Friday 12 December 2014

12 Days of Silverline

Our exciting #12DaysOfSilverline competition launches on Friday 12th December and runs right up until the 23rd! 

We'll be giving away daily prizes on Twitter, so make sure you're following us to see what exciting stuff we have up for grabs just in time for Christmas!

Terms and Conditions:

1. Powerbox Limited reserves the right to publish the names of the winners. All winners are required to give their full co-operation to all requests by Powerbox Limited or a promoter in connection with publicity for the competition, their entry, the prize or otherwise. 

2. Employees and family and friends of Powerbox Limited or any third party involved are not permitted to enter the competition.

3. Winners will be chosen at random and are non-negotiable

4. Winners will be notified by at 5 pm each day and announced on Twitter

5. No winner shall be chosen more than once

6. The competition runs from 12th Dec 2014 until the 23rd Dec 2014

7. No cash alternative for the prizes will be offered and prizes are non-transferable.

8. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

9. The competition is open to all residents of the European Union. 

10. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current (UK) Data Protection Legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant's prior consent.

11. By entering this competition, the entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

12. If any winner of a competition is unable to take up a prize for any reason, or if Powerbox Limited has not been able, after making reasonable efforts, to make contact with the winner, Powerbox Limited reserve the right to award the prize (without notice to the first winner chose) to an alternative winner. In this case the original winner will not be eligible for any share of the prize. Powerbox Limited shall not have any liability in such eventuality

13. Entries must be made in accordance with the competition instructions. They are invalid if they are received any later than the specified closing time (which shall be GMT date and time).

Monday 8 December 2014

Silverline 49ers hit Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a new venue for the 2014 calendar and we weren't quite sure what to expect in terms of conditions. What we were counting on was blue skies and a balmy water temperature and it definitely delivered on that front. 

We flew into Dubai and stayed the night with some friends before making the trip over to Abu Dhabi the following day. Our plans to visit the waterpark were shelved once our jet lag kicked in and we made the trip to the huge shopping mall instead in a slightly fuzzy state.

The regatta was sailed in supplied boats - the first time this has ever been done in the 49er class. Fortunately, having been on borrowed kit in Rio, we already had everything ready to piece together and we were out training pretty quickly. We had a bit of tweaking to do on the boat and managed two training sessions before the regatta started.

The first day was sailed on the inside course, which was very shifty and gusty and 4-12kts. We had an ok day, but had a poor middle race when our starting execution let us down. The whole fleet had at least one poor result, so everything was wide open still.

Day two was sailed on one of the outside courses, where we had heard there was good chop/swell running. It was a light sea breeze day and sure enough there was plenty of bump in the Persian Gulf. We had a great start in race four and were 4th to the windward mark, just behind the leaders. After rounding the mark we began hoisting the spinnaker and before it had reached the top there was an agonising yell from Dave. A port tack boat, yet to round the windward mark and well above layline had attempted to dive through a gap in the line of downwind boats. In doing so they misjudged it and the front of their starboard wing collided with Dave's heel, which was raised up slightly. The impact sent Dave into the water and we capsized. It was clear he was in a serious amount of pain and my first thought was that it was a broken ankle, as the two boats were closing at about 15kts. We got him into a medical boat and to hospital, where it was x-rayed and the wound stitched.

Fortunately, as the heel is incredibly tough, he was left with some serious bruising and stitches. Two inches higher and it might have snapped his ankle clean in half!

The next day Dave decided he would like to try and race, so we gave it a go. After a tough first race, when we were understandably a bit wobbly, we came back and scored a 1,3 in the next two to put us in Gold medal contention.

After missing all three races the previous day we went and claimed redress. They awarded it for the first two and we assumed they would award it for the third, once we completed more races, and adjust the scores to take into account the whole series. After racing on day three we went to the protest room to have this clarified and we were informed that we would not get redress for the third race and that we would only get average points of the first day for the other two. Their reason was that apparently our competitors need to know the scores going into the final day of racing and that it is not fair on them if they don't know where they stand. We argued that it doesn't actually affect their points total, but to score us 9,9,DNF for a day’s racing when we were 4th in the first race and did absolutely nothing wrong, absolutely wrecks our gold medal hopes. Also, the boat that hit us was able to sail the last two races and record scores better than us. That seems unfair.

