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Andrew Le Poidevin MCIJ

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News / Blog

THE BRITISH SANDACE CHAMPIONSHIP IGNORES THE RAIN....
22nd May 2016

There was just one single thing missing from the 2016 Condor Ferries SandAce ACU British Championships on Vazon beach last Saturday... the sun!

However once the racing started no-one even noticed the damp. There was far too much excitement and entertainment to be seen on the Vazon Bay sands to think about the discomfort!

The line-up of competitors was an International affair with quality and experience running down through the entry.

But it was an 18-year-old from Bristol who took the 500cc Solo title ahead of all the rest. The three times world youth grasstrack Champion Zach Wajtknecht showed that he can also master the difficult conditions offered by a very wet beach. Zach now has another major title to his name.

The 1000cc Sidecars were also a big reason the crowd stuck-it-out in the miserable weather as the riders didn't seem to slow their speed even though there was enough surface water to create aqua-planing. The effect of all this water being lifted into huge plumes behind the racers made for a spectacular sight.

The worthy winners in this class were father and son team, Rod and Billy Winterburn, who won all four heats before going on to be crowned British SandAce 1000cc Sidecar Champions.

Once again the SandAce Championship was a highlight of the Guernsey and Channel Island Motorsport year.

I'm already looking forward to (a dry one) next year ;-)

Full coverage of the SandAce is now featured in a huge gallery:
CLICK TO VIEW ALL THE 2016 SANDACE GALLERIES
May I introduce you...........
20th May 2016

May I introduce the fighters for tomorrow's Full Boar Motorcycle Club Lock-in Guernsey, Round-5.

This Cage & Stage event has established itself firmly on the Channel Island sports scene. Now in its fifth year I've enjoyed photographing each round of this intense, fast moving, hard hitting sport.

There is a real challenge to capturing the peak action whilst battling against low light, a mesh cage and extreme speed and action - all whilst perched looking down into the cage at the top of a narrow metal ladder that shakes with every hard hit, gripping tight with one leg wrapped around it to avoid being dislodged.... and I love it!

The first Gallery introduces you to the fighters... well nearly all of them - a couple had to get into the sauna to try to make the fight weight!

As of tonight there are just a few tickets available to enjoy this fantastic evening of action. This year things are bigger and better then ever with all the cage action broadcast live onto big screens above the cage.

Make sure you search out one of the final tickets...

The weigh-in pics are here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PICS OF THE LOCK-IN GUERNSEY - ROUND 5 FIGHTERS
It's Downhill all the way.......
15th May 2016

The experience was somewhat more pleasant for this months Velo Club Downhill MTB race, Round-3.

Last time it was raining and the track was reduced to a slippery roller-coaster of a ride. I found it almost impossible to find a spot to shoot from where I felt stable enough to make panning shots.

This occasion the competitors, and 'togs, were enjoying near perfect conditions. For a start it was bright and sunny, also the coarse was just damp enough to offer good grip.

I only had a short time to capture the first run before moving on to another job but whilst it was all downhill for the MTB riders I'd say things (conditions) were definitely on the up for this photographer :-)

Fingers are crossed that the next Round will offer more of the same, please.
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF ROUND-3 OF THE MTB MOUNTAIN BIKES RACE
Le Mont Saint top the mount.....
13th May 2016

Le Mont Saint climbed the proverbial mountain to win the Orangefield Division One Basketball League at Beau Sejour in a close game against XTFL.

Before the game started there were a few permutations for the outcome of the league. But the bottom line was that if Le Mont Saint could secure a win against XTFL they would win the league and remove all the pressure from the equation.

If they failed in this then the league win would be out of their hands and the result would be decided by a following game.

Maybe this tension was the reason Le Mont Saint fell behind from the start. Le Mont Saint didn't play to their form until the final quarter when they finally appeared at the party and slowly managed to work themselves into the lead.

