Kent Grand National – First Time at the Races

Kent Grand National – With the Grand National 2016 upon us I thought I would share my first experience covering horse racing.

Kent Grand National – A few weeks ago I went and covered my first point to point meeting at Charing Race Course. Its fair to say that I’m not a huge horse fan and that I had never before even been t a race meeting so I didn’t really have much idea what to expect. I was there to cover the Kent Grand National as well so no pressure there then. As the cherry on the cake it was very muddy and I only had trainers! One of which got stuck in the mud and fell off my foot to the amusement of some of the race goers that saw it happen.

Kent Grand National

Here are a few of my favorites

I’m guessing this jockey has had betters days at the office

Faller at the second fence

Faller at the second fence

It was Winner Hunters Lodge ridden by Gareth Henderson that won the coveted Kent Grand National 2016

Winner Hunters Lodge ridden by Gareth Henderson

Winner Hunters Lodge heading for the finish line

I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience covering point to point racing, as a Sport Photographer it had long been on my list of sports to turn my hand to, safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it was a baptism of fire I will hopefully look to spend more time covering horse racing in the future. I even managed to experiment a little as well.

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As ever always interested in what people think so please feel free to let me know what you think.

London X League Round 6

London X League Round 6 – Betteshanger Country Park. I recently spent an enjoyable day covering round 6 of the London Cyclocross League.

After putting a few frames on Facebook I have been persuaded to add a few more here (basically so that the quality is better). Cyclocross is great to cover I haven’t done any since I covered the UCI Cyclocross Worldcup round in Milton Keynes last year, for some reason I never added any here!

London Cyclocross League

Action from the veterens race. Betteshanger Country Park, Kent. (c) Matt Bristow

The day was split with 4 or 5 races across the day.

London X league Round 6 2015. Betteshanger Country Park, Kent. (c) Matt Bristow

London X league Round 6 2015. Betteshanger Country Park, Kent. (c) Matt Bristow

Next up were the Veterens, all Ladies and the aptly named super veterans! (I was expecting loads of capes!)

London X league Round 6

London X league Round 6 2015. Betteshanger Country Park, Kent. (c) Matt Bristow

And finally the juniors and Senior men.

London X league Round 6 2015. Betteshanger Country Park, Kent. (c) Matt Bristow

Blood, Mud and sweat. Betteshanger Country Park, Kent. (c) Matt Bristow

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2015

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2015 – Rounds 7 and 8. Fast, tight and very quick racing by the cream of British Cycling what’s not to like?

Out of any of the cycling events and races I cover over the course of a year I think The Tour Series is my favorite. The races only last for just over an hour but they are very intense and a challenge to cover, I think that’s why I like it so much. This year the Woking round had been moved to Croydon which was round 7 it was also supported by round 3 of the Womans Matrix Fitness Grand Prix which was won by Scot Charline Joiner from Team WNT.

Charline Joiner, Team WNT celebrates winning the Croydon round of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series.

Charline Joiner, Team WNT celebrates winning the Croydon round of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series.

An exciting race insued around the tight and twisty Croydon circuit

The main Tour Series event was not going to disappoint either. with more than a few crashes and it was unfortunately the current leaders Maddison Genesis who came off worse. With two of their riders crashing out of contention a problem when The whole series is a team points affair!

Pedal Heavens Alex Payton is being heralded as the surpise package over the last couple of seasons

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2015 - Pedal Heavens Alex Payton

Pedal Heavens Alex Payton

But after a thrilling end it was One PRO Cycling‘s Marcin Bialoblocki that took the individual win

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2015. One Pro Cycling's Marcin Bialoblocki celebrates crossing the line first. Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Round 7 Croydon.

One Pro Cycling’s Marcin Bialoblocki celebrates crossing the line first. Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Round 7 Croydon.

Two days later and the action moved to Canary Wharf. Four corners and Four straights. An all together a different kind of race.

Ready on the start line. Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Round 8 Canary Wharf.

Ready on the start line. Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Round 8 Canary Wharf.

One PRO Cycling laid down the gauntlet with a fantastic team effort.

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2015. Round 8 Canary Wharf.

Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Round 8 Canary Wharf.

But in one of the closest photo-finishes I can recall it was NFTO‘s  Steele Von Hoff that took the individual honors from JLT Condors Ed Clancy.

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2015 - NFTO's Australian Criterium Champion Steele Von Hoff and JLT Condor's Ed Clancy giving a photo finish! Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Round 8 Canary Wharf.

NFTO’s Australian Criterium Champion Steele Von Hoff and JLT Condor’s Ed Clancy giving a photo finish! Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Round 8 Canary Wharf.

Kents 2015 General Election

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem or as I would sooner refer to to it ‘The Freak Show!’

