Words and Photos by Peter Köhne
We arrived at the hill at around 8:30 to start setting ups and surprisingly, most of the skaters had arrived and were ready to practice by about 9:30. For the first time in downhill skateboarding history, we were running ahead of schedule which gave us about 3 or 4 runs before the qualifying heats started. Some of the skaters were so eager that they had been on the hill the whole of Saturday to practice!
With about 20 or so riders it was a nice turnout. We also had quite a few spectators and more photographers and video cameras than I’m generally used to at these events which were cool to see.
Qualifying was done in a 2-man per heat, round robin format. The PTA guys were on fire all day, you could see the weekends of practice beforehand had paid off. Crag, Mark, Lloyd, and first-time racer Daniel won all their qualifying heats to be ranked in the top four. With the smallish field of racers, we weren’t too concerned about the accuracy of the qualifying rounds so there were no tie-breaker heats.
The final race heats were done in a standard 4-man per heat racing bracket of 16 racers. Some of the heats were really tight right from the beginning with the regulars being on top form. Lloyd and Nick were 1 and 2 in the first Semi-Final and Mark and Craig made it through the second Semi-Final to make it a really exciting Final Heat.
All four riders were neck and neck of the push, with Craig just getting out in front and Mark on his tail. After the first corner, Lloyd went from 4th to 3rd which made the pack really bunched for the final corner. All riders were almost on top of each other into the big left, Craig still out in front slightly overshot the corner and slid into the curb. Mark managed to hold his line for the win while Lloyd and Nick just managed to avoid the edge of the road right behind him. Nick managed to get that little bit of extra exit speed and just edged Lloyd to the finish line for a photo finish!
Due to the Consolation Final not being run (skater laziness), positions 5 to 8 were decided with a game of rock paper scissors.
- Mark Jansen van Rensburg
- Nick Simic
- Lloyd Clark
- Craig Harvey
- Elster Pieterse
- Christo Cilliers
- Callan Daniel
- William Robinson
- Daniel Nienaber
- Stephan Engelbrecht
- Matt Riley
- Casper Badenhorst
- Bryn Langly
- Wouter Botha
- Peter Köhne
- Shawn Thompson
Thanks to everyone who came through and made this such a fun event! It’s rad to see that although the Gauteng is relatively small, it keeps going thanks to the dedication of the community.
Shoutout to Black Horse Brewery for keeping riders refreshed with free beer, Black Sheep for keeping us safe with the crash bags and shuttling us up the hill, Longboarding SA for rad prizes, and Casper and Elster for putting the event together.