Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 2 of 3


In the Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 1, I went over the first day of AXIALFEST2016. Part 2 will cover the sights and sounds of the second day of AXIALFEST2016.

First up on Friday morning, after breakfast of course, was the ALTRA ULTRA 5K ENDURO.  That’s right, A FULL SIZE 5K with Axial rigs! Lets clarify this even further! We are talking about a full-size 5K where participants will run while driving their Axial rigs over tough and rugged terrain as fast as possible! The Axial Crew built a roughly 0.6 or 0.7 kilometer course next to Vendor Row. Participants had to complete a total of 8 laps to complete the race.

DSCF0278Axial penned this as the premiere class for AXIALFEST2016! They chose the right to minimize vehicle allowances to showcase the ATHLETES of R/C! With the participation and sponsorship of ALTRA running shoes, it was apparent that the two parties were serious about this class! They even required timing transponders! The RR10 Bomber seemed to be the vehicle of choice for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.


And these RR10 Bombers are really cool!  I’m already planning my build and running the Altra Ultra next year.


Before the race, John Schultz & Rodney Wills briefed the course marshals on their responsibilities and the mission at hand.  Course marshals has two jobs during the race. The first task was to ensure safety and sportsmanship.  The second task was to to provide real time updates via radio back to the announcers booth, so lead changes and running order could be announced to the crowd on FM 105.3 KAXL. Up until the last couple of laps, when it was radio silence as far as driver placement!


Fire up those ESCs, it’s getting close.  All drivers had to stage by checking in their transponders before the race could be started.


Before the starting tone, the National Anthem was played.  Tree proved to be the great flag pole and Casey of ScalerFab lent her smooth voice for a fantastic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.


Chris Cru Jones was sporting the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 trail sneakers.  That is THE official shoe of the Altra Ultra 5k! Not sure if those are Altra socks or not, but they compliment his racing kit perfectly.  I already got a pair of the Lone Peak 2.5. You should to. I’m telling you, the Foot Shape Toe Box is legit. They come in both a regular top and mid-top.


Jack “Jack Smash” Ingberg from CKRC Hobbies makes one last check of the system before the race began.


These guys look serious. Helmets, check. Full communication system, check. Altra running shoes, well… NEXT TIME! For those of you who may or may not know… On the left is Randall Davis of Axial and official spotter for Cody Waggoner’s Lazernut moon buggy race car. They were competing the previous weekend up the road at Donner Summit and came down to experience the whole AXIALFEST thing! That’s why we lucked out and got to drive his moon buggy yesterday. While Randall knows a thing or two about R/C’s, Cody himself is an OG Axial team driver from the comp days!


And like that, BAM! They were off.  Some drivers sprinted, others did the trail trot, and others walked quickly.  There was definitely some strategy to ensure the body and car survived all five kilometers.


Chris Cru Jones and Ryan Gerrish took it easy on the first big turn, but were moving quickly.


Looks like Click and Clack are discussing line choices before proceeding.


Down into the creek bed, things got rocky and wet, but not snorkel & scuba Steve deep, just axle level.


Charlie Suangka brought his own whistle to cheer himself on.  Everyone else also shouted encouragement to him and all the drivers. It was a little like a mountain bike enduro race.


Course marshals kept an eye on drivers to make sure there was no funny business in the more challenging sections.


Jose Fernando Munoz, aka Ferndogg310, got up-close footage of the action. Here he films Mike Thompson and THE Jake Wright. His videos should be on his YouTube page soon if not now.


Up by the pavilion, the course looked tame, but you had to choose your line wisely. And what you can’t see is the entanglement just behind them!


I couldn’t tell if some guys were driving in teams or not.  They always seemed to be in pairs. This section was the signature Cody Waggoner death box as he personally gave his input on rock placement as well as picked and hauled most of these rocks down to this section.


Chris Cru Jones’s headband might have been a little tight. I caught him trying to drive sideways.


That’s Jason Sherer’s new race rig sitting up by the pavilion.  He, and Jason Berger, are known for winning the 2009 King of the Hammers, the toughest off-road race in the world!


Speaking of off-road racing legends, that’s Casey Currie driving his RR10 Bomber.  If you haven’t heard of Casey, you might want to check out


Just in case any driver needed medical attention, Axial had two EMTs on site during the festivities.  Here they observe the Altra Ultra drivers as they run by.


THE Jake Wright is really working up a sweat. Look at the shine on his forehead. If you want to know who won, too bad.  We didn’t get to find out until the awards ceremony, so I’ll keep you in suspense also… You may already know… but, just in case…


Kevin Jelich & Jack Smash where holding down the real-time timing! Massive THANK YOU to the scoring and timing crew!!! Timing and scoring crew consisted of CKRC’s Dominic Longoria (not shown) & Jack “Jack Smash” Ingberg along with the help of A-Main Hobbies Kevin Jelich.


