Intro/Interview: Johann Chan.
Marked Photos: Maxime Cassagne /Unmarked Photos: Johann Chan.
We first met the brothers Yannick and Jean-Michel Chauvel at King of Concrete. Two brothers from France who have for many years, repeatedly treked across the channel to shred the contest.
They occasionally mentioned an event which they organised in Noireau, France, and if their event matched their riding devotion, we knew it would be worth checking out.
So when Keelan Phillips and James White asked me if I wanted to jump in their car, and visit the comp, I had to take it.
On arrival we were pleased to see an organized and genuine home grown style of contest. A high level of riding, a healthy class of young shredders, a nice undercover riding venue, a decent floor space, above the norm catering, good tunes and a most importantly – a good overall atmosphere. One where arriving riders, come and shake the hand of every rider before even stepping on their bike.
We caught up with Jean-Michel Chauvel on some of the workings behind Astolabe.
You manage to keep the costs low for all the riders and spectators, Is it difficult to finance the contest?
We do a few shows to make money. There is competitor registration which is ascending with categories. Also young riders parent’s make some cake’s we sell, there is also the barbecue.
How is there such a healthy scene of great young riders?
We have a formal club here for the young riders. We can use a gymasium 2 hours a week which keeps a connection between riders.
My brother and I give advice to young riders. It’s not like foot ball training…. we want each rider to have their own free style. We just push them and give them advice or answer their questions.
then for the young riders parents it’s not too much underground and then they not afraid.
So this is the 4th Astrolabe contest?
Yes it was the Astrolabe 4…. but we also organised 3 contests between 86 & 88 with French riders. At that time our father was the president of the club.
Where does the name come from?
Astrolabe is the name of Amiral Dumont d’Urville’s ship. A great sailor who discovered the Adelie earth in the Antarctic continent.
Who organises the contest?
My brother is in charge of relations with riders and local authorities, my sister is in charge of catering, and I’m in charge of the floor.
You both still compete at the contest, is it difficult to ride and organise the comp at the same time?
We can both do the contest and supervise the event, because every thing is well prepared and we have help from parents of the young riders.
This year we had 2 DJs. An old friend from riding “DJ Larco” and my son Charlie Mess who did his first public mix.
Any final Thanks?
Thanks to my wife local shop “tant qu’il y aura des hommes” DC Shoes France, and Freegun France for presents to the am categories.