Fort William's famous fans — still the best on the circuit

Ft Bill is legendary for its fans, so we went to search them out

There's something about the Scottish Fort William round that sets it out from other world cup races. The course might be a touch old, the midges as brutal as ever, and the weather changeable at best, but time and time again it is the fans that make the race so special.

During Sunday's practice, I took a stroll down the hill to grab some pictures of those out and about, making the most of the sun and the world-class racing Fort William has to offer.

Buckaroo!

With the sun bearing down, having one too many wasn't exactly an issue for some… Fortunately, mates wouldn't be mates if they didn't use you for a game of Buckaroo!
With the sun bearing down, having one too many wasn't exactly an issue for some… Fortunately, mates wouldn't be mates if they didn't use you for a game of Buckaroo!

I'm not sure whether it was the sun, the booze or a combo of both, but this guy seemed pretty oblivious to the towering structure his buddies were building on his very stable head.

It appears beer cups and cardboard pizza plates are the ideal building blocks for a nap time construction.

Noise makers

Lovely little three-piece band playing some tunes out on the hill — well, it's either that or making as much of a racket as possible!
Lovely little three-piece band playing some tunes out on the hill — well, it's either that or making as much of a racket as possible!

I've always wondered whether fans making as much noise as possible aids or distracts riders as they fling body and machine down steep, rocky chutes and over jumps as long as a bus. 

But, this being downhill, there was plenty of noise being created, which certainly adds to Fort William's legendary atmosphere, so I don't think you'll see many complaining.

Festival feeling

Protection from the rain wasn't needed until after the racing was done and dusted, but the sun's strength meant that many took advantage of their umbrellas
Protection from the rain wasn't needed until after the racing was done and dusted, but the sun's strength meant that many took advantage of their umbrellas

The main event was obviously the racing, and with thousands packing in to the finishing arena the atmosphere was incredible. With such good weather throughout the weekend it was awesome to see so many people of all ages out enjoying the sun, and the racing.

Check out our gallery above for more fan picks.

Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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