Red Bull Fox Hunt 2017 - Claire Bennett

October 12, 2017

It was North Wales' turn to host the 4th edition of the increasingly popular Red Bull FoxHunt with Rachel Atherton. A hillside, in the small market town of Machynlleth, transformed into a DH track fit for 200 female shredders. The aim: after a mass start, to get down the track the quickest and to out run the 'fox'. Sounds easy? Well. We were in for a treat, not only did the track have some difficult A and B line choices to make, the conditions were made tough due to the overnight rain. Mud fest doesn't even come close!

As Rachel Atherton was unable to ride due to injury and subsequent shoulder/collarbone surgery our 'fox' this year was Katy Winton. Fresh from racing the Enduro World Series and finishing 3rd in the overall, Katy would be the one to try and out run on the day!

Saturday was all about practice and seeding. Providing the efficient uplift and top banter almost to the top of the hill were the guys from just round the corner, Antur Stiniog. Once dropped off, a short muddy pedal/push got us to the start.
The track: A wide bracken lined grass track led off down the hillside, nice and fast, into some off camber muddy turns. We were soon in the woods, then the fun started!
A and B lines. Choices choices, and mud, lots of mud! It was wild! Katy and Rach were on track to give advice and help out on these sections.
With a couple of sprint sections thrown in for good measure, the track was complete. A great mixture, a track to keep you on your toes especially with the mud! Did I mention it was muddy?!

Once seeding was complete and we knew our running order for the next day we could make use of the powerful jet washers, onsite shower facilities and tuck into some healthy hearty food (and a beer or two of course!).

Sunday. Race day. Mass start! We don't get many of those in the uk!
With enough time to fit in another practice run if you wanted it was soon time to get to the top for the main event. With our FoxHunt red and white jerseys on, all 180 together looked a pretty awesome sight!

With the first 60 ladies gridded in lines of 15, the remaining 120 after was a free for all, go when you wanted. Rachel waited, stood on the boulder in the middle of the track, with start horn in hand. Katy in position on her start ramp to give chase!
With a 10 second countdown, the adrenaline monkeys started doing laps, we were off. Jostling for the lines we'd practiced desperately trying not to fall off. Trying to stay high on the off camber corners but been pushed to the low lines, finding yourself in the bracken and on parts of the track that you'd never been before, slipping and sliding about the place. I loved it! The unpredictable nature of a mass start race!

172 of us made it down across the inflatable Red Bull arched finish line with Katy coming through in 21st spot. A sea of red jerseys, big smiles of relief and high fives packed out the finish area. I was super chuffed to finish in 3rd spot behind young guns, Rosy Monaghan in 2nd and Mille Johnset taking the win.

Having raced the first Red Bull FoxHunt back in 2014 this was a noticeable step up in technicality, made harder by the muddy conditions. Added to this the reduced time to practice. Chapeau to all the ladies who got down the track during practice and also to those who went on to race, not an easy task.

Size Guide

Women's Tops

UK USA Bust Hip Length (front)
8 4 87-90cm 96-99cm 53cm
10 6 91-94cm 100-103cm 54.5cm
12 8 95-98cm 104-107cm 56cm
14 10 99-102cm 108-111cm 57.5cm
16 12 103-106cm 112-115cm 59cm
18 14 107-112cm 116-121cm 61.5cm
20 16 113-119cm 122-128cm 65cm

Women's Shorts

UK USA Waist Hip Length (inside)
6 2 70-73cm 84-88cm 34cm
8 4 74-77cm 89-93cm 35cm
10 6 78-81cm 94-98cm 36cm
12 8 82-85cm 99-103cm 37cm
14 10 86-89cm 104-108cm 38cm
16 12 90-93cm 109-115cm 39cm
18 14 94-97cm 116-122cm 40cm
20 16 98-101cm 123-129cm 41cm

Men's Tops

Chest Length (front)
X-Small 87-91cm 55cm
Small 92-95cm 56.5cm
Medium 96-99cm 58cm
Large 100-109cm 59.5cm
X-Large 110-119cm 61cm
XX-Large 120-127cm 64.5cm
XXX-Large 128-135cm 66cm

Men's Shorts

 Waist Hip Length (outside)
28" 69-73cm 84-88cm 60.5cm
30" 74-78cm 89-93cm 61.5cm
32" 79-83cm 94-98cm 63.5cm
34" 84-88cm 99-103cm 64.5cm
36" 89-93cm 104-108cm 65.5cm
38" 94-98cm 109-113cm 66.5cm
40" 99-103cm 114-118cm 67.5cm