By Lewis Dowie
I arrived at the race site early, hoping to get a few practice runs in before all the good skaters showed up. I quickly changed my mind after having worms flicked up into my face while but-boarding down the wet bitumen path, not to mention splashing through the steady stream of water that was flowing through the ditch at the bottom of the hill. The conditions definitely weren’t ideal. Despite the rain and the worms, people started flowing down the hill. Before I knew it I was surrounded by 63 eager longboarders, one kid on a scooter and another with a rip-stick, two supportive girlfriends and a few nervous parents.
Once all competing riders had signed their lives away (unfortunately there wasn’t a category for rip-sticks or scooters) and donated a couple of dollars to the Geelong Children’s Hospital, practice runs got under way. Initially riders were cautious of the wet pavement but after a couple of successful runs confidence levels began to grow, along with the number of spills. Louis Tragear was an early casualty, coming unstuck after going through the dicey ditch at the bottom of the track, getting concussed and bowing out of the race.
The sun started to shine through the clouds during the practice runs and by the time heats started the track was completely dry. Skaters were sorted into a beginner and an open class by Brady Lane, the event organiser, who sacrificed some seriously fun racing to make sure that the event ran smoothly.
The track was pretty narrow so Brady ran a two-man heat format with the help of the ASRA race templates. Honesty also played a big part in determining the winner of each heat. Brady would often yell out, “Who won that one? Was it Miffy or the other guy?”. It didn’t matter if you won or lost, everyone had massive grins on their faces, just stoked to have a heap of people to skate with.
As the rounds got ticked off, the crash tally steadily increased, helped along by the rain that decided to join in on all the fun. Riders were going down left, right and centre but spirits stayed high as we got down to the final rounds. The finals were close, but in the end Michael Mifsud took the win in opens, followed by Chris Obrien and Matt Cassar. In the beginner class Stephen Frangolis came through with the goods, receiving a wicked Vault complete. Arlen Mcness took out second place, with Matt Maeden in third.
A big thanks to Brady for organising the event; the medical team (Brady’s parents) for taking care of the injured; all the sponsors (Loose Threads, Mac’s Skate Shop and Skate Board Express) for providing a heap of awesome prizes; Roy Santiago for taking stacks of photos; Liam Higgins with his six wheeled mini truck for running shuttles up the hill; Jaedn Hewitt for sacrificing his collarbone for the cause; and of course everyone that made the effort to show up on a less than perfect day.
Really good event! Great to meet everyone too. Definitely up for it again some time. Cheers to everyone who organized and helped out!– Harrison Bender
That was an amazing event! Thanks to everyone who organized it! We really need to do this again.– Algy Walter-Tynan
Such a sick event, thanks for organizing it and make another one when it's not gonna rain :D– Zak Mills-Goodwin
1st- Michael Mifsud
2nd- Chris Obrien
3rd- Matt Cassar
1st- Stephen Frangolis
2nd- Arlen Mcness
3rd- Matt Maeden
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