As a spectator... or should I say photographer, it was a great game to watch. A closely fought game will always thrill more than a walk-over. The Le Mont Saint supporters left drained but satisfied :-)

I've added a few pics to a new gallery:
VIEW PICS OF LE MONT SAINT v XTFL
Party on.....it's Liberation Day!
11th May 2016

Guernsey celebrated and remembered it's Liberation from occupation for the 71st time on May 9th 2016.

Our National Holiday included formal ceremony, a cavalcade, lots of live music and entertainment for all ages. Islanders were out in force despite the wet start to the day.

I was assigned to cover some of the varied events and my pictures are included in a new Gallery.

I think the best fun was being had by the residents of St Andrews together with 'all-comers' who had heard about the traditional activity of Soapbox racing.... there was also beer on offer ;-)

This year the hill outside The Last Post had been turned into a temporary Soapbox racing track. No man or boy could resist the temptation to race!

There was a good entry of homemade racing machinery (minus an engine) and the ages of the drivers must have spanned seventy-one years! Clearly you are never too old to have fun!

St Peter Port offered a whole day of live music and entertainment finishing with a firework display on the castle breakwater.

All this amounted to a full, long and tiring day. Islanders enjoyed their freedom surrounded by a friendly holiday atmosphere bound together by our love of the island of Guernsey.

A few pics can be viewed here:
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF LIBERATION DAY 2016
Flying the flag on the eve of Liberation Day....
08th May 2016

On the eve of Guernsey's celebration of our Liberation Day I was down on the sands of Chouet beach capturing the Autocross action.

Whilst waiting between races I considered how different things would have been if the British... with a little help from our allies! had not won the war.

Guernsey, with our fellow Channel Islands, were the only British soil that the Natzi's managed to take control of. The legacy that remains is to be seen all around our coastline in the form of the concrete bunkers.

But what I reflected on was the freedom that was returned to Guernseymen when the Allied forces liberated the Island allowing the slow return to the 'normality' of day-to-day life.

Part of that 'life' included the simple pleasure of once again having unrestricted access to our beautiful sandy beaches that play such a large part in all our lives. They are exposed twice a day as an area for play, contemplation, sunbathing, fishing and all sorts of fun.

Autocross racing comes under the 'fun' category!

So the day before our Liberation Day there were quite a few flags to be seen as Guernseymen and Guernsey ladies enjoyed the freedom of the sands whilst taking part in a long established Guernsey Motorsport... Autocross Banger Racing.

Thankfully today we are at peace in Europe and friends with Germany. We even think that that can make pretty good cars! And there's nothing a Guernseyman enjoys more than revving and racing a car along our open sands.... it's good to be free.

I've added my pics of the Liberation eve Autocross meeting to a new gallery here:
CLICK TO VIEW THE EVE OF LIBERATION DAY AUTOCROSS PICS
Let's have more of the same.... please :-)
07th May 2016

With just two weeks to go before the Sand Racing highlight of 2016 we were treated to near perfect conditions on Vazon beach yesterday.

The Condor Ferries SandAce - ACU British Championships has established itself at a National and International level and is one of the jewels in the Guernsey and Channel Island Motorsport crown.

Whatever the weather we are given on 21st of May on the broad sands of Vazon beach we can be sure that the racing action will be of the highest quality.

However I think you will agree with me that spending time on any beach is enhanced by warmth and sunshine. Yesterday ticked all the boxes. I have my fingers and lenses crossed for the 'big one'... make sure you join me too!

The pics from Round-3 are now online if you want to check-out what makes beach racing so good....
CLICK TO VIEW PICS OF THE SANDRACING_ROUND-3
I was at the Hillclimb with my very own 'speed machines'....
04th May 2016

It wasn't only the racers who had new kit to play with on Bank Holiday Monday at Le Val des Terres.... read on :-)

I also had a few things to tune up and learn about. I was trying to explore the improved performance on offer too!