On Friday the Starkey’s Food Truck made it’s way into the campground.


Pizza and sushi, sounds like an interesting combo, but it worked.  Their Ahi Poke Roll was excellent.  Skeeno Jr. reported that her Napoli Pepperoni and Cheese pizza was equally delicious. I can vouch for the pizza, because Skeeno Jr. didn’t finish hers and I got to enjoy a couple slices. There’s no dieting rules at AXIALFEST.


The swings got full use all weekend long as there seemed to be a ton of kids in attendance at this year’s AXIALFEST.


Ok, this was awesome. I want this paint scheme on my CT70.


After lunch, you know what time it was, ADVENTURE TIME! Over 1,000 Adventurists obliged for the group photo before heading out to the trails. If you missed the World’s Largest RC Surface Event this year, you better be making plans for AXIALFEST2017!
Start by reserving your camp spot with Cisco Grove Campground!
Address: 48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd, Soda Springs, CA 95728
Phone: (530) 426-1600


As the Adventurists headed off to explore the seven different trails, I spotted Guam’s finest, the Naputi Posse. As we finished snapping the photo, I turned around to leave so I could go get some photos of the adventurist action, but was distracted by a commotion in the back lot. I ran over to check it out.  Was someone injured?  Was a dog lost?
Now, before you go any further, get your tissues ready.


It was Vanquish President, Steve Brown, presenting AXIALFEST2016 event organizer, Mr. Rodney Wills with a special gift as Steve and Rodney have known each other for over 10+ years! Yes, it caught Rodney completely off guard and even brought some tears. You may not be aware, but Rodney is the conductor of everything at AXIALFEST. Of course, he has lots of help.  He has helpers from around the globe assisting, but he works almost year round planning and coordinating for the event on top of his regularly schedule full time Axial job!  Yes, and now the team is already working on bigger and better things for AXIALFEST2017. I know this because I am already getting texts, phone calls and emails from him!


So, as a thank you for all his hard work for Axial and all the sponsors, Rodney received a ‘Vanquished Out’ Axial SCX10 JK. Here he’s inspecting it to make sure it passes tech while emotionally choked up and his daughter and team look on.


I heard rumor that there were some pre-production prototypes pieces as well as every Vanquish part available for the SCX10 on there.  Even Mike Pham would be envious of this thing!

DSCF0442 Cue the tissues. Rodney was very appreciative of the gift, but more importantly, the recognition.  He wanted to make sure you knew that he does all this (AXIALFEST), so YOU can enjoy your Axial vehicles with other Axial fans-owners-enthusiasts. He may be the man behind the scenes, but he has been doing it all for YOU since his first event in 2011!


Thank you Rodney for making AXIALFEST such an awesome event for all the enthusiast of Axial products.


Now, back to the Adventurist trails. See if you can spot yourself in here somewhere.



#yearofthebridges I think this was called Chopstix Bridge built by Rodney Wills himself! SO many bridges this year! Thank you to all who helped make all the bridges!

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Pura Vida! The Costa Rican Crew made their way up the infamous slab of doom.  Don’t worry, Marco, I won’t tell them you rolled down this a few times. Everyone does if you’re pushing the limits!

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Lots of families and friends gathered to watch the action in the creek bed.


This Adventurist was showing her little sister how to drive. Maybe next year little one.


Camping and RC with your brother, sounds like a good time to me.

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This young lady shows her brother how to drive.  I heard him ask to have a sip of her Driver Juice.

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There were lots of new SCX10-II’s out on the trails.  I was amazed how many Axialfesters built these up so quickly for AXIALFEST2016.


Owensville Crawlers in the House, errr Campground!

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Veteran-Axialfester and elder, Dapper Don Hughes is so legendary, he has his own pit crew with him on trail to do his repairs.

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This young Adventurist was driving her tail off.


Here she gets a high five from her dad for doing such an awesome job navigating a difficult section.


Down the old Hell’s Highway back to camp.


I was lucky enough to get a little down time on Friday night, so Skeeno Jr. and I joined Tree for a little night run.


Had to dip the tires to cool off a bit.


#yearofthebridges I had to show Tree how to traverse the Bamboo Bridge.  Unfortunately, I could’t take photos and drive, so you just get a picture of Tree driving on tree limbs and about to fall off. I of course made it across with no issues.

That’s a wrap on Day 2 of AXIALFEST2016.

Look for Part 3 of Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report where I’ll go over Day 3.