All this left us in 6th and Dave with one hell of a sore foot. The bruising had ripened a treat after the hard day on the water and the next morning he was in considerable pain. We went for the medal race knowing that we had to probably win the race to stand a chance of medalling, so after a poor start we took a relatively high risk approach. It didn't quite pay off, but was worth a try as the prize money for medalling would have been a considerable boost to our campaign. We finished the regatta in 8th and were absolutely gutted about it!

That's the end to our racing for the 2014 season and it has been a tough year. We haven't quite got it right on a few occasions, despite showing some glimpses of great form, such as at Kiel and Sail for Gold. It's been a year of carrying DNFs, which cost us dear at Palma, Santander and Abu Dhabi, and a difficult year in the protest room.

We have been pretty unlucky at times, but we’re doing everything possible to learn from all the incidents and move on. We hope to make 2015 a great year and thank our sponsors for all their help over the long season.

Next report from Miami in January. Merry Christmas :)

Follow the team on Twitter @Silverline49ers
Visit their website:

Friday 5 December 2014

ESCAPE. CREATE has landed

ESCAPE. CREATE has landed

The latest ground-breaking moving image project from Red Bull and Atherton Racing has launched.

Telling the story of Dan Atherton’s fascination and boundless energy for mountain-bike course building by exploring three very different projects, the film has been made by Clay Porter and John Reynolds, directors of last year’s “Four By Three” films from Metis Creative.

The film also features interviews with Dan’s mother Andrea who looks at his earliest digging exploits. Siblings Gee and Rachel demonstrate how Dan’s building has contributed to their World Cup and World Championship successes with some awesome riding at the tracks he has built for them.

The film starts at the famous “Yard” at Atherton HQ. The Yard is one of the world’s most impressive sets of dirt jumps and has been over three years in the making.

Clay Porter shot the Yard at night to encapsulate the fun of riding with friends and siblings and to share the feeling

of not wanting to go inside even when it’s dark.

Dan Atherton said: “The Yard is special because you can’t ride it every day so when you can - and when our friends are here - there’s nothing like it.”

The film then moves to the mossy quiet of the Dyfi Forest in Wales where Rachel rides a track Dan has made for her there. Rachel said: “ For as long as I can remember, Dan has literally been preparing the ground for me. I love this track.”

And finally we see Gee riding the spectacular Red Bull Hardline course. In tough weather conditions, Gee blazes down the track which is intimidating enough even when it is dry and calm.

Gee said: “I’ve been dying to ride Hardline again, ever since the disappointment of my Finals run there. I knew that I had just a little bit more in me so I really wanted to show what I could do - every gap in the wind, we just went for it. “

Watch the full film here

Join the conversation on Twitter #escapecreate

Thursday 27 November 2014

The 2014 Silverline Corporate Challenge featuring Jaguar Land Rover, Mira and Renishaw

Silverline Corporate Challenge at the Greenpower International Finals 2014 

We spent some time with Silverline Corporate Challenge teams Renishaw and Mira at their Headquarters in the run up to the 2014 Greenpower National Finals at Goodwood back in October. We also had a chat with Jaguar Land Rover and found out why they decided to enter the Silverline Corporate Challenge before the race began at Goodwood. 

It was awesome to spend time with the teams in the run up to the Finals, finding out how they build and prepare their cars for the big day. The commitment and hard work demonstrated by the teams is something they should be proud of and they really inspired us to have our own car racing next year (watch this space).   

Check out our highlights video and let us know your thoughts in the comment box below! 

Find out more at

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Dan Atherton builds first ever Red Bull Hardline


Nine of the world’s greatest bike handlers come to race the most-challenging timed downhill race the world has ever seen

In the glorious sunshine of early September, nine of the world’s greatest bike-handlers travelled to the stunning Dyfi valley in Mid-Wales to ride and race on one of the most difficult mountain bike tracks ever created, Red Bull Hardline.

The track, designed and built by Dan Atherton, was created to smash the limits of Downhill Mountain Bike riding and push the sport to the next level.

The 570m descent incorporated more features per metre than ever before. The track was so intense that nine of the most accomplished riders in the world spent two days riding together learning to tackle each section before anybody put together a full run. 