As a Nikon Professional Services (NPS) registered photographer I have a chance to 'jump the queue' and get delivery of new bodies and lenses from the first delivery made :-)

In this case the smillie face = a very happy chappie!

So, after a couple of special deliveries, I was off to the first Hillclimb I'd shot with the latest combination of a Nikon D5, a Nikon D500 and the 200-500 zoom lens.

I can only say that I was very impressed!

Whilst it appears that the sensor technology isn't improving that much with each update - in fact maybe taking a step back in some parameters - there is a sense of 'maturity' in the design and handling of these two new bodies. For example the addition of a dedicated ISO button... a tiny change but ever so useful. :-) That deserves another smillie!

The headline new feature that Nikon has developed has to be the new Autofocus system that is used on both the D5 and D500. Whilst I'm still learning how to make the best of it I think it shows a real step forward.

One other thing that I hadn't expected was the difference there is between shooting a full-frame D5 and the 'cropped' sensor on the D500. I hadn't used an APS-C format camera since the D300 which I sold several years ago. The focus point coverage on the 'C' sensor is almost edge to edge... very useful.

But perhaps the most surprising thing I noticed when editing the shoot was how much easier and more 'forgiving' the cropped sensor is when it comes to your shooting technique. Full frame exposes poor technique much quicker.... is that why we pro's like it so much. We like to make things difficult for ourselves, don't we!

I'll expand on what I mean by the 'less forgiving full-frame' in a review when I will compare my Nikon D5 to the Nikon D500. Check back later if you are interested. A Blog will be added as soon as I've worked on a wider variety of shoots including more low-light gigs.

For now though, you can check-out the complete Hillclimb gallery of pics here:
CLICK TO VIEW THE LATEST HILLCLIMB PICS
It's time for a new Track......
01st May 2016

Round-2 of the Guernsey Kart & Motor Club's Summer Kart Championship was held today. We were actually treated to weather that could pass as summer too... very nice.

However it wasn't the weather that was significant about this particular race meeting. It was the fact that the circuit, in its current layout and surface, was being used for last time before its re-development.

There is a sense of anticipation, excitement and hope in the pits that the racing will be improved by the changes. Time will answer that question.

On thing is certain though. That is that the record book will be re-written. It is going to be interesting to see which names are first on the new record list.

I'm looking forward to trying a few new angles to take my pics. Let's hope that both the racers and the 'togs are satisfied by the changes!

The last pics of the old Track are now online here:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FINAL KARTING PICS
It's great to have the opportunity to photograph a major event...
29th April 2016

Last Wednesday I photographed the 2016 Guernsey General Elections at St Sampson's Douzaine for the Guernsey Press.

I've photographed the Elections before and always enjoy being a part of what is a long, tiring and stressful day for all the candidates... and the media!

The whole local media 'circus' was on site to give complete coverage of the St Sampson District's General Election results and I think the small foyer of the St Sampson's Douzaine was the 'coziest' venue of any of the districts.

When the Returning Officer of the Day, Tom Oliver, climbed a few steps to speak to the amassed Candidates, family, friends, officials and supporters it was approaching 1pm.

The media had spent the previous five hours waiting in the Fontaine Inn, drinking Coke and tweeting whilst multi-tasking watching the earlier declarations on two televisions with live radio feeds running in the background on mobile phones! We didn't want to miss a thing!

When it came, the St Sampsons declaration saw an end of Deputy Kevin Stewart's short political career. Lyndon Trott topped the poll and there were two newcomers, Jennifer Merrett and Carl Meerveld.

After finishing the photography, which is not unlike sport/action photography as the whole thing happens very quickly, the job was only half-done as the editing, tagging and submissions had to be made at the Press headquarters to allow for an early print of the newspaper for Thursday.

I eventually dragged myself into bed at 3.30am having had a thoroughly interesting night at the centre of an epic, emotional event.

I can't wait for the next time... in 2020!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A FEW OF MY ELECTION PICS

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