Another huge weekend of racing was had in Canberra with a great turnout at the National slalom skateboarding event. I’ll start out by thanking everyone involved, especially the competitors who travelled from all over to take part in the event. Thanks to our sponsors Globe, Goliath, OCD, Basement Skates and Bentspoke Brewing. Thanks to CROSS crew, including Effie who kept us all fed and hydrated. Thanks to Evan and Martin our trophy makers. This year we also give a massive thanks to Canberra Skateboarding Association for helping us out with insurance, ASRA was struggling to cover the rather expensive insurance, and our event would not have been sustainable going forward without CSA.
Saturday March 9 – Ainslie ditch, the teeth of doom
We changed the timetable up a bit this year moving the Ainslie ditch day to Saturday to coincide with the Belco Bowl Jam which several of the slalom crew went to after Ainslie. It was a cracker of a day with a little bit of damp in the drain early, but it dried out in good time and we got underway. Ryan “Pickles” Nicholls out down an early fast time, as “Dangerous” Dave Miller struggled having down a few too many sherbets the night before. Jacko Shapiera decided it was time to go fast and threw down a run pretty early which took him below the 20 second mark. As far as we know the last time that happened was when Jacko last came to the race!
Several newcomers were racing, it was great to see everyone eventually make it down the ditch and post a time even if we had to give away some second chance runs. Alex Tupaliski managed unofficial 11th spot after he’d done his runs and DQ’d, in bare feet! Full results:
|11||Alex Tupaliski||25.639 (DQ)|
Sunday March 10 – Slalom Nationals, Stromlo
Another amazing day dawned and we all headed to Stromlo for the main event. Some of the racers got to talking the night before and decided to change the course, it had been set previously on the Friday night the same as the past year. Some changes were made, more offset and a little more challenging, everybody was happy so we started racing. It was all going smoothly when we discovered we’d used the incorrect spreadsheet for the results, so when it got down to finals we didn’t have racers doing both lanes, it was a total elimination where the lead racer picked the lane they wanted to race. Still a fair way to run the race so we continued with the format. Turned out to be a blessing for a few racers who didn’t have a lot left in the tank after Saturday’s racing.
We had some more newcomers including Hannah Molyneux who borrowed a board and had an absolute blast all day, we’ve never heard anyone that happy after having done their first clean run, I reckon the people at Ainslie heard her cheers all the way from Stromlo. We also had a field of two females in the race with the return of Immy McMillan who came back like she’d never left, smashing out some great times and looking stylish all day.
Meanwhile at the pointy end the racing was being dominated by our usual leaders, Jacko, Shadow, Pickles and Boomer. In a repeat of last year Pickles had a DQ run and bowed out for fourth spot, while Jacko and Shadow went on to the final. They both put down times in the 17’s but in the end Jacko hit less cones and won the day, stamping his authority on both of the big events for the weekend. Podium the same as last year and a notable effort from Dan Monoghan to nab 5th, he gets faster every year.
We attempted a straight 50 cone race but no results, it had to be called off before everyone got their runs in, but it looked like Jacko and Dan would have had a battle royale if the wind didn’t ruin things. Immy was also smashing some fast times, we’ll see how we go next year.
Download the spreadsheet (note, it’s broken)
Monday 11 March – Spence drains
The final day of competition takes us to the long and not very steep Spence drains. Generally the course is set randomly with a handful of cones and plenty of room to build up some speed pumping. I was feeling good as Jacko had left early so there was some chance of getting a result, and one thing was for sure, Jacko wouldn’t come first! As usual the headwind picked up pretty early making it difficult to keep up the momentum just to make it to the end of the roughly 300m course.
We got everything set up, with a big thanks to Bernie for the garage timer, which went pretty well but was stretched to pass the signal that far so we had a few runs that didn’t get timed. We’re working on a better solution that can use the Trackmate and send signals well over 300 metres without line of sight, stay tuned.
A couple of runs went down in the mid to high 40’s, my first run wasn’t recorded but it felt really fast, and my second run put me ahead of the field by around 4 seconds. As the wind picked up, it became increasingly difficult for anyone to beat their previous time or progress up the ranks. The best thing about Spence is that anyone can ride it, unlike Ainslie the angles are mellow without any drops or teeth, just stay away from the inlet holes which can swallow boards whole. Newcomers were back with Hannah putting down a few runs using the little known (and highly illegal) pushing technique. It paid off, she managed to stack and even though in the official results it was a DQ, a stack is still a stack so she got the beer.
In the end the wind was too strong and I won the day, with Dan Monoghan hot on my heels channeling the Johnny Primate pumping technique.