World Championship wrap up from The Hell Team

Author: Paul Arnott  Date Posted:30 April 2014 

Well the dust has settled and the Australian Rounds of the World Trial Championship has been run and won.Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to the Trials Club of Victoria for hosting this event again, and what an extraordinary job they did.The level of professionalism and organisational skills form such a dedicated, but small group of enthusiastic volunteers was outstanding.

Thank you from the whole Australian Trials community.WTC-maldonIt was a huge weekend for us that has taken month's of planning.

The Hell Team look after both the Gas Gas and Jotagas Factory Teams as well as the local riders on those brands over the course of the weekend. Most riders, mechanics and minders bikes are actually just new bike stock. The only "special" WORKS bike is Adam Raga's personal bike . The Hell Team supply the rest. 22 bikes including riders, minders and mechanics.

We had a flotilla of two trucks and a transit van travelling down from Sydney packed to the rafters.

Bikes were ordered from Spain late last year, and sent early in 2014 by boat. Also quite a large shipment of tyres. Gas Gas shipped out Michelin X-Lites, X-Lite Competitions (the new compound with stiffer side walls) and X-11's (not usually run, but on the agenda because they weigh 600grams more than an X-lite and everyone was struggling to get their bikes up to the new minimum weight level of 70kgs).

By mid March we are full on into event preparation making sure we have all the parts we think we may require for the weekend packed and labelled in road cases. We also supply the full setup within the pits for the International Team, so we supply tool kits, tyre changing facilities, re-fuelling facilities etc etc. It's a bit of work when it's 22 bikes and riders.Thanks to Peerless compressors in Bendigo for supply their top quality units for our pit tents. The compressors ran faultlessly all weekend.

I must give a massive shout out to Phil, Glenda and Jacob Whittle from Global Racing Oils who sponsored the whole Gas Gas crew over the course of the weekend. Phil had on hand everything we required. Each bike station had supplies of GRO Extreme Gear Oil, Off Road 1 pre-mix oil, Coolant, Dot4 brake fluid, Mineral oil for the clutch, contact cleaner, Chain Lube and Filter Spray for everyone. It is the factory recommended Lubricant supplier and for a good reason. It's the best product and backed up by the best service, bar none.

We drove down from Sydney on the Tuesday, and propped at the Maldon Sports ground Wednesday morning...... to a wet, sodden, and raining pit area. Oh no here we go again! 2012 revisited! Anyway it cleared up by the weekend and it only slowed out setup down marginally.

We firstly unloaded the trucks and then proceeded to set up the pit area.Three Marquees had been supplied by the organisers. One for JTG and two for Gas Gas. We also behind these set up more marquees for a change room, a "green" room (basically the hang out area for the riders and staff, with chairs and tables, espresso machine, drinks, food etc etc) and a separate marquee for my workshop with a clean work area for any major jobs that may present themselves, and also the tyre changing machine and facilities.

The rest of the day was taken up with organising the pits with tables and tool stations, bike stands and dressing the outside with bunting, banners and flags to put our mark on things.

While we were prepping the sports ground the International riders arrived in Melbourne and made their way up to Bendigo in the hire vans we had organised for them.Thursday morning showed signs of clearing weather, and we were invaded by riders wanting to find out what bikes they been allocated. Some bring out just a few personal parts, and others bring a lot, so it's always interesting to see what goes on in the prep on Thursday.

The first practice session was Thursday afternoon and everyone seemed to be happy with their bikes and settled into a rhythm of riding, chatting and fettling their machines.maldon-Paddock-1

For us this day is usually the busiest of the weekend, but the Aussies and Internationals all seemed to be in great spirits and looking forward to finally getting into some sections on the Saturday morning. There is definitely never a dull moment with 14 riders, and their associated minders and mechanics to look out for!It was a relief when Saturday's start time rolled around and for the first time we actually got a little break when all the riders leave for the sections.

Well yes it was just a little break because one of our Aussie riders came limping back in having just been T-Boned by an International rider. he was heading out to the sections, and the other guy was heading back from the practice area.I guess a case of we stick to the left, and the Spanish stick to the right - and when going in opposite directions that spells ........ TROUBLE!

So some quick spanner work, and a new front disc, and at least our guy was back at it.

