Tame The Taipan

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Where do we start....at the beginning i guess.

Nearly 10 years ago i was out cuisin through the hinterland of the Gold Coast in my trusty Landcruiser and i just stumbled across it really! Thought it would make for a pretty epic DH mountain bike track and obsessed at the idea that if it had ever become a paved piece of gold, i would stop at nothing to ride it!

Not to long after that, development of the area began to take shape and the first thing aside from the gate at the front was a black serpent, curving its way up and out of sight. I knew what this meant. I had to skate it! I had to sample the steepness!

Fast forward to 2012, im out skating the estate and when i went to leave, the gate was shut and my car had been locked in, so naturally, i hiked to the top for another decent. Came hauling down into the chikane section and a white van was mobbing the up. We met in the middle, his name was Matt, we shook hands, had a chat and discussed the possibility of skating here but under controlled conditions.

Since then I've hosted the LY team (Dillon, Kyle, Strike, Josh, Lamb and guFF) on their #palmtreesandpits tour and also the crew from the US (Towel, Brandon, Westy and JP) out here for the Be The Influence Border X series.

In the last few months of 2017, Matt approached me and said, "Yatesy, Commonwealth Games will be on the GC next year, what are you skaters gonna do, are we gonna hold an event here or what mate?" Thats was all i needed and the ball started rolling and the date was set, March 16-18, 2018 was going to see the first ever Tame The Taipan Downhill Challenge and I was out to set a standard! All the logistics worked. The Taipan was going to make history!

Pic: Linus Marsh Pic: Linus Marsh

The weeks consisted of making banners, stickers and double checking my planning the 3 days of the event. My team has taken a few days off to help get things all sorted, its been a mission and i couldn't have taken it on alone! We kicked off the event with a riders meeting that allowed me to summarise the hill into a few short words. "STEEP. FAST. INTENSE. Be safe out there peeps, I wanna see the stoke and the smiles at that side (pointed behind me at the end) of the track" We were off!

Did i mention the name...TAIPAN. One of the world's most deadly snakes and top of the list in Australia, local to the South East QLD region, seemed fitting for such a gnarly track.

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That's right, the team putting in the hard yards, we made all our own banners. It only took 2 days! Neil Duddy, Paddy Walker and Gemma Holland on the job.

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The east coast of Australia gets smashed during the summer/autumn season change with Cyclones forming pretty much every other week. This is the image of Gita, brought nearly 2 weeks worth of rain, some serious swell but the system went on hold, just long enough for us to hold a dry event!

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The local papers were covering the story the week before the event and we also had the local news team come check out the action on Friday. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/9NewsGoldCoast/videos/10155340716641723

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The first of 600 bales and the bottom of the steep 110m elevation drop.
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The chikane as you see it upon approach at 90kph.(pic: Syd Yates)

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QLD grom, Finlay Wilson looking cool composed...we know how he was really feeling! (pic Tim Wright)

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Didnt take long for the boys to start hustlin'. Mitch Thompson leads his bro Tim and Bassi (pic: Syd Yates)

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Landyachtz own Paddy Walker negotiates the fast right at the top of the track (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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The harder you push, the higher the risk! Zane Bonzer tastes the hay on corner 3. (pic: Ash Donaldson

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The freeriders did things in their own way, that's not to say that they didn't do it at pace.L-R. Jasmine Ngaparu doin it for the chicks and Rico Casteneda putting the #dawghawgs through their paces (pics:Linus Marsh)

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Bassi met the bricks through the chikane at around 90kph on day 2 and ended up in the hay, guess he needed some repairs! (pic: Ash Donaldson)

Check the crash here: www.facebook.com/TameTheTaipan/videos/2071292159769644

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The local councilor from the City of Gold Coast came out and was blown away at the level of professionalism and is keen to get involved again next year! We promised LIVE STREAMING and the IT team delivered! L-R. Jacob Lambert, CR Glenn Tozer, Phil Shapcott, Adam Yates, Aaron Brunner, Linus Marsh

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L-R. Caden Castellini from Santa Barbara had heard of the serpent after homie Towels adventures downunder a few years back. Mitty, not wanting to meet the same fate as Bassi, does all he can to stay upright (pics: Ash Donaldson)

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Lance Evans. OG and one fast AFMF, nearly draggin his head on the apex! (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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L-R. JoshE and Bassi are two of the toughest out there. Wanna win? Ya gonna have to beat these 2; they usually roll together so bring back up! The future of Aussie DH is in good hands with tallent like Fin Cantrill, seen here leading another Sydney slayer, Shannon Tully. (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Dan Guzardi, all time OG from VIC was there and looking red hot all weekend!n (pic: Tim Wright)

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L-R. Safety by name, safety by nature. Nico Gallman aka safety nico, all the way from Switzerland, was on point all weekend and managed to steer clear of most of the carnage. Another of the OS competitors, Diego Poncelet from Spain (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Pokey, one half of the duo that is Monky Pig and the best guy in the game for crowd control!