There was no red tape and no limits on discipline: Dan and Gee Atherton, Danny Hart, Sam Dale, Loic Bruni, Brendan Fairclough, Nico Vink, Joe Smith, Mike Jones and Gareth Brewin spent three days mastering the track that all agreed was “totally intimidating and totally exhilarating”.
One of the course’s most spectacular features was a 60ft road gap but it also included massive dirt jumps, awkward hips, rock gardens and tight, technically difficult wooded sections.
Dan and Gee have long dreamt of creating a race with absolutely no restrictions or red-tape. Gee said “A lot of us feel that we can ride most World Cups these days with one eye shut; you don’t even feel anxious for the first run, we’ll just ride down blind, first go. Riding the Red Bull Hardline course made all of us nervous again, it was definitely not a track that you could just jump on and blaze down. It was a combination of how hard the sections were and how many sections were crammed in there back to back that made it so gnarly. This track is amazing, it definitely brought out the best in all the riders and pushed us more than we're used to. It’s great to be able to showcase exactly what we could do.”

After a day and a half practice (which saw Mike Jones having to withdraw after injuring his hand) qualification was structured so that riders could put in a several runs and take their best time. Dan said “We wanted it to feel as relaxed as possible – the only pressure on the riders came from within.”
In Qualifying Run 1 only Danny Hart was close to race speed; he pulled off a 4-minute run while Brendan, Gee and Dan were at 7 minutes plus and the rest of the field didn’t finish a full run. By Run 2, Gee posted 3.45 with Dan 3 seconds behind him and Danny a close third.
Qualifying Run 3 saw the fastest time of the day from Gee at 3:40 with Danny at 3.45, and Brendan and Dan on 3.48. Danny, Loic, Joe, Brendan and Gareth Brewin went for one more run, but nobody could touch Gee’s 3.40.
Sam Dale had a tough couple of days with plenty of offs in practice.  In his qualifying run, he took “one of the gnarliest crashes of the year” and had to watch the Finals from the sidelines.
When it came to Finals, the atmosphere changed up a gear. Gee had qualified first so he was last on the hill for the big race. Danny was in 2nd, Loic was in 3rd, Brendan was in 4th and Dan in 5th.

Dan put in a tremendous run of 3:41.491 to take the hot seat and neither Loic or Brendan could match him but second-placed qualifier Danny Hart went ahead of Dan by 2.4 seconds. Gee Atherton was last man left on the hill and expectations were sky high for an awesome Finals run.  Gee came out fast; he showed incredible speed to go up on Danny Hart by two whole seconds at the first split but he punctured in the middle section and failed to finish the race.

Speaking after his victory, Danny Hart said: “I was really happy to be a part of this awesome event. Only a few selected riders were invited and I was ecstatic to be one of those! The course was incredible, scary and difficult; usually tracks of this kind have average sections linking up the jumps, but Dan did an amazing job of making the sections link together seamlessly and scaring the living daylights out of us!”

Dan Atherton said: “This is something that me and Gee have dreamt about for years as the tracks we built became progressively tougher. It was only brought to reality through the vision and support of Red Bull and the work ethic of main builder Olly Davey who was up on that mountain at all hours and in all weathers. To see it all come together on the day was an incredible feeling and it felt like a big step forward for mountain biking. I can't wait for next year as we push on with our quest for the ultimate ride!"

1st Danny  Hart         3:39.081
2nd Dan Atherton      3:41.491  +2.410
3rd Loic Bruni            3:47.432  +8.351
4th Joe Smith            3:47.479 +8.398
5th Gareth Brewin     4:03.870 +24.78

Photo credits: Sam Needham/Duncan Philpott/Red Bull Content Pool

Monday 17 November 2014

49ers Rio Roundup

The final week of our Rio trip comprised a couple of days of exploration and another four days of racing in the ‘Intergalactic 49ers’ - a fun regatta organised by a local sailor with the hope of bringing good foreign teams down to train and race against. In its second and final year, and in keeping with tradition, there were social activities every evening, usually involving a few caipirinhas!

We took two days off after the South Americans due to Dave’s reoccurring back injury, which unfortunately inhibited him a little for the remainder of our trip. Nevertheless, the racing was again tight and a great opportunity to work on some issues without really worrying about the result.

Once again the wind was solid for the whole four days and we struggled to find our usual speed on the borrowed kit. We had a couple of crashes/incidents that cost us in a few races, but we finished strongly and took some great venue knowledge away from the racing.

The final race of the Intergalactics is traditionally a double points ‘crew race’ to keep the fun and add some serious entertainment for the coaches. With the wind building to very gusty 15+ knots and the 25 boats careering around the start line, everyone was buzzing but secretly quite nervous! The race was one lap and then into the harbour to finish. This involved a long upwind through what the locals call the ‘The Strip’ due to huge, unpredictable gusts of wind that blow over the towering sugar loaf mountain and drop out of the sky, exploding so unpredictably that it’s super easy to capsize or crash into the moored boats if you don’t have your wits about you.