A few small things to fix during the day but basically a very smooth, trouble free

DAY 1. Most of the time it's taken up with making the transition between laps as smooth as possible, so re-fuelling the riders, minders, and mechanics bikes, making sure they have everything they need, and getting them back out as quickly and smoothly as possible.Unfortunately Michael Brown was suffering all day with massive tendonitis in his right arm, and a very debilitating tooth ache, so he wasn't having the best of times. So hard when you come from the other side of the world and get knocked around not one, but two things to deal with.It was great having the pit area set up this year with section 14 so close.

For those of us that have to man the tool chest all day it was great having the final section so close, and also Jack Field's Flair Riders Show right there in front of us.At the end of Day 1 all the bikes are put through the washing bay. An awesome construction this year with Stihl supplied high pressure cleaners. Each bike (including the minders and mechanics bikes) are given the once over. At bare minimum chains lubed, oils and fluids checked, and air-filters cleaned. All obvious nuts and bolts checked and a thorough visual inspection so they can step up again for Round 2 on Sunday. Quite a lot of the bikes take new rubber, or at minimum at least turn the rear tyre to present a fresh edge to the rocks of Mt Tarrengower.

We ended up getting out of the paddock about 9pm.

8am and we are back at it, and greeted again by a beautiful sunny day ,ready for another day of action and hopefully not too many drama's in Hell Team HQ. The riders all saunter in and things get exciting in the lead up to the 10am start.The biggest points of discussion are the weight limit of 70kgs, and the new Non Stop rules.

Personally I would have to say the 70kg rule is absolutely crazy. It's seems like madness to me that the World's top riders, (and in our case 12 out of the 14) riding stock standard bikes are having to put lead sinkers in airboxes or strap lead flashing to bash plates and swing arms to get to a minimum weight rule.

It is extremely rare that a rider DNF's from a mechanical problem related to bikes being built to lightly, and manufacturers aren't exactly using a plethora of exotic materials in the bike builds (titanium header pipes - wow). Plain dumb!

And the Non Stop rules - well conducting a straw poll amongst the riders and Teams on the weekend, another big thumbs down for that as well.

Hopefully the FIM will come to their senses and sort this out sooner rather than later. At least they should be mindful of what the competitors have to say - not turn their back on any suggestion like what happened in the riders briefing.

Anyway, apart that tiny bit of conjecture, we all had a very successful weekend and I would heartfully like to thank my team Andrew Windeyer who manned the Truck out at the sections all weekend.

Karen Volich who managed me all weekend! amongst a lot of other stuff - one awesome girl.

Neal MacDonald my best mate who can put his hand to anything, thanks Nellie.

Sam and Frank Hull who did an amazing job with the JTG Team amongst lot of other stuff.

James Boyle, who has talent well beyond his years. A great spannerman and all round legend.

Alex Boyle - well James had to learn that somewhere, thanks mate.

Richard La Bonne, Unit manager. The ship ran true and fast again Rich thanks.and of course all the Aussie riders and crew - what a fantastic troupe to be surrounded byKyle Middleton, Ross and Boofa proving we have what it takes at the top level, always a pleasure working with you.

Colin and Kevin Zarcynski, the brothers always give their all.

Boyd Willcock and Justin Gough, a rough start boys with that scud missile on the way to section one, but never looked like stopping or letting it get in the way.

Chris Bayles, Nobby and Brooke Lonie, always smiling and attacking everything with 100% world's best attitude

Lachy and Rowan Gibson giving that little 125 what forand lastly but not least by any means JJ and Chris Chellas - a real inspiration. Not a Glass half full crew, but a glass absolutely spilling over with the joys of life and trials in particular, you all make it such a joy to do this job. What a crew.

Also can I add a big thank you to my mates who lent me bikes and bits, Peter and Beccy Wines, Kristie McKinnon, Jack and Rhianna from Flair Riders, Darren Kavanagh and Jacob Whittle.

Cheers and thanks again

Can't wait for the next one.

Paul Arnott

The Hell Team.

If anyone is in the market for a new bike, or to update their existing bike, all the riders, minders and mechanics bikes are for sale. We also have a couple of brand new bikes at big discounts (these were sent early in january by sea freight but for one reason or other the allocated riders did not come)Models available are:125 Pro and Racing Gas Gas250 Pro and Racing Gas Gas280 Pro and Racing Gas Gas and 300 Racing Gas and JTG.

Please call Paul or Andrew at The Hell Team. 02.8424.6400 most bikes are a minimum of $1500 to $2K off new price.P1050494