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Cross Country Course Building and Design

HONG KONG OLYMPIC COURSE 2008

hanging log at HK 2008
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BUILDING THE 2008 OLYMPIC THREE DAY EVENT CROSS COUNTRY COURSE IN HONG KONG

 

'WALK' THE OLYMPIC XC COURSE: WEB GALLERY

beijing 2008 hanging log jump

David Evans and his course building team spent around 9 months in Hong Kong over the three years leading up to the Olympic three day event in August 2008, together with a large contingent of Chinese groundwork experts from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Beas River golf course and country club was temporarily converted for the 2008 Olympic cross country course. Close by, Sha Tin racecourse, run by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, provided a venue for the dressage and show jumping events and also housed the horses and riders.

 

2006 saw David Evans and his team working with experts from the Hong Kong Jockey Club on major groundworks including digging water jumps and ditches, extensive drainage and landscaping the track to make good jump areas and gallops. Much of the track was re-turfed and planted with new grass that gave both efficient drainage and secure footing for the horses.

 

The Good Luck Beijing test event was held in August 2007, to test the emergency services, infrastructure and new facilities, and to see how the horses and riders would deal with the heat and humidity of the Hong Kong Olympic site.

dragon jump carved by David Evans brushnest

Swinging the dragons head into place

Man at work

The handover of the golf course took place on 2nd June 2008, giving David Evans and his course building team 8 weeks until the ground jury walked the course on 15 August. At that point, there were only 6 permanent-but unfinished- jumps on the site.  groundworks around one of the water complexes

In the 8 weeks leading up to the Olympic 3 day event, more permanent jumps were built, and all the portable jumps were installed (bringing the total to about 60). Some of the portable cross country jumps were constructed in David Evans and Richard Taylors UK workshop, and shipped to Hong Kong in containers. Others were built in a temporary workshop on site, from where the many animal and other carvings were also produced.

Beyond the construction and installation of the jumps, the cross country track was pegged and strung, and pedestrian walkways were delineated and constructed. Sanding, painting, finishing, positioning unjumpable elements, flowers and carving on the course all took place in the final days leading up to the big event.

installing the Pagoda Dug and the birdcage

 David Evans carving a log into a duck

building a permanant jump

The remarkable heat, humidity and torrential downpours of Hong Kong slowed down progress considerably, alongside working until the last minute amongst golfers and the inevitable flying golfballs for which large areas of netting had to be erected to shield the course building team. 2.7 metres (yes metres) of rain fell during the period between June 2nd and August 15th when the course had to be ready to walked.

This caused lots of damage to the ground, in particular the areas around the water jumps. There were also 3 T8s (Very serious typhoons) during this period. The last of these was on the 15th August, and the ground jury walk had to be postponed for several hours so that elements of the course which had been damaged could be cleared of debris and repaired.

moving the three dragons into place
three dragons

The Olympic cross country course designer, Mike Etherington Smith, drew on aspects of Chinese culture and heritage to make the cross country track into a dramatic landscape for spectators and competitors alike. David Evans and his team of course builders translated these ideas into jumps, and jump complexes including unjumpable areas and carvings around the fences to add to the Chinese atmosphere and technicality of the course.

'Walk' the finished 2008 Olympic Cross Country course: visit our web gallery

water complex Big leap to success water complex
Great wall Pagodas Panda playground
Hong Kong Olympic Cross Country course building team David Evans, Richard Taylor and some of the team pose with an Olympic horse thing

David would like to take this opportunity to thank his team of course builders (both in Hong Kong and in the UK) who worked so hard in the three year run up to the Olympics in Hong Kong and extra hard through 2008! Cheers lads (and lasses)!!

David Evans with carved panda beneath the Olympic Flame in Hong Kong Richard enjoys the big leap to success

 

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page last updated by Helen Evans 17.03.09
email us: evansjunps@aol.com