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Lucas and Jamo, two very creative minds with mouths like race cars. They single handedly kept the spectators stoked with intel from the online brackets and useless/useful information, depending on what way ya wanted to look at it! (pic: Syd Yates)

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JoshE was sending it through the chicane on a whole nother level. (pic: Rest Your Eyes Productions)

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L-R. The name of the game is SPEED, Nick Greentree hiding behind that aero lid! Coming into the chicane, it was a case of choosing your battles, on this occasion, Mitty choses to let the Italian Stallion, Aldo Dezani, shoot through to take the lead. (pics: Raw House Rach)

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QLD represent! Max Heaton stepped up and qualified 3rd in the round robin, race to qualify session. (pic: Tim Wright)

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The lads were really pushin it through the fastest part of the track, keeping Festa (course marshall) hard at work!

Above Diego like a stunned mullet and below, Aldo just checking on potential, in coming, heat seeking missiles. (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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L-R. The girls were killin it. Always improving with every run down, Nat Burns and Jasmine were looking solid by day 3.

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Jacko, on his return after doing his hip (age getting the better of him), was looking strong and ready for Newtons. Rob McWhinnie all steeze on a switch run. (pics: Raw House Rach)

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The vibe was pretty relaxed all weekend. Clockwise from top: Jeremy Rodgers in Bus 1, is always there to help out and throw cheek just to mellow the vibe. Jordan Riachi always looking casual. Graham Britain with some start line shenanigans.

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L-R. The bricks through the chicane were unforgiving if ya didnt know how to ride em - Robdawg setting up his line. Bassi was fast through the entry to the chicane. (pic: Linus Marsh)

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Hay - 1, Bassi's wheel - 0  (pic: Linus Marsh)

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From what I was told (and its obvious to see here), JoshE was taking the best (race) lines on corner 2 and Robdawg on corner 3. (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Mitty, way out in front and shooting for the finish in one of the semi finals. (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Sunshine Coasts Liam (Leggy) Coppleman had his birthday on race day. (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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The race heats stacked up! JoshE leads Aldo and Nico (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Simon Godfrey leads Lance through the chicane. (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Two OG's of the Luge community, on the left, Tyler Johnson and right, Graham Britain (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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More luge action, rubbing shoulders between the QLD's on the exit of the chicane, Kalle Bay McPhee and LanceE. (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Luge winner, Gritz.(pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Groms winner, Fin Cantrill (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Consi winner, Robdawg.(pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Finish line with JoshE (pic: Syd Yates)

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The first Tame The Taipan Champion, JoshE.(pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Luge Podium: 1st - Graham Britain, 2nd - Stuart Long, 3rd - Kalle Bay McPhee, 4th - Julian Slaney (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Groms Podium: 1st Fin Cantrill, 2nd - Zane Bonser, 3rd - Finlay Wilson, 4th - Riley Young (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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TAME THE TAIPAN OPEN Podium: 1st - Josh Evans, 2nd - Mitch Thompson, 3rd - Nico Gallman, 4th - Shannon Tully, Consi - Rob McWhinnie.(pic: Ash Donaldson)

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AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP OPEN Podium: 1st - Josh Evans, 2nd - Mitch Thompson, 3rd - Shannon Tully, 4th - Rob McWhinnie (pic: Ash Donaldson)

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Good times and a family vibe. (pic:linus Marsh)

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An event for the riders was the dream and we're stoked to be able to say we gave the riders what they wanted... a steep, fast, technical track that pushed the limits far beyond their comforts. We provided plenty of runs and a format that made the finals racing so much tighter and of a higher quality!

We promised the best race in Australia and you got it.

Thank you to the competitors, freeriders and racers. Without you guys, theres simply no race.

Spectators that attended both online and at the event, without you, the sports lacks recognition.

Without the sponsors that contributed, the dream just wouldn't be possible.

The core crew! Corner marshals, bus drivers, hay slingers, sk8 mums, film/media team, start team, MC team, You guys where the life-line, distributing the stoke, props to you all!

We took that dream and turned it into reality!

Every single one of you is now part of the TEAM that made this years event what it was.

Congratulations to everyone who survived!

See you all for TAME THE TAIPAN 2019.

#tamethetaipan #tamethetypo #goldcoast


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