Just like last year, this year's Island Cup included brutal trails, stout competition and a great group
of extreme wheeler's. Like we came to expect from last year, the wheeling was downright insane.
For those that don't know the Island Cup is a grass roots event that is held on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Vancouver Island is known among offroad enthusiasts as unforgiving and extremely challenging terrain. The Island Cup is a challenging test of the drivers skill the reliability of his rig and his teams resolve. Not to mention the ability to pick a line through some unbelievable terrain. Three days of wheelin' on Vancouver Island can leave even the hardest of the hard fatigued and begging for some creature comforts.
This year the event used an elimination style of scoring insuring consistency and a tough reliable truck. The team order was picked from a hat and Rich Walker of Crawlinbc.com pulled the lucky first place while Mike Debuc from North West Fab drew the last place and the order was set for the first days run.
Teams were run through a section of the Proving Grounds affectionately named “Bones” to decide which group they would run in the following day. Bones consists of steep rock inclines and off camber climbs leaning rigs towards long deep drops. One wrong move here could prove to be deadly, prompting helmets to be worn for most of the stages. The first stage of the course claimed 2 Toyota third members, pulling them right out of the rear housing causing major damage. To round out the day there was some decent flops and some exceptional driving by a few. The final stage of Day 1 was laid out by Bart Sutherland and was dubbed Bart's Shart. Only a handful of the teams even attempted Bart's Shart and none completed the section.
Part of the tradition of Island and Mainland Cup events are the late night shenanigans and partying until dawn. Tent dropping, fire pit spearing (ouch) bonfire jenga and various other gems are all widely employed. This year was no exception and from such a great tradition comes some serious comedy.
This years top prize goes to Rob Everest from Team Shockey's Boss and his intrepid attack on Dave Buckle of Team Super Trooper. Rob managed to remove Dave's boot while he was passed out and burn off all Dave's toe and lower leg hair without waking him!
Who knew Coors Light had such a kick, nice work Bubbles.
SCORING THE ISLAND CUP
From the points gathered on Day 1
the group of 20 rigs were split into groups. Group A would be given the morning run to allow them to get back to camp earlier in the day for repairs and rest before the final.
Group B would run later in the afternoon, competing against a chewed up course and the setting sun. The top 4 from each group would go head to head on the final day. while the other teams would run through a speed course to determine the final two spots for day 3.
Sounds pretty simple but before any of that could take place, these crazy bastards had to put up some points.
The horn sounded bright and early to call the teams to a drivers meeting where everyone was split into their respective groups and given some time to make last minute repairs.
Team positions were again picked from a hat and the early morning shift headed out in convoy.
Fungi, the trail selected for Day 2 starts with a steep rock and dirt climb with a 90* left turn at the top, teams had to be careful not to knock over trail markers placed by event staff, or flop while making the tight turn. The course went on to some tight nasty rock obstacles and followed by two other steep and off camber climbs.
The last of the climbs was a huge rock face about 60 feet high and slick as Don King. To top off all of these rock climbs the rain started early making traction a luxury and comfort a distant dream.
The opening obstacle stopped the first few teams cold, but finding the right line and adequate amount of throttle, Team BCC driver Taran Halarewich conquered it gaining valuable points on the rest of the pack.
While Taran was manipulating Stage 1, Team Carnage driver Tyler Vanderwal was giving it all he had to get his rig up Stage 4 and he made it to within ten feet of the finish line when one of his front links came apart and he had to pull out the winch and call it a day.
Watching Paul Deakin squeeze his full width Trooper through the course was remarkable,
as was watching the teams work their asses off trying to gain points to advance to the final day.
Between the weather and the trail Group A battled all morning and when it was all said and done only a few points had been gained.
In the afternoon Group B showed up determined to make a run for the top seeds. By this time the trail was soaked and sloppy, it was an all out war for the B group.