We had a great start and were in the top two, but got a bit caught up trying to go fast and all the boats that got to the hard right made a big gain. After a sketchy bear away we had a solid downwind and made it through ‘The Strip’ relatively unscathed! We didn’t win, but it was a great way to finish the trip and there was plenty of banter flying around back on shore.

All in all, the trip was a big success, with an improvement on our World Ranking and a lot of time spent in Olympic waters. Using totally unfamiliar equipment should also stand us in good stead for the World Cup finals in Abu Dhabi, which takes place on supplied boats and masts.

We now have a week at home to catch up and repack before heading out to the Middle East on 22nd November, with the regatta starting on the 26th.

We would like to say a huge thanks to Thomas Lowbeer and his Mum, Alexandra, for hosting us during our stay, and we can’t wait for our next trip to South America!

 For more information visit

Monday 20 October 2014

Greenpower National Finals and the Silverline Corporate Challenge at Goodwood Motor Circuit

The Greenpower Education Trust International finals at Goodwood Motor Circuit last Sunday was a perfect way to round off a successful season of racing throughout the UK. 

After 13 regional heats for the IET Formula 24 teams and 8 championship rounds for IET Formula 24+, a total of 79 cars lined up for the younger age group challenge and 26 were on the grid for a competitive senior challenge!

As well as a number of cars competing on the track, the event also featured an engineering and careers exhibition. 
Some of the low carbon vehicles on display included the McLaren P1 supercar, a Hybrid Range Rover and the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC.

Silverline was situated in Paddock 1 with a host of teams including those entered into the Silverline Corporate Challenge.  We arrived early on Sunday morning to set up our workstation, offering tools for any repairs teams may require throughout the day! We took a range of tools from hex keys to tyre inflators and pliers. As well as our fully equipped workstation, we gave away hundreds of goodie bags and soon there was a sea of blue hats amongst competitors and spectators! 

Back on the track, after Race 1 (the first fully International race including teams from the US and South Africa), it was time for the Silverline Corporate Challenge.  The Corporate Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to demonstrate their engineering expertise against a number of other corporate and academic teams.  The technical regulations are the same as for the IET Formula 24+ so each team has one pair of batteries to use during the 60 minute race!

We spent the weeks leading up to the Finals filming a selection of teams entered into the Silverline Corporate Challenge, including MIRA Greenpower, Renishaw and Jaguar Land Rover. It was awesome to follow their journey as they built and prepared their cars from scratch ready to compete in the final. We were particularly impressed with Renishaw’s set-up at their New Mills headquarters in Wotton-Under-edge. The cutting edge technology and engineering on display is seriously impressive and it’s clear to see how they went on to win the 2014 Silverline Corporate Challenge!

As well as participating in the Corporate Challenge, Renishaw has been one of Greenpower’s long term industry sponsors, supporting the Western Region Castle Combe Heat for many years, as well as housing the IET Formula Goblin event in the car park of the New Mills headquarters!

The team's first priority was to radically update the existing Renishaw Car, Probation IV, and the expertise of the former team members was immediately obvious with the car performing much better than previous incarnations. They also undertook a new build, based on the existing car but lightened and slimmed down. This new car, Reprobation, has shown that the team now really mean business, and with a win and two second places in the IET Formula 24+ Championship they took second place overall, finishing behind the exceptional Cullimore Racing's Jet. Reprobation also picked up the Silverline Corporate Challenge crown, beating off Jaguar Land Rover, MIRA and the previously indomitable Silesean team from Poland.
Following the racing; a packed to capacity presentation marquee hosted the prize-giving ceremony with special guests Jason Bradbury and Siemen’s Chief Executive Juergen Maier. Additional awards for special recognition included:

Siemens Engineering & Design Award – F24 – Team USA – ARES; F24+ - Silesian University of Technology

IMechE Portfolio Award – Bragin’ Fifers

IET Best Engineered – Penair School – Raptor Fusion 

Innovation award – Sandbach High School – Dougal

Best Presented Team award – Mandela School of Science & Technology

Spirit of Greenpower – Yabadabatwo – Yabadabatwo

Best Newcomer award – Ysgol Dyffryn Taf – Fabulous Flaming Scorchio

Top Kit Car Race 1 & 2 – Bristol Grammar – Megazord - R2

Silverline is proud to have supported Greenpower throughout 2014 and especially the Silverline Corporate Challenge. A huge well done to all teams involved and we’re already looking forward to seeing more impressive engineering in the 2015 race season!

