We had a full-on mission to get to Winterclash 2007. It started for me on Thursday, when I went straight from work to pick up Laura Huntley, and head over for a preparatory evening at Rampworx skatepark in Liverpool. It didn’t end until I late Sunday when I finally got home having had little sleep and even less nourishment in the intervening days.
After a chilled session, we headed over to Asda for some provisions. Buying far more food that I needed was later to be a fortunate error, as you’ll hear. It was then over to the Schulze Roller Hotel for an evening of jokes, Asda snacks and sleeping surrounded my insane cats. Not that much sleep was had, as 5am was the time to rise.
We all got our things together, and sorted ourselves out for the taxi that was arriving at 6am to take us to the airport. Due to the time of day, that was a quiet journey, but not for long. Arriving at Liverpool airport we hooked up with the other skaters heading our direction. On the plane it was pretty uneventful. That was the last of the trouble-free travel though.
As we headed over to Budget rent-a-car to pick up our ride, we met up with Dave Bell and the other skaters who were travelling the Budget way. Then we got the good news that we couldn’t have a car. Dave’s issue was that the rental company had taken the cash from his card, but tried to do so again. In fact 20 more times, maxing his card out. Our problem was that they wouldn’t accept my debit card (or anyone else’s credit card) for our pre-paid booking. Well, 5 hours of arguements later, Dave managed to get Visa in the UK to sort his problem, and we (Me, Zack, Hogg, Elliot and Mike Salt) ended up taking a cab. Bargain price of 500 euros.
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So, after the longest cab journey ever we arrive at the park, and things calm down a bit. I have a place to stay, but the other guys don’t so end up blagging a space on Dave Bell’s floor for the weekend. Things seem to be sorting themselves out, except we need to find a way to get back to the airport on Sunday, and not one of us has a single euro left. Fortunately I manage to talk my way into the event for free, and pick up a media pass. The other guys scrounge enough cash and beer bottle to get in and start the drinking.
I check out the park, meet up with the other skaters who’ve made it to the event and get some photos of the practice session. It’s a big park, but it’s still amazingly busy. Great to see so many people from all over Europe, and a good number from (much) further had made it to Muelhausen. When the skating was over, I joined my new Anglo/German consortium and headed back to our accomodation with Frank driving the big yellow bus. A few drinks later, with Rob Pruett and Kerry having demolished a bottle of Amaretto in under 5 minutes, it got a little rowdy, but as people dropped off it was time for some sleep.
Saturday was the big day. After some quality rest, it was up and out to the main event. A quick visit to Lidl on the way, where Rob and Kerry bought me food (thanks guys) was scheduled. Winterclash snowboots were bought, and we headed over to the skatepark in the snow. To be honest, I didn’t take a lot of notice of the competition. I was just taking photos of the amazing skating and trying to arrange travel back to the airport. I was fortunate enough to have a space in the Anglo/German bus, but with a visit to the cash machine, and a LOT of help from Frank we managed to get train tickets for the other lads. That was assuming they could be at the station at 6am.
With most of the worries off my mind now, I got some pictures, chilled out and witnessed some of the best skating I’ve seen outside of a DVD for a LONG time. At the end of the day, we headed back to the camp for a quick change before hitting the AfterClash party. Having only had 2 bread rolls, 2 bags of crisps and 2 apples to eat while on German soil, I was a proper lightweight, and got as drunk as everyone else, on half the cash – bargain. As usual, got some of my best pics in an inebriated state.
We finally left the party as the girls were waning at around 5am. Back to our beds for a short time. Having woken up the hotel manager at 5:30 to let us in, we hit the hay for approx 90 minute before it was time to stir again. 7:30 was our planned departure time for hte 4 hour drive back to the airport. Flying at 2pm we needed to be checked in by 1pm. Unfortunately, some people are a little slower in the mornings, so we got on the road an hour late. After getting slightly lost, and desperately searching out a toilet stop, we turned to GPS to get us to the airport on time. It nearly did.
13:05 and we arrive at the airport. Unfortunately we all pile out at the wrong terminal. From our bus it’s only me, Rob and Kerry catching this flight, so we run (with Rob on a sprained ankle) across the airport and find the check-in desk at around 13:15. This is when we confirm that checking closes at 13:20. Through we go to find our gate, and meet up with train-hoppers who had followed Frank’s directions and arrived at the airport in plenty of time.
To sum up the rest of the journey – flight, bus, 2 trains then walking 2 miles back to my car and driving home. Thank god for my wonderful girlfriend Lynz who made me food and let me sleep…
Check these links for the photos:
and these links for edits & clips: