hells Bells we had QRA ROUGE 8 course organiser - Liam St Pierre racing with us……Gary nicknamed him GIGANTOR…….we felt like we were in Gulliver’s travels when we set of on the first run leg. The Cycle Zone Boys really took it out hard……we backed off a bit and made our way to CP A passing may of the Fairy Bells teams …….. I could lead Gary straight to CP’s C & B and entry point to CP D before passing Terry and John boy and other trail care guys on our way from E to G along VW trail…… local knowledge helped as it’s like a spaghetti bowl of trails in there! CP G was a spectacular spot into a small waterfall….we were in and out of there quickly and soon out on the track to the Kayak…..and got into the TA ahead of all other Hells Bells teams.
LEG 2 Kayak – Maroochy River
We were very cautious when selecting our craft........as last year we got a dud kayak that had a blown side wall, as we paddled it sank and we had to stop and empty it numerous times and lost about 20mins as a result…..so we checked this one carefully……especially the floor as sometimes the valves can leak and your boat can fill up fast. We took turns and pumping and we were the first Hells Bells team on the water…… it was a very hot day and the splashes of cool water were very refreshing. We managed to maintain our lead against CYCLE ZONE and on the way back saw Tri Adventure Vintage looking like a well-oiled machine and many other Hells Bells teams zigzagging SEVLORS their way to CP 2. Tri Adventure turtles were moving swiftly amongst other Fairy Bells teams as we paddled by and then we played a bit of dodgem kayaks with Cycle Zone boys. We maintained our lead with some slick portaging skills over the rocks …… our Salomon Speed Cross 2 shoes proved effective …… leaping into the kayaks and paddling off quickly……leaving Gary behind, oops! We headed up to the TA and refuelled thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
LEG 3 MTB – Parklands to Maranatha Camp
Gigantor (AKA Liam) was looking forward to the bike……but then we heaps this Pshshshsssssssss …….as white stuff spewed out his back tyre……we hadn’t even made it to the forest yet……so we stopped ……spun the wheel…..pumped it a bit……rode up the hill……it didn’t go dead flat…..so out came Gary’s CO2 bomb, and it worked (luck was on our side……as the tyre stayed up for the entire race). We enjoyed the nice technical trails of Parklands such as Road Rage, Ho Chi Ho (CP 5), T Track (CP6) , Cancer Tree (CP 7) and just skirted along Cobong Circuit Track to CP8 where we met with the TRIADVENTURE Pickle Lickers who were having a great time on the trails! We hightailed it out onto the road, out through Yandina to Maranatha Camp.
Leg 4 High Ropes /Trek
We were signed in by Big Gav (who was celebrating his 50th Birthday volunteering….way to go Gav) and soon we were being prepped for the ropes. We were about 10minutes behind in 2nd (some due to the flat) and watched other teams tip toe along the ropes and fly down the flying fox as we waited for our turn. We had a slick transition to the trek, marked up maps and we soon set off up to Mt Wappa! It is here that we made up some significant time on other teams by finding a small trail that lead up the spur to the top and CP 11 (others we hear took some not so easy routes up to this CP fighting through thick head high blackboy forests and scaling steep cliffs). We descended quickly, sighting last year’s winners - Spin City Cycles and managed to catch the leaders Cycle Zone at CP 12, we trekked into the creek junction at CP 13 together and came in at the TA about the same time.
Leg 5 & 6 Mtb / Trek / Archery
On the bikes out to the Yandina Trailhead…… James and Jen from Photo Events were driving past as we made our way to the next leg……James was out the side of the van snapping way……..we were all having fun J
We head out on the trek with the Cycle Zone guys hot on our heels……. We all find CP16 in the Nadier of the track……and then I take off…..I know that the tracks ahead do not do what it shows on the map…..so I just run……Gary starts towing Gigantor….as I accelerate up to the top of Mt Bottle ad Glass. I know exactly where the CP 17 is and we head straight to it……through “Tri Adventure” I have explored these trails extensively following Hells Bells 2009…… and it pays off! We punch the CP , there is no sight of other teams……we pick up trails to 18 and 19 easily, put a few Fairy Bells teams back on track and head back to the TA picking up CP20 along the way! Archery…… Gary had been practicing…….but he was no match Gigantor who excels and we get 15 points….we serve our penalty and leave the TA before any other teams.
Leg 7 MTB
We had a good lead……but you can’t get too confident……so we cruise along with Gary navigating cautiously as the Google maps are a little hard to read. At CP22 we find a Fairy Bells team unable to find the CP……Gary points out that there is a little map inset which highlights some creek lines……we trek to the top punch and out we go……this CP proves to be quite challenging for many teams! Soon a big climb up Towen Mountain……and guess what Gary (the machine) tows Gigantor…….yes all the way up that big hill to the bus stop! I am happy cause I can keep up and so I punch the control card all the way home……we near the end take a sight detour up Buderim hill, but I alert Gary that we don’t want to go there……so we punch our final CP 26 and head to the finish! It is just before midnight, we cross the line, and we are rewarded with a lovely bottle of champagne thanks to Craig – Race Organiser from Geocentric! We sip champagne as we wait for the second team to arrive!
So a great result and a great race, great team……Liam’s first race for Team MD’s and his first AR win and my first Hells Bells win…..and great preparation leading into XPD for Team Mountain Designs.
Kim Beckinsale – Team Mountain Designs