For more info visit:

All the action from NASCAR in Le Mans

Nascar Final- Le Mans

The Silverline team arrived at Le Mans one man short after the famous Silverline Dodge broke down and had to be recovered back to England! However, everyone else arrived in high spirits - eager to support the Le Mans leg of the Nascar Whelen Euro Series, having followed the racers from the very start back in April.

With the stand and flags set up, we eagerly awaited the start of the finale. In our wind and rain-battered gazebo we displayed a range of automotive tools for supporters to check out as they grabbed their free Silverline goodie back complete with a free spark plug gap tool, catalogue and stickers!

On the course Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) was the overall champion by one point on Ander Vilarino (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS) - it was a very tense, close race!

Antony commented: “It’s fantastic to win the Championship in our first year with a new project. I’ve watched NASCAR all my life and now that NASCAR is in Europe, to be the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion is a dream come true.”

Cheever III Eddie (J) won the race, but in the final stages he saw Kumpen getting closer. In the end he took the chequered flag with a one second advantage and third place overall.

He said: “I’m really satisfied with today’s victory because it came on a wet track that made the car really challenging to drive. To be third in points, win three races and get the Jerome Sarran Trophy in my first NASCAR season is a huge achievement.”

The results from Le Mans were as follows:

1              51           Cheever III Eddie (J)
2              24           Kumpen Anthony
3              12           Gabillon Frederic
4              2              Vilarino Ander
5              32           Leinders Bas

As the Le Mans leg drew to a close we felt a little disappointed knowing that we wouldn’t see the high-speed racing spectacle again till next April – something we are already very excited about! All in all it’s been a fantastic season and we look forward to supporting NASCAR again in 2015. 

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Race Report:Enduro World Series 2014 Round 7 Finale Ligure

After a gruelling weekend of racing, Martin finished 13th and Dan 16th – enough for Martin to be placed 10th in the season overall.

Saturday was a beautiful day in Finale as Dan and Martin lined up with over 500 riders for the climax of the 2014 season.

Stage 1 of the Pianarella Trail was relatively short at 2.5km, but it was tight and technical, and soon claimed its first victim when Damien Oton crashed in the middle, losing valuable time.
Martin rode responsibly, finishing the stage in 17th (4.29.11) - just 10.23 seconds back from Fabien Barel who claimed the stage in a sensational start to his comeback from injury, having fractured his spine at Round 1 in Chile.

Dan began steadily, as he tends to do, and finished the stage in 32nd place, 4.36.03, 17.15 seconds back.

Stage 2, Neanderthal started with a pedal section and ended with a toboggan run. Martin Maes allowed himself a little more freedom and finished the stage in 4th place with 4.46.44 (+3.25 back from stage winner Joe Barnes) and Dan moved up the ranks to take 11th on the stage with 4.59.56 (+6.57).

Stage 3 featured pedalled sections and exposed technical sections. Yoann Barelli took the stage in 4.42.35. Martin had another steady run to finish the stage in 16th 4.52.89 (+10.54) but Dan found the trail really awkward, finishing 45th, 5.06.56 (+24.21).
Stage 4 is one of the steepest and most technical in Finale - much more to Dan’s taste. He finally found his flow and finished the stage in 10th with a time of 5.02.26 (+7.07) and Martin came in 13th with 5.03.64 (+9.08).

Dan commented: “A lot of riders - myself included - came to Finale, expecting the fast rocky stages that it’s famous for, but instead it was slow, tight and gruelling. I found it really hard to find any flow or to get into a rhythm apart from the final stage.”

Day 2 started with a brutal two and a half hour liaison to Stage 5, Cravarezza. Dan rode steadily but struggled to maintain speed. He finished 31st on the stage with a time of 4:27.69 (+10.51), Martin had a crash and finished 59th on the stage with 4:33.21 (+16.03).

Another pedalled liaison led to Stage 6, the longest SP in the history of Finale Enduro. This was Dan’s favourite stage of the race and he finished 9th for the stage with 14:57.26 (+ 15.84). Martin wasn’t far behind with 16th for the stage 15.05.83 (+24.41).

Dan said: “The final stages of both days have been by far the best for me. The last stage was pretty motivating after a year of injury and the focus on filming that I’ve had for the last couple of months. I’m more keen than ever to start training for next year.”