As we all adjust to the surprise result and life returns to what is commonly accepted as normal (I’m no political commentator and I’m not about to start either!) It occurred to me just how much time I have spent covering the election in and around Kent over the last couple of months. In fact it started way back in February!

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Sandwich Market, Guildhall Forecourt, Cattle Market, Sandwich. Nigel Farage doing a walkabout in the town and speaking to residents.

Unusually snapped him sipping at something other than a pint as well. I was quite surprised that the good people of Sandwich seemed to like Nigel Farage and UKIP.

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Sandwich Market, Guildhall Forecourt, Cattle Market, Sandwich. Nigel Farage doing a walkabout in the town and speaking to residents.

There seemed to be a trend of MP’s and general political types donning hard hats and getting down with the working man. Sittingbourne’s MP Gordon Henderson visiting Carillion’s training centre to talk with the apprentices. Have you ever tried using a camera with full hard hat, protective glasses and gloves on? its not easy!

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Succesfull Apprentice Paulo Pinhal, Gordon Hendrson MP, Centre Manager Ian Young speak to Bricklaying instructor Steve Moyle. National Apprentice Week : Sittingbourne. Local MP Gordon Henderon visits Carillion’s traing centre to talk with the apprentices.

For some unknown reason I decided to go and cover a UKIP policy release, still not sure what the policy was other than something to do with health and I’m not entirely sure he did either. Divine inspiration?

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Nigel Farage speech on UKIP health policy. Farage, Ukip health spokesman Louise Bours MEP and Ukip deputy chairman Suzanne Evans will unveil UKIP’s health policy.

Enter stage right Mr Al Murray standing in Thanet South as his character ‘The Pub Landlord’ things were going to get weird. He arrived in a fire engine converted to be a beer pump!

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Al Murray handing in his nomination paperwork.

Comedian Al Murray, AKA The Pub Landlord, handing in his nomination paperwork at the Thanet council offices in Margate, Kent. (c) Charles Saddler

Comedian Al Murray, AKA The Pub Landlord, handing in his nomination paperwork at the Thanet council offices in Margate, Kent.

If I’m honest its a good job he didn’t win as thats one rubbish poured pint! It was then the turn of Labour to wheel in the big guns! So Ross Kemp accompanied Will Scoobie for a walk around Broadstairs which would have been fine but it was more of a selfie fest for Kemp.

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Ross Kemp celebrity Labour supporter accompanies Labour Candidate Will Scobie on a walk about in Broadstairs.

Although the chip shop stop was a welcome opportunity that was fast becoming a waste of time.

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Will Scoobie and Ross Kemp stop and buy a lunch of a cone of chips. High St, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1NQ. Ross Kemp celebrity Labour supporter accompanies Labour Candidate Will Scobie on a walk about in Broadstairs. Picture: Matt Bristow

Theres always a Farage opportunity but since I last had the pleasure it had all got a lot more serious and it was invite only.

Kents 2015 General Election Mayhem

Nigel Farage visits The Northwood Club in Ransgate, Kent for a drink, along with some veterans to mark St. George’s Day.

So lets cut to the actual election count, by now like many other Press Photographers I was wishing it to come to an end! I think the Liberal Candidate Sarah Smith was thinking the same!

Liberal Democrate candidate Sarah Smith. 2015 General Election. Constituency Results, Dover. (c) MATT BRISTOW | StockPix.eu

Liberal Democrate candidate Sarah Smith. 2015 General Election. Constituency Results, Dover.

So that’s enough I think! here’s a last few

2014 World Champions as seen by me

2014 World Champions as seen by me. With 2015 under way pretty much everyone looks back over the year that has just passed.

I wanted to take a slightly different look back. Not that long ago I had a conversation about world champions with somebody, which got me thinking. Just how many World Champions pass infront of my lens in 12 months? Because I don’t particularly specialise in any sport photography it took me a little time to actually work this out. So here goes in the order that I took pictures of them and not in the order of winning.

1. Petter Solberg – Secured the inaugral FIA World Rallycross Championship title. The first person to win two FIA world titles in different diciplines. Pictured here at round 2 which was held at Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent.

2014 World Champions - Petter Solberg

2014 World Champions – Petter Solberg, FIA World Rallycross Champion

2. Jessica Fox – Who won the K1 and C1 Canoeing titles in 2014. Pictured here at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup held at the olympic Lee Valley White Water Centre, London.

2014 World Champions - Jessica Fox

2014 World Champions – Jessica Fox who won the K1 and C1 world titles

3. Sir Bradely Wiggins – Who took the UCI Road World Championship Men’s Time Trial title held in Spain in September by a huge margin of 26 seconds. Pictured here at the start of the time trial on stage 8a of the Tour of Britain held in London.

