BMX riders taken on the South West Bash in Cowaramup, Bunbury and Collie

First place: Bunbury BMX rider Jacob Reed took home gold in the 2022 South West Bash. Picture: GFox Photography
First place: Bunbury BMX rider Jacob Reed took home gold in the 2022 South West Bash. Picture: GFox Photography

The BMX community was treated to an awesome three days as the second annual SouthWest Bash came to Cowaramup, Bunbury and Collie over the weekend.

Just over 150 riders from across the state signed up and almost all completed all 3 legs of the competition in scorching temperatures.

Bunbury's Jacob Reed had a near flawless weekend netting 95 points from a possible 96 in the nine-year-old boys class.

Although challenged and pushed hard in the initial stages of most races, Reed was able to gain some distance from the pack and hold onto the lead in all but 1 race with his undeniable pumping and manualling skills.

Racing started Friday in Cowaramup for a memorable evening event.

This Grassroots track was thoroughly enjoyed by newcomers and the vibe in the crowd was epic with a great vantage point available to everyone.

The first corner proved to be critical as local riders stole multiple positions by taking a tight inside line and holding off new riders to the track.

Up the second and third straights the elbows were out as riders contested positions and tried to regain what was lost in the first corner.

By the final races the racing lines had started to change, and less opportunities were left open for the taking as competitors reaching the first corner shut the door on the field and held their spot.

The back of the track became critical in overtaking and many were squeezed as they entered the final two corners and came flying across the line past the screaming crowd of fans.

As racing started in Bunbury on Saturday, temperatures were nudging 40 degrees, but this didn't stop riders setting some epic times and PBs around the track.

Numerous places were taken in the first corner with some great battles up the second straight attempting to nose ahead of each other as good pumping technique was critical to gain positions.

Most with the inside line entering the last corner came out on top with the faster outside line usually proving to be too much extra distance to make up.

As they crossed the finish line many races were down to inches as riders extended their arms and tried to get the bike over the line first.

The final battle in Collie may have been the hottest.

With more corners and the longest track of the three, there were plenty of opportunities to overtake.

The first corner was often anyone's as they bunched up at the end of the short first straight and tried to negotiate the corner while staying upright.

The second straight caught a few off guard as the pressure mounted and minor slip ups caused big time delays and reshuffled the race order.

Legs were burning as they entered the last and very small corner where many wanted to make a move on the leader but didn't know how to do it.

Very few improved their position in the last corner as they tried sliding feet on the ground or out to the side for balance while turning sharply.

Bunbury had 34 competitors, of which podium places were awarded to Amari McManus (eight to 10 girls), Jacob Reed (nine), Bryce Reed (15/16), Ashton White (14-24), and Matthew Blake in Open Men who all received first place overall.

Thomas Peters brought home third place overall in the eight-year-old boys.

Well done to all riders for a top effort and unrivalled sportsmanship.

Thanks to all members, volunteers and contributors for making this an enjoyable, organised event and showing the state that Southwest BMX is the best.