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Highland Claymore Challenge - Three Tales Of The Weekend
Sun Jul 27, 2008
NORTHFIELD, NH - TALE #1
The first annual Highland Claymore Challenge is officially in the books as Cam McCaul takes the title at Highland Mountain Bike Park. Some of the world's best riders came out for the events inaugural year and were treated to what winner Cam McCaul described as the the most fun course of the year so far.
"The Slopestyle at Highland was so sweet!" said Cam, "it reminded me of what slopestyle is supposed to be, fun courses with a great atmosphere. I can't wait to see what they do over the next few years!"
With athletes hailing from across the United States, Canada, and even as far as New Zealand, the Claymore Challenge offered up a progressive course that truly challenged the way the sport is viewed. Riders battled it out throughout Saturdays qualifying and final events throwing down tricks ranging from tailwhips and 360s to superman flips over the courses famed giant free bird jump.
In the end the crowd would see Cameron McCaul (California), Andrew Taylor (California), and Aaron Chase (New Jersey) on the podium as they received swords and daggers from resort owner and visionary Mark Hayes. Highland local and freeride up and comer Clinton McMahon surprised the crowd and his fellow riders by qualifying first and eventually finishing the contest in fifth place. Although he didn't walk away with the money, Clint scored himself an all expenses paid trip courtesy of Gravity Components and a wild card to the Bearclaw Invitational next month at Mount Washington in British Columbia.
Mark [Hayes], Smutok, and their crew have created a real gem out here on the East Coast. Said photographer Haruki Harookz Nagoochi who was on-site throughout the weekends festivities. Coming from Whistler I am speechless and blown away. The future of slopestyle is in the United States.
Rundown ski hill turned East coast MTB destination, Highland Mountain Bike Park has been breaking ground in New England ever since their opening (this is just their 3rd season!). As the mountain has grown into a must-ride spot in the East, so has the buzz that has always surrounded it.
The Claymore event was the culmination of all the great things about Highland in to one day of the most fun photographing I've ever had!
WOW! The First Annual Highland Claymore Challenge went down great! I went to shoot pictures for both the Amateur's practice and the competition. I did not know what to expect of New England's first major slopestyle competition, I only knew that the course, built specifically for the event, was a huge breakthrough for the local community. Highland, which also boasts a very progressive, yet burly array of dirt jumps, a pump track, and several good ol' New England downhill trails, has been undergoing rapid expansion and enhancement throughout it's 3 seasons of operation. The course, which had been plagued by rain for several days before the event, was reworked extensively before the competition in an attempt to save it from mud....and, well...it ROCKED.
What the event lacked in attendance of the pros, it easily made up in vibe and fun. The list of competitors had a nice mix of a few big name riders, like Cam McCaul and Aaron Chase, and local pros whose stories were often tightly intertwined with the New England scene. Local riders reping for east coast companies like Sinister, and Dobermann were shredding right next to all-out shredders repping for Trek, Monster, The Syndicate, E-13, and more!
This past weekend, the first annual Claymore Challenge Slopestyle event took place at Highland Mountain Bikes Park in New-Hampshire. Rocco Quintilliani and Clinton McMahon, from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, were there to represent Dobermann Bikes.
Rocco shredded the park with his fully rigid hardtail Pinscher, while Clinton was on the "Le Pink" prototype, Dobermann Bikes's latest slopestyle creation.
Clint took delivery of his very exclusive frame on the morning of the competition and immediately began riding with his trademark aggressive style. This confidence followed him throughout the day as every jump was hit with growing intensity and aplomb. Rocco showed off his talent and intense determination in a field dominated with long legged suspension bikes and full face helmets. His rigid ride never slowed him down while he wowed the crowd with 360-tailwhips and gnarly bar-humps.
The ninety minute-long qualification round was epic in proportion, with every rider trying to impose his style. But it was Clinton that got everyone talking after earning the top spot going into the final.
Once the sun fell behind the last kicker, the finals got under way. Clinton, having qualified in first placed, was last in the order of riders in the best-of two-runs finals. Riders upped the ante since the stakes were high and mountain bike superstar Kyle Ebbet did a fantastic job on the mic describing this battle, as the crowd of hundreds were all on their toes. Clint did more than impress the judges with a corked, hipped backflip of Herculean proportions and the highest, most chest-splitting suicide-no-hander ever seen at Highland Mountain.
Once the dust settled and the wounds stopped bleeding, riders assembled near the chalet at the bottom of the course, awaiting to see who would be knighted champion of the Claymore Challenge. Clinton was rewarded for his guts and skills with a fifth place finish and an all-expense paid trip to the Bearclaw Invitational on Vancouver Island, B.C. being the highest-ranking non-invited rider.
2008 PRO FINAL CLAYMORE RESULTS
1. Cam McCaul
2. Andrew Taylor
3. Aaron Chase
4. Phil Sunbaum
5. Clint McMahon
2008 AMATEUR FINAL CLAYMORE RESULTS
1. Phillip Kmetz
2. David Blachura
3. Andrew Davies
4. Caldwell Clark
5. Chris Buckley
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