Martin said: “That’s not the end of season that I was looking for but I’m glad that the season is done now and we will have chance to rest – it’s felt like a long time, both physically and mentally. As I say, I learnt so much this season and will be back way stronger that’s for sure. It’s great to see Dan back strong even after two months digging. I think next year is going to be a good one for us.

Martin ends this season in 10th place in the Overall Classification – not so shabby for a Junior still 17 years old! 

1 Fabien Barel
2 Jared Graves
3 Damien Oton
13 Martin Maes
16 Dan Atherton

Thursday 2 October 2014

2014 ISAF World Championships - Bronze Fleet

Bronze Fleet …

The heading pretty much sums out how we performed at the 2014 ISAF World Championships, but there is a story with it…

It was a difficult start to the week for us; after just three races we had picked up a UFD (over the line disqualification) and also failed to finish another race after breaking two tiller extensions within about 40 seconds of one another. When the second tiller broke, we both knew at that point it was the end of our hopes of not just winning or medalling at the worlds, but simply gold fleet. It was quite hard at that point to find the motivation to get back on the water and carry on racing, but we did not want to just give up . . . so we kept fighting. 

We got it wrong again in the next race - this time someone crashed into us at the top mark. We got rafted up and were then back in last. Things really were not going our way, but again we had a chat and waited on the water for the wind to play ball before getting one last race in the qualifying series. 

At last we got our acts together, started well, raced well, went fast and pulled in a 2nd. We had quite the score card at that point . . . UFD,20,DNF,33,2  . . .suffice to say letters are not ideal!

Bronze fleet. To race or not to race was the question. We have seen this happen to top teams before and most of the time they just go home. After a long chat, we decided we wanted to go and race, learn what we could and also go out to enjoy racing. After a hard four days and we were not exactly having the best fun, but we were not alone. 

We set ourselves a target to win every race, which is quite a big goal even in bronze fleet. We were not the only casualty of a tricky qualifying series, so we were joined by some of our friends who were also normally in gold fleet. As it turned out bronze fleet got the best of the conditions, with some awesome racing in the harbour just in front of a packed grandstand. Over the next seven races we won six, only coming 2nd in the other - not quite achieving our goal, but we had a good time, sailing well together. It was much nicer racing, away from the shore, in our own world, striving towards a gold medal no matter what was thrown at us. 

There is no doubt we made some big errors, which we must learn from to come back stronger and compete once again at the top. We have a solid plan in place with our coach and after what was, and potentially still was, our best year - medalling at the Europeans, Test event, Palma World cup and winning the Delta Lloyd Regatta, but it’s not over yet! We still have three regattas left to go; two in Rio including the South American’s and Intergalactic’s followed by the World Cup Sailing Final in Abu Dhabi. 

Right now we are chilling out - enjoying a little holiday before getting back into training on Friday. 

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Red Bull Foxhunt with Rachel Atherton

Red Bull’s First Female Foxhunt a resounding success

Rachel overtakes 100 female riders

This weekend the outskirts of Edinburgh bore witness to an unprecedented event in the sport of Downhill Mountain-biking. A total of 117 female riders (The Hunters) were chased down Allermuir hill by 2013 World Champion Rachel Atherton (The Fox) in the topsy-turvy concept from Red Bull. 

As well as a strong, local contingent, the riders came from Liverpool, London, Rotterdam and Belfast. There were mothers riding with daughters, teenagers and riders in their fifties. They came with friends, families or they came alone, but nobody stayed alone for long as they were swept up in the incredible atmosphere of ‘The friendliest MTB event ever.’

For many of the riders this was their first-ever race, and the pervading sense of fun meant that nerves were pretty good. All the experienced riders were involved in coaching and encouraging the first-timers. There were yoga lessons to help riders stretch and relax, and a lot of good-natured banter, practise and seeding sessions felt more like a festival than a hard-core competition! There was limited vehicle access to the summit so riders pushed up from about half way – another great bonding experience! 

But when it came to the race there was some serious riding to be done! The 3km course was challenging rather than intimidating, with plenty of room for easier line choices. Saturday’s seeding earned riders a choice of place on the starting grid from where they poured down a steep section of hillside through heather and sedges, down across a golf course then there was a quick pedal into the woods, which had plenty of slalom turns through the trees and some tricky little off-camber sections. A drop down to another sprint and a flying jump into the finish had the adrenaline well and truly pumping.

