(ED—Yamaha has thrown its hat
into the professional hillclimbing race circuit this season for the first time
in a lot of years and we’ve asked one of its Pro hillclimb racers, Cable
Willford, to share his racing experiences this season. Willford competed last
season on a Yamaha Nytro but as an independent. This year he has full race
support from Yamaha. Here is his seventh blog, which will be followed by post
race blog after the Beaver Mountain Hillclimb near Logan, UT.
We think it will be interesting to follow Willford as he helps to try to put
Yamaha on the map—hillclimbing wise that is.)
By Cable Willford
Now that the pressure of Jackson is in the rear
view mirror, I can finally settle down and just have fun with my racing. An
intense focus on speed and consistency is crucial to become successful as a racer, but at times
this intensity seems counterproductive.
Funny how the World Championship Hillclimb
has an affect on all of the events prior and once it's done, it's as if a
weight is removed and suddenly the remaining races take on a more relaxed feel.
If we were out there playing ping-pong instead of racing sleds, I suppose the
world championship ping-pong match would still be just as intimidating and
everything leading up to it would seem more stressful than whatever came
Mtn. race in Logan, UT,
has to be one of my favorite events on the entire circuit. The Zollingers’
reputation as passionate and professional competitors carries over as promoters/organizers
at this race. They typically set up a very fun
"racers" hill with a moto-style influence, incorporating big
table top jumps, whoops sections and step ups throughout the course.
Beaver is the only race that has a
last chance qualifier format as well. Racers who fail to make the main in their
class have a chance to battle it out in the LCQ. The fastest two finalists for
each class get qualified, but even those who get eliminated have at least
another opportunity to compete, giving them one more ride for their
Big dog drag sleds get stupid in
the dash for cash runs at the end of the day on Saturday and Team Yamaha might
have a setup for our modified race sleds that will encourage my participation
here. The dash for cash at Beaver draws a good turnout of wicked fast heavy
metal from similar events like the Fairview
shootout and every entry is serious about winning. Other spectator faves
include the 120s and the vintage class. Old school iron is always fun to watch
and the outdated racing attire worn by some of these guys is nostalgic and
hilarious at the same time. Additionally, the locals’ class seems to grow in
popularity every year and it's encouraging to see new faces interested in
hillclimbing. No doubt much of RMSHA's new talent get their start by competing
in these locals classes.
All in all, Beaver is a well-run
spectator-friendly event with top notch racing and a laid back
atmosphere. I love racing at this venue and I hope my anticipation for a good
weekend here translates into some podium finishes for the boys in blue.