2014 World Champions -  Sir Bradely Wiggins

2014 World Champions – Sir Bradely Wiggins. UCI Road World Championships – Men’s time trial

4. Novak Djokovic – OK not strictly called a world champion, but he was crowned as world number 1  which is good enough for me. Pictured here at the ATP World Tour Finals held at the O2 in London.

2014 World Champions - Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic who was crowned the world number 1 at the ATP Tour finals in London

So my total tally for the year was 4, not bad but this year I plan on making it more. Happy new year everyone.

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

ATP World Tour Finals 2014 were once again played at the O2 in London. Which saw the very best from the world of professional tennis battle it out for one of the most coveted awards of the tour.

The annual return to the O2 and as a Sports Photographer I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I started out with Marin Cilic against world number 1 Novak Djokovic.

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Novak Djokovic plays Marin Cilic in their opening matches – Barclays ATP World Tour Finals 2014 – 10th November 2014

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Novak Djokovic plays Marin Cilic in the group B opening games. Barclays ATP World Tour Finals 2014. London O2 Arena. (c) Matt Bristow

Djokovic started out as he meant to go on winning in straight sets.

I then had Djokvic again this time against Stanislas Wawrinka. A game I was looking forward to and expected a drawn out affair. However, Djokovic had other ideas and beat Wawrinka in straight sets. It was starting to look like nobody could get anywhere close to Djokovic.

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

World Number 1 Novak Djokovic serves for the match. (c) Matt Bristow

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Stanislas Wawrinka world number 4 eyes up a forehand return. (c) Matt Bristow

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Novak Djokovic reaches to make a low return on his way to beating Wawrinka. (c) Matt Bristow

My next game was in the other group and was a real crowd puller. GB’s own Andy Murray playing the ever popular Roger Federer. Federer had already qualified for the knockout stages. What followed was difficult to watch if you were a Murray fan as Federer systematically destroyed Murray in straight sets. Infact Murray only took one game all match! From where I was sitting it looked like Federer gifted him that as well!

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Andy Murray was never allowed a look in

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Roger Federer kept his cool and barely broke sweat.

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

For Andy Murray it must have been lonely sat in the break being 1 set down not having won a single game

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Andy Murray sprints to return a drop shot.

Unfortunately the showdown between the world number 1 Djokovic and Number 2 Federer never happened as unusually Federer pulled out of the final moments before it was to start due to a back injury.

Which left Djokovic the winner of the 2014 ATP Tour Finals with hitting a ball in the final.

ATP World Tour Finals 2014

Novak Djokovic celebrates after dismissing Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets and ultimately winning the tournament

Here are a few of my favorites from the week. To see full galleries and for license information please visit SportsPix

Events like this always attract celebrities this year I saw Alan Carr, Pippa Middleton and José Mourinho

José Mourinho has his picture taken with a fan.

José Mourinho has his picture taken with a fan.

Hurricane Burtha Blows Through

Hurricane Burtha hit the UK over the weekend of 10th August 2014

Hurricane Burtha hit the UK and I was working. The call went out from the picture desk to get ‘Weather’ pictures. Great was my first thought, here we go again!

I happened to be covering the Ashford and Folkestone area for KMG so headed towards the coast to see what was happening and was would make a good frame. I must admit what I found was a little surprising to me. Surfing in Folkestone! (apparently not that unusual by all accounts) At this point I feel I ought to point out that I am from Devon originally and spent a fair amount of my formative years surfing on the North coast. Moreover I have never turned my lens towards surfing and I felt it worthy as a nice spin on what would undoubtedly be a plethora of flood and downed tree images. We will see when the papers hit the shops if my alternative ‘spin’ idea was picked up on or not.

I really enjoyed it for the brief time I was actually shooting for. If you want to see how it should be done however you need to check out the work of Alex Williams who has been traveling the world for the last 20 plus years capturing stunning surfing imagary.

Hurricane Burtha


In closing here’s my favorite. I wonder what was going through his mind right at this moment!

Hurricane Burtha

Dover Athletic – New Challenges

Dover Athletic – A new season, a  new promotion and new challenges, but the heart of a local football club is unchanged and has never been stronger.

So Dover Athletic have earned promotion to the Conference after what can only be described as a roller coaster 2013 – 2014 campaign.

So with the new season looming, and lets face it there’s no real interest in the World Cup anymore! A lot of eyes are starting to turn to the new season.  I consciously spent a year away from shooting the premiership last year and it occurred to me that I spent a fair amount of time last season on the touchline at Crabble covering The Whites for the KMG group. The last club I covered as many home games for  in a season was Chelsea! and I have to admit I enjoyed shooting at Crabble more!

So as a small retrospective here are a few of my personal favorites form the games I covered:

First up was Dorcester in October, with a 1-0 win.

