Battle of Hastings Set to Return Without Crowd

Battle of Hastings Set to Return Without Crowd

After months of floating in limbo, the Source BMX crew has officially announced that Battle of Hastings will take place in 2020 and it's going down from September 4th - 6th. It's going to look a bit different than years past, but the BOH hype train continues to roll forward and BMXers around the world have something epic to look forward to. We caught up with Source BMX co-founder Rich Moore to get details on how it's going to go down...


 


Congrats on moving forward with the event. BMX needs this! When did you guys make the official decision to continue on with Battle of Hastings?

Thanks! We only made the final decision in the middle of June, but we’ve never given up on holding BOH - though it definitely looked like it wouldn’t happen for a while.


How are things in Hastings? I’m sure you guys are keeping a close eye on the COVID numbers…

Yeah. We’ve definitely watched the news more than usual since this all kicked off. Hastings has actually had really low numbers of COVID – virtually none – and is in the top five towns in the UK for the lowest rates. I guess being on the coast and having terrible transport connections has put us at the top of a league table for the first time ever!   

 

This will obviously look very different from previous years. Give us a rundown of the changes and precaution that will be in place…

The biggest changes are that the event will be limited strictly to riders, organizers, livestream crew, and a few media. We have to socially distance at all times, so the less people in the building, the easier than it is. Anyone that has been to BOH will understand how strange that is, but if you’re watching the livestream – like 99% of viewers do – it won't look much different. The other big changes are that we’re having to work within travel restrictions, so riders from some countries wont be able to make it. We’ve therefore limited the event to eight teams instead of twelve, which also helps with social distancing and means riders don’t need to share hotel rooms.

Aside from the changes, a lot of the event remains the same – the format, the livestream presenters, the sponsors, and the way we take care of riders over the weekend.


Is this government-approved or are you guys just sending it and hoping for the best?

Fully government approved! BOH falls under Elite Sport like professional soccer and basketball that is now up and running in the UK - again, without spectators.


Will you be giving COVID tests and / or monitoring temperatures?

We are still working through everything, but we’re taking all kinds of precautions to keep any risk to an absolute minimum and comply with all of the rules.


Will any riders from outside of the UK be able to attend?

It’s changing all the time, but it’s looking like riders based in Europe will be able to attend and we’re expecting that some more countries will be announced this week. It’s a fluid situation, but things are definitely moving in the right direction.


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When will the riders be announced? If you can give us any now, please do!

The captains are the four riders on last year’s winning team – Sergio Layos, Courage Adams, Simone Barraco, and Tom Justice - and then we have asked Alex Kennedy, Ben Wallace, Kilian Roth, and Stuart Chisholm. We’ll be announcing their teams over the next few weeks, so keep an eye on our socials - @SourceBMX, sign up to our newsletter, and also check out the dedicated pages on our website - SOURCEBMX.COM/BOH - for updates.

 

Will the event continue with the format of years past?

Yes. Same team format with plaza sessions, park sessions, best trick, and then finals.


Who will be judging?

We had asked regular judges Van Homan and Brian Kachinsky but, due to travel restrictions, we’ve changed things up slightly to an all European judging panel of Ruben Alcantara, David Cleworth, Owain Clegg, Axel Jurgens, and Moritz Nussbaumer.


 


Is anything changing in the park or street course for this event?

We haven’t been able to make any of the big changes that we had planned due to COVID, so we’re going for a more DIY approach to add-ons this year. We still need to figure it out, but it should be good.


How will fans at home be able to watch?

We will be announcing details of our livestream soon, but put September 5th and 6th on the calendar for live stream shows of both best trick and finals!

What brands are sponsoring the event?

Vans, Monster Energy, Vero, BSD, Cambian, Cinema, Eclat, Fly, GT, KINK, Odyssey, Profile, Protec, and We The People. All of these amazing brands are long-term sponsors and want to see the event as much as we do. We owe them a huge thanks, as it would not be possible without them and not one of them asked for a discount - which means we’ve been able to keep the prize money the same and not cut corners.


Any chance of an afterparty live stream from The Crypt?

Ha. That’s one thing that will be really different this year, as nightclubs aren’t allowed to open still. I’m sure they’ll still be some stories from the event, though!


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What are you most looking forward to about the event?

It’s not going to be the same without a crowd and some familiar faces, but standing there watching the event kick off still gives us goosebumps. Pubs have been closed here since March, so that first beer at The Helm is going to taste twice as good! 


Any final thoughts? The floor is yours…

Again, thank you to all our sponsors, staff, riders, and more for the support. We genuinely feel this is needed after the year so far on many levels! Who doesn’t want to see rad riding from some of the best in the world?


 

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kylecarlson kylecarlson 7/1/2020 11:17 AM

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