Mike Getting a little to "zesty" on stage 1 of Fungi
Team Death Cobra driver and North West Fab owner Mike Debuc gave the first hill some serious throttle making it up the wall quickly, too quick it turns out as entering turn Number 1 the Nissan flopped onto it's side.
Finally Team Blitzkrieg took a line that was extremely close to going off the right side of the course and powered to the top of Stage 1. Shortly after that cheers erupt in the forest as Team Death Cobra completes Stage 4. This was unreal Stage 4 was not even attempted by most teams and the spectators were blown away that Mike had piloted his rig up to the top of the stage in one attempt.
Roadkill finding the right line.
At the end of Day 2 the staff and competitors were soaked to the bone and Group B standings had been decided, it was time to head back to camp and prepare for the final.
The trail for Day 3 has a name that conjures disturbing thoughts and mental images, Bloodfart. This trail is the most ridiculous yet and that worked well with the level of wheeling so far.
The running order for the final was decided on a first come first serve basis, there was to be three rigs to go to the speed round trying to make up the final two spots. Team Crawlin' decided to drop out after walking the speed course so the final spots were decided right there and then.
The trail was marked out and the final got underway, the Bloodfart lived up to its name destroying the first truck through tearing it's front axle right out from under it.
Team F**k Mud, on very worn 36” radials walked up the first wall which no one else had done, giving them the first points of the day on what was turning out to be a very difficult trail. The competition heated up as Team BCC took points from the second stage followed shortly by Team Hack. It's was going to be one of these three teams to take the cup. Team BCC finished Stage 4 with 50 points and was the early leader, but shortly after Team hack tied it up with points on Stage 3 and moved into Stage 4 with the chance of taking first place.
Team F**K Mud on the fart.
BCC Section 4
Dhey Section 3
Team F**K Mud was deep in Stage 2 when his driveshaft let go, with only minutes to get it fixed his team jumped into action and got him off Stage 2. In between stages the team realized he had also lost a spring pin and his rear axle housing was floating loose. His team managed to run a strap around the housing and over the rig and using the winch cable to keep things held together they tightened it up so they could continue competing. This all was a bit of a risk as now they had no winch for extraction but they had no choice. They struggled and hammered up the third section creating a tie with BCC for second place. Team Hack completed Stage 4 with and now held first place at 75 points. The pressure was on Team F**k Mud now, entering Stage 4 with no winch and a rear axle held in with one pin and a strap. The tension could be cut with a knife at this point. As soon as they started on stage 4 the other pin let go, again the team rallied and using a chain binder they tied the other side of the axle to the frame. Working hard they got ¾ of the way through the final stage and were approaching the final wall with throttle when the sound of a ring gear letting go echoed through the woods. It was all over.
Team Hack driver Ryan Dhey was the Island Cup Champion for 2007 with an epic battle to the finish with Team F**k Mud and Team BCC taking second place.
Image of the champ coming soon.
It was the perfect way to end a weekend of extremely challenging Island style wheelin'. And while Team F**K Mud had put on a showcase of team work and dedication they still had a fair bit of work ahead of them getting the rig off of the trail. In true Island fashion they didn't get back to camp until 8am the following morning after a group effort involving a few teams to get them home in one piece.
This years Island cup was a true test of character and ability, made up with great competition and staff the event was a huge success. The Cup events are evolving every year and the competition is rising to the occasion. If this years cup was a sign of things to come then next year should prove jaw dropping.
A huge thanks to all our sponsors, whether these sponsors support you as a hardcore wheeler or a weekend warrior please take note of their names and support them when shopping around for whatever your needs may be. These companies and individuals are part of the family so to speak and we can't thank them enough.
The Island Cup 2007 DVD brought to you by Blackflag4x4 videos, Team BCC, Team NWF and CRAWL magazine will be available soon, check Blackflag4x4.com for more info…
See you at Island Cup 2008…
Blackflag4x4 thanks all our event sponsors:
Cap It Truck Accessories
Brent Stevenson - Sutton Group Rlty
The JB Group