Rachel was on site all weekend, sharing tips and stories and encouraging the nervous, but come the race she showed no mercy as she closed on the fleeing pack from her 10 second delayed start. Rachel joked: “I was hunting really, there was a red mist and I was after them!” She passed exactly 100 girls to finish in 17th place. However, the top step was owned by 17 year old Elena Melton, an Enduro rider from Scotland who finished 8 seconds clear of the field.

Rachel said: “I am so stoked with this weekend. Nearly 120 girls racing on one day feels so good. It’s so different from racing a World Cup when you are riding against the clock, all alone on the track. I’ve made loads of the first-timers promise that they are going to race again but I’m sure there’ll be no stopping a lot of them!”


1. ELENA MELTON 04:25,4 -
2. CLAIRE BENNETT 04:33.5  +00:08,0
3. ELAINE HOPLEY 04:34.6  +00:09,2
17. RACHEL ATHERTON 05:16.9 . +00:51.5

Photo credit: Rutgar Pauw/ Red Bull Content Pool

Silverline in Ibiza!

We recently visited a very warm Playa d'en Bossa in Ibiza to support Drew Langdon and the team as they competed in the Mediterranean Grand Prix. Watch the highlights from the weekend below and let us know what you think in the comments box!

Thursday 11 September 2014

Silverline 49ers hit Santander!

We are currently resting at home, reflecting on a great training camp in Santander and preparing for the most important regatta since the last Olympics - the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain.

We arrived in Santander on 12th August with a new boat and a long job list before the World Championships, and after 18 days sailing we feel as if we’ve covered most things and are in pretty good shape for the racing.

Dave arrived in Spain from the UK and I flew in from deepest Russia with multiple stop-overs, but miraculously arrived with my bags. We were both excited to get back into the boat after a couple of weeks away from the 49er and a lot of hard work fitting out our new boat.

Fortunately the new boat is going fast and we had a range of conditions for the training, which gave us time to tune the rig and practise some specific techniques across the conditions. Towards the end of the training block we had a coach’s regatta, which highlighted a few weaknesses that we need to address, but also gave us a big confidence boost - we were fast and sailing well, with good kit. Unlike previous regattas, where we have struggled with kit selection, we are definitely not making the same mistake again, with all our race kit decided and ready to go.

Santander is a venue made for sailing - a big natural harbour at high tide and a short sail to open ocean. We were fortunate to get some great sea breezes accompanied by rolling swell
and Spanish sun, which made for dreamy sailing and racing (fingers crossed we get some
of that when the regatta starts). One of our race courses is practically touching distance from a
surf beach and another over a shallow sand bar in the harbour, giving dead flat water and big
top speeds when the breeze is up, so we should have a great variety of conditions.

The city centre is just a five-minute walk from the sailing centre, and is a hive of activity all
day and definitely all night. It is a typical Spanish night out, with a night club that doesn't close until 4am, so we are told!

Dave is currently at home relaxing in Poole, and I have taken a few days to head to Hossegor in South West France to get away from the boat park. We meet up again in a few days for more training, measurement, registration and racing, starting on the 15th.

Before racing gets underway, we would like to give a huge thanks to Silverline Tools, as without them we would not be able to afford - let alone maintain - our new boat with their tools; and also Harken UK for continually supplying us with the best fittings, hardware and service. We also owe a huge thanks to Payne Hicks Beach for the tireless work they do on our behalf, and especially Martin from team sponsor Princecroft Willis for loaning us an engine for our coach boat - quite a vital piece of kit! Not only good at accounts - also very generous! Stay tuned to the details below for updates between now and the end of the World Championships.

Ed & Dave 

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Silverline appointed as Official Tool Supplier to the British Sailing Team

The British Sailing Team has signed up industry leading tool brand Silverline as Official Tool Supplier for their medal-winning quest through to 2017.

As Official Tool Supplier to Team Fletcher and Sign and DEEP Sailing – two 49er teams storming the sailing circuit – it was a natural progression for Silverline to partner up with the British Sailing Team.

Darrell Morris, Silverline Managing Director, said “We’re thrilled to be appointed Official Tool Supplier to the British Sailing Team. We admire their dedication at what they do and we’re always proud to work with world class teams. The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of many sailors’ campaigns and we’re proud to support the British Sailing Team and their future successes”.

Stephen Park OBE, RYA Olympic Manager for the British Sailing Team, said “To perform essential repairs and maintenance to boats is an important part of any sailor’s World Class campaign, and our partnership with Silverline will be invaluable in helping to fine-tune equipment to ensure optimum racing performance”.

