The Return of Goodwood Action Sports Will Be a GAS at the 2012 Festival of Speed
Some of the biggest names in the adrenalin-fuelled world of extreme action sports are set to fight it out over four days as GAS returns to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Moving Motor Show (28 June to 1 July).
GAS – or Goodwood Action Sports to give it its full title – debuted in 2011 when it was an instant hit, much acclaimed by the 180,000+ enthusiastic spectators that attend the Festival of Speed. The GAS concept is a simple one – take five different action sports, hand-pick some of the most accomplished riders in the world and put them together in one purpose-built arena. The result is an amazing spectacle that has to be seen to be believed.
Click here to find out who's riding at GAS 2012
petrol and pedal-power
The five GAS disciplines mix petrol and pedal-power, with jaw-dropping freestyle motocross sharing airspace with BMX dirt jumping, while a little closer to terra firma the stars of motorcycle trials, mountain bike trials and BMX flatland demonstrate an almost supernatural sense of balance and inch-perfect precision.
The FMX roll call is lead by legendary Japanese jumper Eigo Sato, a four-time podium finisher in the Red Bull X-Fighters freestyle world tour. Swede Fredrik Berggren will also be in action alongside Brody Wilson from the USA, Czechs Petr Pilat and Libor ‘Ninja’ Podmol, plus German Hannes Ackermann and his 14-year-old back flipping brother Luc, will also be in action. British hopes will rest on the shoulders of Jamie Squibb and Dave Wiggins.
For 30-year-old Jamie this will be his second appearance at GAS and the experienced FMX star from Exeter is relishing returning to Goodwood. “GAS was unbelievably good last year because of the quality of riders across all the disciplines – BMX, FMX, trials, mountain bike trials, everything,” says Jamie. “I was stoked to be riding then and I’m stoked to have been invited back again for this year. Outdoors and on dirt this will be the biggest event of its kind in the UK this year – there’s going to be a 120ft gap jump and it’ll be the first time anything like that’s been seen in the UK.”
Jamie’s not only performing, he’s helping to construct the course that includes five huge jumps – each built from around 1,000 tons of dirt, trucked in especially for the event. He is in good company as sharing the digger-driving duties is a two-time BMX world champion Kye Forte. Kye won the coveted World Dirt Jump title in 2005 and followed that up with the World BMX Masters title.
As well as helping to construct the massive course for GAS and the dirt jump demos that will take place between the BMX races at the London Olympics, Kye will also be taking centre stage at Goodwood as he heads up the BMX riders alongside brother Leo, Matt Priest and Ben Wallace.
“It’s a unique event where BMX gets to be shown at its best alongside other core action sports,” explains the 30-year-old from Newton Abbot. “I’ve ridden at loads of massive stuff – things like the X-Games – and GAS is definitely pretty rad and right up there with the better ones I’ve been to.”
The motorcycle trials action will star 12-time World Champion Dougie Lampkin, who back in 2008 became a YouTube sensation, attracting almost half-a-million hits, when he rode his bike through Goodwood House and up onto the roof.
“The biggest thing for me last year was the opportunity to ride with so many top sportspeople at the same time,” says the 36-year-old of his 2011 GAS appearance. “There’s nowhere else in the world you can do that and this year’s going to be even bigger and better.”
Dougie will be joined by fellow Brits James Dabill, Alexz Wigg and Jack Sheppard while their pedal-powered counterparts comprise home-grown heroes Martyn Ashton and Chris Doney and Zimbabwean Blake Samson. BMX flatland will be represented by Spanish sensation and world number one Viki Gomez.
Each day Goodwood will feature GAS shows at 10.30am and 4pm, with a FMX best trick every afternoon at 5.30pm. For the first time there will be a series of daily competitions at 1.15pm, starting with MTB trials on Thursday, followed by motorcycle trials on Friday, BMX on Saturday and FMX on Sunday.
Expert GAS commentary will come from Christian Stevenson and Tim Warwood, who will also be taking care of live presenting duties for BMX at the London 2012 Olympics in a few weeks time.
GAS is guaranteed to pull a large crowd of open-mouthed admires and fans, especially among the younger Festival goers, who will this year be more prevalent, thanks to Goodwood’s extended half-price Festival of Speed entry tickets for younger spectators, now aged from 13, right up to 21. This has already proved to be hugely popular, both for the Festival of Speed, Moving Motor Show (28 June) and Goodwood Revival (14-16 September). Admission is free for children of 12 years or younger.