Hurly Burly 17 – Exclusive interview with James Mcknight

hurly burly

2017 was one hell of a year for drama on the world cup scene. Where do you start trying to contain that in just a couple of hundred pages? 

It certainly was! Phew, it is a big job but whittling down the events and thousands of incredible images from the season is the beauty of a print product. Space is limited, which means that we’re forced to choose only the best of the best. It is very satisfying to see how things come together at the end of an editing phase.

Who’s in charge? Do you request photos from your photographers or is it more organic a process? 

Good question haha. I suppose I am in charge. It is my concept and I choose the images from a broad selection provided by the three key snappers (Sven Martin, Boris Beyer and Sebastian Schieck). Fortunately, those guys are some of the very best in the business and going through their images from the season is a very enjoyable process. In terms of features and who contributes, I also decide who is in. But when it comes to production, I have a lot of help from colleagues, friends and family, who help with things like proofing, captioning, marketing and the thousand and one other processes that go into bringing a product like this into reality.

What (if any can be picked) was the defining moment of 2017 for you?

There were so many! I toyed with putting Greg Minnaar’s snapped frame on the front cover, but eventually came to the conclusion that, although that was a very memorable moment, it wasn’t really a season-defining one. I’d have to say that Aaron Gwin’s insane run in Mont-Sainte-Anne was the story of the season for me.

What lessons did you learn doing ’16 that you applied to’ 17?

It always takes a lot longer than you expect! And there is always a lot less sleep during the production months than is probably healthy, so be sure to have a large stock of coffee at the ready.

2016’s HB was really well received, and is doubtless still adorning coffee tables the world over. Do you look back over it now and spot things that annoy you? Tiny things people who aren’t involved wouldn’t spot?

Of course! Even as soon as it came back from print I noticed glaringly obvious mistakes that haunt me to this day, but that is print – errors are as permanent as the medium itself.

What does the winter hold for you?

Freelance writing work and preparing Punta Ala Trail Center, for whom I am a consultant, for an even bigger 2018 season than the year we’ve just had.


Press release –


One year and eight epic DH World Cup and Champs races on from the launch of our first downhill yearbook, Hurly Burly 2017 launches with another dose of mind-blowing action images and detailed reporting.

Hurly Burly documents the entire 2017 UCI DH World Cup and Champs season across 220 pages of high quality print (204 pages of editorial, 16 advertising) with a blow-by-blow account of the dramatic race season that took the tour from a frosty start in Europe to a tropical end in Australia – including all the battles, victories, weather and – dare we say it – punctures along the way.

The yearbook’s pages are graced with the stunning photography of Sven Martin, Boris Beyer and Sebastian Schieck, with reporting, comment and contributions from some of the sport’s prominent observers. Compiled and produced by Misspent Summers (Deathgrip Book and Eskapee Anthology), with layout by Jones Design Create.

Priced at £15 (GB Sterling), shipping is free for UK deliveries, and an additional £5 at checkout for worldwide post. Delivery times are estimated at 3-5 working days for the UK; 6-10 working days for Europe; and 10-15 working days for rest of world. Orders will start to leave our UK distributor on Monday (23/10/17).

To celebrate the launch, we’re offering a 10% discount until the end of Sunday Oct 22 ­– just enter ‘10PERCENT’ at the checkout. Because we love you as much as we love downhill racing…

On sale now at!

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