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>Interviews with guys that wiped out during the Highland Extreme

The 2002 Highland Extreme was damn exciting. With a load of streetlugers, skateboarders, and gravity bike racers all hell bent on hoisting a trophy, the racing was intense and the speeds were BIG.

Predictably there were a lot of wipeouts and we caught up with some of the guys that wiped out to find out what happened. Here's what they had to say...

Douglas "Bales" Elder: "Today I had four wipeouts, three on the Gun Barrel and one on the Juice Box when I was overtaking someone."

"At one point the luge just disappeared and I few into the hay bales. I only had one where I though I should have hurt myself there!"

Mark Warrender (aka "Mr. Cool"): "I was coming into the Gun Barrel and I was last. I saw Todd running quite wide and I thought oh that's all right I'll just zip on the inside to pass, then he cut right in and I though Uhhhh… there's nothing I can do here. So I whammed him in the shoulder and then he waved 'sorry, sorry' and moved over and we were side by side. Then I scorched this other guy to the right, then I saw the underside of Todd's luge, complete with all the wheels about an inch off the floor disappearing to the right - just like a spitfire peeling off on a bombing raid."
Todd O'Neill (editor of DoctorDanger): "Ya, I was experimenting with this 'extreme hang-off' thing Pete Love suggested for the new luge. It was starting to work, and the luge started to carve a bit but then all of a sudden it just went shoooo and way oversteered and that's when we collided. Then the luge was just wallowing and tank slapping all over the place at a decent speed, then I was sliding it on its side for a bit before it completed a 180 and I exited the Gun Barrel backwards."
Todd met with Tim immediately after he had a huge wipeout in the Juice Box section of the course…

Todd: "So Tim, cripes you look a mess are you all right?"

Tim: "Ya. Augh… I just come off. I ran out of road on the corner coming out of the Juice Box and uh.. just couldn't hold it. I think I'm OK I landed on my shoulder. Oh…augh... "

Todd looks at the huge impact scrape on Tim's full-face helmet: "Are you sure your shoulders OK?"

Tim: "I don't know. Augh, I think I'm all right. My neck…"

Todd: "You had better go and get checked out!"

Tim: "I've always got a bad neck anyway, but every time I crash it affects my neck."


Todd: "Hmm… looks like you had a big off!"

Tim: "Ya. I lost it on the left-hander of the juice box. It started wobbling and that was it I was gone. I was trying to slow down and I was weaving and I was trying to get on line but it was just too fast. I'm glad I've got a decent helmet."

The paramedics were immediately on the scene and after checking Tim's condition set him to hospital. He spent most of the day there as they checked for injuries to his head, shoulder, ribs, back... Tim was released in the evening and joined us in the bar later that night! Good man!

Tom Haas : "Yes, I had a bit of an accident. I was sliding on my stomach like Superman worrshhh… "

Neil Farrow: "Were you racing stand-up?"

Todd: "No he was on his buttboard… I took him out. Ya sorry about that Tom, it looks like I owe you a beer."


Neil Farrow: "Ha, what happened?"

Todd: "Oh… I was on the buttboard running wide midway through the Gun Barrel. I had lost it completely and was heading for the hay bales. I didn't know Tom was on my right, but as I drifted out we collided."

Tom: "I think you had chose a different line. You had gone from the inside out, and I had gone from the outside in and that's where we met."

Todd: "So when I hit you did it just send you into the bales?"

Tom: "No, I thought I could still make it but when I came into the dirt I hit the hay bales then suddenly I was on my front and sliding down the street."

Todd: "Cripes. There was a good impact when I hit you. My buttboard popped up off the ground and my hand flew off the deck. Unfortunately I ran over my own fingers when we landed, and it was all a bit hairy trying to stay on the thing, but I got away with it, just…"

We met Jim immediately after a his high-speed wipeout. Lots of people were saying that there was loads of smoke coming off his leathers as he slid down the road!

Jim Ewen: "I was racing behind this guy when I saw a gap in the Juice Box, and I though 'I'm not braking' and I went though it and passed him and I though 'Wooow, this is GREAT!'

Then I got a speed wobble, and then la-la-la-lauughhhh, and it lasted so long before it threw me off. I went bouncing down the road and I eventually found my luge in a tree somewhere!"

This is Jim's first season racing streetluge... and he's 44 years old! It reminds me of that saying... "there are old pilots and there are bold pilots but there are no old bold pilots"... hmmm...

Simon Bognor: "I staked it big style in the Juice Box. There was a wind pushing from behind, and it was too fast for me, I hit a bump, started to get a wobble on and just couldn't control it. I nailed the bales and started flying. I was a bit like a rag doll, and smacked my head pretty hard on the road, and got some big style whiplash.

The hospital gave me some painkillers and a neck brace but I was too embarrassed to wear it around here.

Here's a weird wipeout which took place mid way around the Gun Barrel. It happened when a couple of the buttboard guys joined in on a practice session for the gravity bikers.

Todd: "So Neil, tell us what happened…"

Neil: "You on that damn buttboard screwed up and pushed me off the track."

Todd: "Ah… sorry, but shit happens."

Neil: "Ya, it was good fun though. I lost the front and the bike low sided. I slid into the dirt, something caught and it spat me over the front, then I head butted the ground and rolled around."

Todd: "Sorry Neil, it looks like I owe you a beer as well!"



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