Video: DarkFEST – Week 1 The Build Begins

“The course is designed this year around my 3 favourite jumps that I’ve ever ridden. First being Nico Vink’s Loosefest. I’d love one of those, sort of like his first one, a 70/80 foot longer jump. Another one of my favourite ever jumps was from Nine Knights a few years ago, a big 90degree hip, which you could just blast. Last, but not least, the DarkFEST step up from last year.” – Sam Reynolds

Sam Reynolds, the man with the plan.

The first digger’s teeth sunk into the beautiful mountains in Stellenbosch on Monday morning, since then if you blinked you’d miss a feature being created. The dream team of Clemens, Nico and Sam are amazing to watch. Clemens the operator, is chief of piling the massive landings. Nico is the shaping perfectionist in the 5 ton and Sam is site foreman, making sure the boys are comfortable & everything runs smoothly.

Being mid-summer in SA, the temperatures have been in the mid to high 30’s, which makes the midday shift a sweltering one, so lots of trips to dams and pools go down during lunch to cool off and recharge for the afternoon shift. The dirt is like powder in the heat, so is a bit tricky to shape things, but with the drought in Cape Town at the moment the water usage has to be minimal, so we’re hoping for some rain to sprinkle over the course and help us out.

The progress this week has been really good so the guys have rewarded themselves with a few trail rides with some of the locals, followed by a mandatory braai, beers and red wine.

Another 3 weeks of building before the rest of the riders arrive, so lots of dirt to still be moved. We’ll keep checking in with weekly updates on the progress, so keep an eye out, these boys have something special on the way!

Want to see more of the huge jumps from Nico Vink’s Fest Series event, LooseFEST? Watch the highlights video here.

Photos: Eric Palmer @afreakineric

Video: FEST Series / Thomas Sandell

Loosefest 2017: All The Action

*UPDATE* Scroll down for final day photos and highlights video.

All The Videos

Course Walk

50to01 lads warm up and have first sends of the big ones

Day 1 highlights

Josh Bryceland’s GoPro POV

Sam Reynolds’ POV – Watch his speed reach almost 90km/h!

2017 Highlights!

The FEST is a series of rider driven invitational events. It was created by a crew of the most talented and progressive professional freeriders, recognised around the world for their riding, track building and media production skills.  The original 6 FEST riders are Andreu Lacondeguy, Nico Vink, Makken, Nick Pescetto, Kurt Sorge and Graham Agassiz.

The FEST brings out the purest and most real essence of MTB Freeriding, which is about pushing the limits of the sport by always building new lines, and riding massive jumps in optimal conditions.

Nico Vink has been racing the World Cup circuit and building BMX trails for two decades, and the way we see it this is the perfect education for building a FEST Series line.

Nico Vink, taking freeride MTB to the next level
Day 1 on the ‘small’ line
Joel Anderson dangling a nac nac on the ‘small’ 45ft trick jump
Josh Bryceland keeping busy despite not racing World Cup DH in 2017
Some time to spot the landing
Loosefest visionary, Nico Vink
Sam Reynolds getting his Polygon very sideways

Remy Morton, all round shredder from Queensland who’s been racing World Cup Downhill in Europe had a big crash on Friday evening, going too far and nose heavy on the last hip. He is in a stable condition and in good hands and all the boys are sending him the best wishes for a smooth recovery.

All photos courtesy of Eric Palmer. Follow him on Instagram @afreakineric.