Here we go again...

The 7 year itch is upon us and we are so far ahead of where we usually are at this stage it is scary. The Council must have finally decided that we can actually do this and gave us the No Objection letter for the police in world record time (even ahead of their own guidelines) and then the police processed the application for the closures in a morning, so the permits for June 2015 were finalised in August 2014. “Why has it taken so long to announce the event then?” I hear you ask. Well basically because putting on an event like this is a lot of time and effort and we aren’t getting any younger and our commitments outside the sport are getting larger (parents, kids, work, all those boring everyday things) truthfully, we weren’t sure if we had the energy to do it again, but guess what? We really are that stupid and here we go BTB 2015 number 7 (does that make this the longest running downhill skating event in Oz now?) Geez apparently about 25% of marriages don’t last this long.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the guys and girls who came to BTB 2014 and stayed and played in the cold, wet miserable last 2 days, we had a blast and anyone who witnessed Brad Pinto sliding an 8 wheel luge and that amazing 180 at the finish line will not forget it in a hurry. I would especially like to thank those who through their generosity in the tent at the auction reduced me to tears (hey I have a tough reputation to maintain – thanks a lot) by digging so deep and spending an absolutely incredible $21,000 which helped us raise an amazing $35,000 for Camp Quality. Please give yourselves a pat on the back and I hope you got as warm and fuzzy a feeling about it as I did

Special thanks must go out to all the volunteers who helped out throughout the weekend (how staunch were those Marshals sitting in the wind and rain making sure we were safe on the hill?) Ash at “The Tower” has Marshalled that checkpoint at all the 6 BTB’s and expects to have “His” area setup again in 2015, not to mention the drivers (Elena is the only person who has done every run every year for the whole 6 years) the guys who did security (especially Clive and Jamie who kept basecamp and the Tower safe) including Ben Hay and Adam Yates and their crews who kept the 2 Armco’s safe and avoided the devastation of another arson attack like 2012.

There are so many people who make this event happen, from family and friends (thanks Chris, Amelia, etc) to partners and parents of riders (Leah, Ru, etc) without you guys the event would not run at all. There is, of course, another group of people without whose effort BTB wouldn’t even get off the ground, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank “The Committee” ( Michaela, Graham, Andy, Shane and Elena) who work tirelessly behind the scenes for months making sure that those 3-5 days that you see look like they just happen. The preparation for the next BTB starts a few days after the end of the last one and continues through the year. Thanks guys, you are amazing.

OK now enough pocket pissing time to talk about 2015, some things won’t change, there will still be NO RACING, it will still be a downhill Freeride and not a slide jam, you will still be expected to meet the standards of the Tech Nazi (Andy “Sakamoto” Smith) if you are under 17 you will need to be vouched for and you will need a parent/guardian on the hill at all times when you are riding, there will be an Auction at lunchtime on the Sunday and I will run out of voice before it is finished, Groms will still bid $5 on gear worth $100’s. Some things will be a little different, we will not hold a spot for you regardless of who you are (the logistics involved in this has been horrendous) if you don’t have $150 to register when rego opens, beg, borrow or steal it, or ask for it as a Christmas present (this is one reason rego has opened so early). We will be opening a few more places than previous years, but how many we haven’t settled on absolutely yet, but there will be a cap and we won’t be extending it (however we may save a couple of “just in case” spaces for international riders who find out late they can make it).

So, guys and girls, get your PayPal accounts topped up, your fingers at the ready over the keyboard and prepare to commence the awesomeness that will be BTB 2015, lets see if you can’t reduce me to tears again by beating last years total and make Jess from Camp Quality not only scream when she comes down the final straight on a luge (she has promised she will give it a go in 2015 and I have witnesses) but also sob like a baby when we raise even more than 2014.

See you in June


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