By Cable Willford
(ED—Here is Pro hillclimb Yamaha racer
Cable Willford’s thoughts on the second RMSHA race of the season last weekend.
We will be following Willford as he helps to try to put Yamaha on the map—hillclimbing
wise that is.)
The Afton Hillclimb turned out
to be an impressive event and, just as expected, the hill was UGLY right from
the start and proceeded to get much worse throughout the weekend. Avoiding the
stumps was the least of anyone’s worries as the hill developed trenches and
holes that were nearly impossible to overcome. The treacherous conditions
offered up the perfect practice for Jackson, as
the hill took on an eerily similar identity to that of Snow King in Jackson Hole.
As always, the top Pro riders
impressed with blisteringly fast runs and wild rides that either worked or
failed and the hill showed little favoritism as it shut down some of the
biggest names and fastest sleds RMSHA has to offer. The action started early
Friday morning and continued through Sunday eve with plenty of gnarly wrecks
and spectacular displays of talent wowing the crowd at every turn.
For Team Yamaha, the weekend
held mixed results. The move to Improved Stock paid off with my first top
ten finish of the year and this will be a good starting point to build off of
I had good qualifying efforts in
the Mod classes, finishing No 18 of 28 in 800 Mod and 14th of 24 in 600 Mod.
Improper sled setups and failure to focus combined with bad line
choices made for less than stellar runs in my 700 Mod and Open Mod classes.
Both of my teammates, Kody and
Kolton Malmborg, are improving and showing better results with every run
and it will only be a matter of time before we start seeing solid qualifying
times across the board.
Though we keep hoping for leaps
and bounds, the Yamaha progress can be described as baby steps. Next up is the
World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb at Jackson Hole,
and team blue will be there in full force with every
intention of claiming our share of the world championship glory.