Dover Atheltic

Ricky Modest on the attack

Theres nothing like a good FA cup tie and Dover most definitely had one of those against Oxford City. Without a doubt the goal of the season for me was the cool headed back heal of young Sean Raggett to make it 3 – 0.

Dover Atheltic

Dover v Oxford City in FA Cup. Sean Raggett back heels the third goal!

The 2 – 0 win over Leamington in the FA trophy was next for me. Its  hard to take pictures when half the flood lights fail in the second half but I did my best!

Dover Atheletic

Nathan Elder (9) brought down in the Leamington box and gain a free kick that lead to the second goal. Dover v Leamington in the FA Trophy.

 

After a string of away games early in the year and many, many wet days the first game  I was at was Gosport in March and a 3 – 0 win!

Dover Atheletic

My next was the 1 – 1 draw against Basingstoke

Dover Atheletic

Liam Bellamy (7) shakes off a tackle. Dover Athletic FC, Crabble, CT17 0JB. Dover v Basingstoke in the Skrill South

As the title race started to hot up a 1 – 0 against Stains at home:

Dover Atheletic

Moses Ademola (10) makes a surge forward

And so to the last league home game of the season against bottom of the table Whitehawk, safe to say not the shining moment of the season as it ran out 1 – 1, but there were a few highlights:

Tom Murphy (11).  Dover v  Whitehawk in the Skrill South.

Tom Murphy (11). Dover v Whitehawk in the Skrill South.

 

So that was was I did for the season 2013 – 2014. I wont go into the comings and going and whats good and whats bad for that head to Dovers website, its very good and full of information. Hopefully I’ll be back for the new season…. so watch this space

Tour Series – British Team Cycling Action

Tour Series – The Pearl Izumi Tour Series. 10 rounds of close and fast cycling in the center of British cities and free to watch.If you like cycling its awesome, if you don’t its something you will never forget!

Tour Series. As a sports photographer I personally love covering road cycling. I have covered The Tour of Britain before and countless regional events but never The Tour Series. this year I was down to cover Round 8 in Canary Wharf and Round 9 in Woking. All the circuits are tight and most importantly short 1km – 1.5km respectively.

I picked up with the action at Round eight at Canary Wharf. The course is basically a loop within one of the most famous financial areas in the world. Whats not to like?

Tour Series - Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2014. Round 8 Canary Wharf

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2014. Round 8 Canary Wharf

The race lasts for an hour plus 5 laps.

 

From Canary Wharf the Tour Series moved to Woking for round 9, where the final round of the Matrix Fitness GP was to reach its thrilling climax. Where Scottish cyclist Eileen Roe would clinch not only the round but the whole series title.

Tour Series - Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2014. Round 9 Woking

Scottish Cyclist Eileen Roe of team Starley Primal who took the round and overall title. Matrix Fitness GP Series 2014.  Woking.

Matrix Fitness GP

Next race was of course round 9 of the Pearl Izumi Series and making a return was the current leader in the Sprint challenge NFTO Pro Cycling rider Welshman Jon Mould.

Pearl Izumi Tour Series 2014. Round 9 Woking

Jon Mould (65) of NFTO Pro Cycling on his way to securing the sprint title for the round and to retain the green jersey.

The series moved onto its final rounds in Jersey after this which unfortunately I was unable to cover, perhaps year year!

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup held at Lee Valley White Water Centre. Purpose built for the 2012 London Olympics and its still a world class venue.

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup was held over 6th, 7th and 8th of June 2014. I was there for the final day to cover the womans K1 kayak finals and the men’s C2 canoe doubles.

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup.

Canoeing is such a dynamic sport to cover. Where you can get close to the action even as a spectator. So its all about capturing the athletes expressions and the action. Just what I like!

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup

Red Bull athlete Jessica Fox totally focused in the final.

I posted another image of Jessica on Facebook here 

I did witness a moment of history. Lu Li the first Chinese canoeist to win a major world canoe title.

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup

Lu Li from China winning the first major canoeing crown any Chinese canoeist has ever won.

And so onto the Mens C2 Doubles. Often referred to as the most exciting class in canoeing. With plenty of British interest with no less than 3 teams in the final.

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup

Rhys Davis and Matthew Lister GBR. 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup. Lee Valley White Water Centre, London. (c) Matt Bristow

But it was the Slovakian pairing of Luka Bozic and Saso Taljat that came out ontop.

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup

Mens winners Luka Bozic and Saso Taljat SLO. 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup. Lee Valley White Water Centre, London. (c) Matt Bristow

2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup.

Britain’s world champions David Florence and Richard Hounslow could only mange 5th place. 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup. Lee Valley White Water Centre, London. (c) Matt Bristow

 

So I really enjoyed the day and especially the sport. All my images are syndicated by SportPix so please take a look.