Silverline will supply a wide range of tools for the technical and mechanical teams as well as the sailors to keep their boats in world class condition.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Gee Atherton is 2014 World Champion!

Gee Atherton is World Champion for the second time and is celebrating his victory – six years on from when he first took the title in 2008.

Rachel lost her rainbow jersey by the cruellest of margins - pushed into second place as Manon Carpenter triumphed by a miniscule 0.088 seconds.

Hafjell’s World Championship race was unanimously labelled ‘intense’. It is a challenging and technical track and it took its toll on many riders – including GT Factory Racing’s Juniors. Taylor Vernon finished 40th after a big crash, while Martin Maes, the team’s young Enduro star, suffered a puncture and finished 59th.

Gee rode strongly. It wasn’t a perfect run; in fact he declared himself ‘not pleased’ with his ride, but it turned out to be closer to perfect than anybody else produced on the day. Gee was fourth man left on the mountain and Neko Mulally was in the hotseat. Mulally had put together an amazing run, crossing the line in first despite riding most of the track without a chain, but Gee was about to better him. 

Gee rode a fantastic top section, going 2nd through split 1 (Sam Hill was fastest at the split but had dramatically come to grief near the end of the track). Gee made a slight mistake after the main rocks, where he dabbed a foot, still 2nd at split 2, but his trademark power came into play as he pushed all the way to the finish, crossing the line 2.2 seconds up on Neko.

Sam Blenkinsop was up next but couldn’t get into contention;11th at split 1 he crossed the line in 5th, then Troy Brosnan also had a strong mid section and finish.10th at split 1 he crossed the line in 2nd, 0.566 behind Gee. Finally Josh Bryceland was on track. Tension was high as Bryceland went first at split 1; by split 2 he was ahead of Gee by more than a second - could he hold on? Josh looked threatening but in the last 200m he landed flat off a jump, coming down heavily enough to break his foot. He still managed to cross the line in 2nd place, but the World title belonged to Gee.
"My run was messy," said Gee, “Hafjell is the kind of track where you are going to make mistakes; you have to expect things to change. Sitting there with riders like Sam Blenkinsop, Troy and Ratboy still to come down, I wasn’t at all sure that what I had done was good enough for the gold. I hope Josh is going to heal up soon!"
Martin Maes was the first of GT Factory Racing’s juniors to ride in the World Championship Finals. Martin pushed hard. After coming 4th in timed practise he had decided to run a lower pressure in his tyres for Finals, searching for that infinitesimal extra edge. The strategy didn’t work. Despite a strong top section (he was 6th at split 1), he punctured and came down in 59th position.
Taylor was 2nd from last to ride. He attacked the race like he needed to, pushing super hard out of the start house. He was 4th at split 1 but a crash before the main rock garden put an end to his World Championships.

Team Director Dan Brown said: “We’re proud of Tay going hard and all out; neither the team nor Taylor would have been happy with 4th today.”

In the Women’s race Rachel was last woman down. She had a tough run. Manon Carpenter had put in a good time but it was only just quicker than Rachel’s timed training run - definitely within the reigning Champion’s reach. Rachel rode solidly but it was far from her best. She was up at split 1, up by over a second at split 2; the crowd and the team held their breath but a mistake on the final rock section meant that her 1.2 second lead had disappeared by the time she reached the finish line and she crossed into 2nd - a cruel 0.088 seconds behind Manon.

Dan Brown said: “We’re all gutted for Rachel, who’s shown such determination this season to get back up there where she belongs. It would have been the fairy-tale ending and it’s what we all came for this weekend, but that’s racing. We’ll see you next year.”

Men’s Elite

1 Gee Atherton GB 3.23.769
2 Josh Brycelend GB 3.24.176 +).407
3 Troy Brosnan AUS 3.24.335 +0.566
4 Neko Mulally USA 3.25.979 +2.21
5 Brook MacDonald NZL 3.26.797 +3.028
Ran$ N% "#I #&'e 
Women’s Elite
1 Manon Carpenter GB 3:49.407
2 Rachel Atherton GB 3:49.495, +0.088
3 Tahnee Seagrave GB 3:52.870, +3.463
4 Tracey Hannah AUS 3: 55.862 +6.455
5 Jill Kintner USA 3: 56.879 +7.472

Junior Men
1 Loris Vergier FR 3:29.09
2 Laurie Greenaland GB 3:34.08 +4.99
3 Jacob Dickson IRL 3:36.384 + 7.294

40 Taylor Vernon GB
59 Martin Maes BELG