& Bull Jumpers
Words: Thomas Foreau
Photos: Nicolas Serre
Vans start to arriving one by one at the Soustons arena, near Hossegor,
southwest France. I'm the first to arrive, president of the Hapchot Wheels, a motorcycle event company, and 5Special ambassador for the French flat track championship,
The arena management open the gates, look dubiously at my dirt track Yamaha YZF450, and ask questions about my steel shoe and the purpose of today's video
shoot. They're more used to bulls and the folklore of bullfighting, and don't understand what motorcycles, and their riders, could want with the arena.
They are slightly more reassured when Dominique Larie, one of the local 'Course Landaise' jumpers arrives. Course Landaise is a French derivative of typical Spanish bullfighting, but it is a discipline that does not harm to the animal. The jumpers provoke the specially-bred cows to charge, then perform an acrobatic dance with the beast, to avoid a horn in the gut, and win the admiration of the crowd.
The Jalifilms video team is in place, under the command of Richard Dalton, an experienced director, ready to produce a teaser to present the Mot & Arts festival. One of the purposes of the film is to present a customized Honda Dominator which will be the first prize in a raffle.
The last to arrive on site is Serges Nuques, official Yamaha rider and Dirt Quake hero. Serge takes instructions from the director and the jumper to set the approach speeds and angles to make the performance as dramatic as possible,
The municipality, which is in charge of the public arena, agreed to two hours of filming, but once all the plans were
made, the euphoria of the moment and the magic of the place made it almost impossible to make me and the other riders stop. We play around on this unusual dirt track for an extra hour before the arena team finally manages to end the riding and herd the motorcyclists back to their vans.
The final edit of the video, at the bottom of this page, conveys the irrepressible joy we aim to put into our festival. Find out more at Hapchot Wheels,