Return to Harewood.
Date: 14-15th August 2021
Location: Harewood Speed Hillclimb
Event: Harewood Gravity Games 2021
On Saturday morning, following a week of escalating excitement. Sp8boards resident engineer, artist, and (most importantly) skateboard tester Andy Speight set out for two full days of downhill streetluging. The drive from his residence in Leeds was not long, roughly fifteen minutes from his doorstep. Ensuring the total travel time is just shy of an hour (when you factor in the time needed to load up all his various skateboard-related paraphernalia).
Andy first raced the track last year. When Sp8boards attended the 2020 Harewood Gravity Games, albeit under more Covid intensive protocols. As a result, this year wasn't about the utter joy of exploring and learning the intricacies of a new course. Instead, refining that knowledge and aiming to go faster.
Once again, the only thing missing was glorious sunshine!
As always, these events enable Andy to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. The Grantham Arms provided the wonderful catering across the weekend, which fuelled the festive atmosphere between events (despite the weather's constant threats). People from all over the country often gather for these events, catching up with friends they haven't seen since the last large-scale skate meet. It would be unfair to imply these events are solely about hurling yourself down a hill at near stupid speeds. Rather these are opportunities to come together and forge new memories with a group of like-minded people who also share your deep passion for skateboarding.
Nevertheless, the course is the main reason they are here. The longest speed Hillclimb course in mainland UK, given over this weekend to a large group of adrenaline junkies, ready to hurl themselves down it at breakneck speeds. A detailed course breakdown can be found in last year's blog post, Attacking the Track at Harewood. The highlights, however, are as follows. The course begins with a steep-left-hand bend onto a steep straight. The riders are then faced with Farmhouse Bend, a long-sweeping-bend to the right, shooting the rider out onto a further long straight toward a tight-left-hand corner. The riders then face an easy right turn, followed by a fast straight into an insanely tight 90-degree left turn. Once this feat is achieved, a final right turn is the only hurdle between the rider and the finish line. All in all, a fast, fun, and at times technically demanding track.
Across the two days Andy went on so many runs, he lost track. Winning some runs and crashing into haybales on others. He wouldn't have it any other way. Though evidence does exist that Andy completed the course in 1:21 before the rain called off the festivities.
Just like last year, the Harewood Gravity Games proved to be a truly awesome event. The excellent track, enhanced further by the slick and well-organised individuals at Pickard Events.
Also, a special thanks Yorkshire 4x4 response for their role as the on-site medical team during the weekends mayhem.
It is safe to say that Sp8boards will be returning to the Gravity Games next year.
Stay tuned for Andy's YouTube edit of the 2021 Harewood Gravity Games in the coming days.
For further details on SP8boards streetluges, skateboards, and apparel, please check out our website.