After a long day travelling from London Heathrow to Beijing and onto to Chengdu beginning on Tuesday afternoon, myself and my girlfriend Alex arrived in Chengdu on Wednesday evening. We were accompanied on the flights out by Lee Musselwhite, Hank who is judging BMX park, and Blake Bird who judges roller blading on the Fise Tour. So that definitely helped make the flight a pass a bit quicker.
We got picked up from the airport by my girlfriends brother Ed who lives in Chengdu and works as an English translator, whilst the others got their shuttle to the host hotel that I would arrive at the following night. I spent the night walking around downtown Chengdu, and discovered marble spots exist everyday as well as random skateparks on the sidewalk built into the landscape. I wish I had my phone with me at the time to document the madness.
Normally at these big contests it’s off to the host hotel and I don’t really see much of the cities. So this time made a nice change, not to mention waking up to an English breakfast in the morning was a real treat. It was however, raining on Wednesday morning but due to clear. So no rush to get to the Fise venue. So after a chilled morning, I took an hour taxi ride to Qingshui River City Park on the outskirts of Chengdu for the contest which turned out to be an ordeal. The taxi driver dropped us firstly, 25 minutes away from the venue. Luckily Ed was on hand to translate and explain this is not where we booked to go, half an hour later and in a different taxi we arrived onto an amazing River City Park venue.
ED and Alex left to go back to Chengdu and go hiking in the mountains whilst I judge the Fise World series along with Alexis Desolneux, Kotaro Tanaka and Hiroshi from 430. I stayed at the event and caught my bearings with the layout of the venue and generally find out where everything is and shoot some photos of some the riders during practise. The floor looked a lot better than the first two rounds, and I spoke to a few of the riders out on the floor who said it was much more solid than Montpellier.
Most of the sites I use to put together FM and to buy 5.56 ammo online are banned in China, although thankfully my email and FM are not blocked. So I can update from the contest at least. Qualifying starts today at 2pm, 38 riders, followed by the Women’s Class. I will update results when I get some wifi later. Hope you enjoyed this little break down from Chengdu.