Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier, Round 1

Axial held it’s first AWCC Qualifier this past weekend in the hills of Escondido, CA at scenic Lake Wohlford. This is the first of five events taking place over the next few months. The top 10 drivers from each of the five events will get automatic invites to the Axial West Coast Championships on June 25th-27th at Cisco Grove, CA.

Rain was threatening to make this first event a soggy one, but the Rock Gods smiled upon us by giving us a beautiful sunny day. Comp ring leader, Brian Parker, was out on the rocks at 6 a.m. sharp setting up courses in the dark.  Brian sets up what I would consider national caliber comp courses. A quick walk-through of the 5 courses told everyone in attendance it was time to get serious if they wanted a shot at a podium spot, regardless of the class you signed up for.  Brian has an eye for setting comp courses like no one I’ve ever seen. Not only are the gates challenging, getting from gate to gate was just as big of a challenge.  If you didn’t go scope out the courses a little to figure out your lines beforehand, you probably weren’t going to do very well. You and your rig had to be at the top of your game to even finish these courses and if you did finish, you either had no time left or had to eat a gate or two to get there.

Here’s a few highlights from the mayhem:

Setting everything up first thing in the morning
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Rig tech
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Don Hughes patiently waits his turn in the tech line
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Sunshine was a welcomed sight after nearly 5 straight days of rain
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Dealing with gates like these all day gave new meaning to the term “Do work driver.”
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Game on!!
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Don Clark and his tuber throwing down
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Me on course #3
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Kacie Vess and her Sportsman class AX10
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Jess Downing working course #4
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The Axial superhero showed up about mid day to pass out free swag and keep competitors in check
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Nabil Jamali has his rig blessed by Axial Man before starting his next course
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Don’t ask, I have no idea
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Axial’s own Brandon Coonce working course #2
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Me working gate #2 on course #5
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Brandon on course #5
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The local wildlife was even checking out the comp
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More shots of Brandon Coonce, Josh Theide and myself
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This section was more technical than difficult and consumed a lot of time if you weren’t careful dropping in
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The finish gate on course #3
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Josh working course #3
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Axial Man trying to point the line out to me
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This ledge was impassable by most without taking a gate
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2.2 Sportsman Class winners, 1st place Matt Doyle, 2nd place Kacie Vess, 3rd place Bryce McDougall
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2.2 Shafty Class winners, 1st place Jake Wright, 2nd place Nabil Jamali, 3rd place Chris Dahl (not pictured)
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Overall 2.2 winners, 1st place Jake Wright, 2nd place Jon Privett, 3rd place Don Clark
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All in all this event was an absolute blast. Nice weather, good people, awesome location, great support from sponsors, etc., made for a memorable event. If you couldn’t make this first round of the AWCCQ Series, make it a point to attend one of the other 4 because you won’t be disappointed.

Here is a sweet video shot at the first event thanks to Lisa Budvarson.

2009 Axial West Coast Championships

It’s that time of year again. The 2009 Axial West Coast Championships (AWCC) took place this past weekend at Donner Ski Ranch in northern California. This event is one of the biggest R/C rock crawling comps of the year, taking place along side a 1:1 rock crawling competition to create a rock crawlers dream weekend. This year Axial teamed up with Calrocs to put on a rock crawling event that was second to none. If you’re a rock crawling enthusiast, from the 1:1 or R/C world, this event was a must attend competition. This years competition brought about 140 pro and novice drivers from all over the country to compete for the largest purse available to date for any R/C rock crawling competition. Here’s a few highlights from the weekend.

Pictures of a few various obstacles that had to be negotiated cleanly to have a shot at winning the coveted 1st place trophies. Rocks weren’t the only obstacles involved. There were water hazards, mud pits, bridges, cables of carnage, dirt, sand, etc. the top drivers definitely had to earn their paychecks.
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Something looks fishy here……
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Scoping out the obstacles before the madness begins
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The man behind the madness, Brian Parker. This guy can build a course that will give even the most seasoned drivers fits of cold sweat and have them doubting their rig’s set-up regularly.
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Parker “Doing Work” on a set of HB tires with his best friend Mr. Dremel
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Brian and his new best friend……………………sorry Mr. Dremel
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Every R/C rock crawlers hero
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Group shot of the Pro class Saturday morning
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Parker going over the rules before the comp gets started
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The backdrop
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Jason and Badger from RCCrawler.com  provided live coverage of the event for RCC and Pirate4x4
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Do work Drivers!!
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Norcal driver Dean Hsiao working course #2
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Each course had a “Tech Sled” to double check everyone’s wheelbase. Anything over 12 1/2″ is out of spec for the 2.2 class.
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A few pics from the 1:1 competition. Team Axial Driver Cody Waggoner made the trip up to compete in the 1:1 and R/C comp. Cody usually competes with WEROCK. But, wanted to get a little extra test time behind the wheel of his 1:1 moonbuggy before the next event. Cody ended up taking the win in the unlimited class with the help of Axial’s own Randall Davis as his spotter.
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Team Axial Driver Brandon Coonce on course #4
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Washington driver Jason Gainey on course #2
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Futaba’s own Jason Holt working course #2
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Top 5 pro drivers
1st Jake “King Bling” Hallenbeck
2nd Jake Wright
3rd Kolby Klingama
4th Scott Hughes
5th Greg Sinclair

Top 5 novice drivers
1st Steven Fillion
2nd Bob Tarvin
3rd Willy Davis
4th Rhett Mora
5th Scott Jackson

Wow, what a weekend!! More 1:1 and R/C rock crawling going on then you can shake a stick at. No matter where you were on the mountain there was action to watch. Congrats to all the top finishers for a job well done. A huge thanks to the BPRCA and CKRC Crawlers out of Reno, Nevada for all their hard work and dedication to this sport. See you next year!!

We’d also like to thank Xtreme RC for their generous support of the Axial West Coast Championships. Be sure to check out Xtreme RC.

2008 Axial West Coast Championship

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R/C rock crawling directly alongside 1:1 full scale rock crawlers in the scenic surroundings of Donner Ski Ranch.

Can you handle the intensity of competing against some of the best drivers from around the country with the entire RC rock crawling world watching? If you answered “yes”, then you’ll be thrilled to know that CKRC Hobbies is proud to present the Axial West Coast Championships in conjunction with W.E. Rock. Whether its 2.2′s or super class crawlers, bring your bling and compete with the best in the country. The event was held on June 18-20th at Donner Ski Ranch, one of the best natural rock crawling spots in the nation.

Donner Ski Ranch is located approximately 5 miles from scenic Donner Lake and rustic Truckee in California, approximately 40 miles from Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento, and three hours from San Francisco with easy access off of Interstate 80. Panoramic views, fresh air, and beautiful weather make this a hot spot for summer activities.

o Happening in the scenic beauty of Donner Ski Ranch.
o Coincides at the same time as a 1:1 rock crawling event (W.E. Rock)
o Several thousand people will be at the event (upwards of approx. 4,000).
o Over $6,000 in cash and prizes from major R/C and full scale manufacturers. Spectators also have a chance to win prizes
o One of the largest most anticipated events in the country
o Top drivers from around the country
o Media coverage from the U.S. and around the World
o Trophies and prizes also awarded to the top “5” in each class!
o “MEGA Raffle” over $4000.00 in raffle prizes. Drawings will take place every 5 minutes during the 2 days of competition!
o Complements of CKRC and Axial a competition crawler worth over $1500.00 will be raffled off Saturday afternoon!
o 80 Pro 2.2 drivers
o 40 Pro super drivers
o 40 Novice 2.2 drivers