Written by: Victor Peenz
Photos by: Victor Peenz
The event took place at the High Rising centre in Grabow, Western Cape (about an hour outside of Cape Town). It’s the same location as Houwteq, just a different hill. We were expecting a tailwind was just like in 2013 so everyone was pumped and excited. With a tail wind on this hill, skaters reach speeds of 90km/h before the 90 degree left hand corner at the bottom.
Saturday, the first day of the event. Registration, practice runs and time trails all going down. Registration was a breeze due to SAGRA being organized and ready. It was not long before we all went up for our first practice runs in perfect conditions. No rain and a pumping tailwind. The course was scary as usual and the tailwind did not help my confidence much. It’s not often that I get the chance to go faster than 60km/h on a skateboard in Johannesburg.
Practice runs went by too quickly and it was time trails before we knew it. We got the chance to do two time trails each. Decio Lourenco had the fastest run of the day with a time of 49.82 seconds but the record that Stephen Hayes set last year of 49.22 seconds remained unbroken. I was very surprised with a fellow grom Nick Taylor who crossed the line with a time of 52.70 seconds, beating some of the open riders. Well done dude!
Sunday, day two, Race Day! The final day of High Rising 2014 was here. The wind was changing direction often, adding another aspect to the already challenging final corner. It was also very interesting to see how the foot-breakers and drifters would compare.
The lugers were up first as usual. Glen Phillips took first in both categories there as usual. Much respect to that guy for doing all three categories though.
The Junior 1s raced next (my category) followed by Junior 2 and then the main event, Opens. The racing was very exciting to watch after I got knocked out in the first round. I was taking it too mellow in my heat against Matteo Renecle and Clayton Barclay-Hogan. There was an unfortunate crash during the classic luge semi-final and Faizal Samsodien was taken to hospital that resulted in an hour long delay. The ambulance returned and racing could continue.
There was a lot of chaos in the race heats caused by everyones varied approach to the corner. This made it really exciting as a spectator!
Matteo Renecle placed first in Junior 1 with a smooth with a heelside drift. Joey Marcus won Junior 2 after executing a sexy toe drift. The opens final was really exiting! Nick Hook tried to pass Decio at the last minute and do a lat slide into the corner. Unfortunately Nick ended up in the bales an Decio took first. Oliver Faile came through behind Decio with one foot on the board but also ended up in the bales allowing Bojan Basic through in second place.
Full results on the SAGRA website.
Guys that stood out for me were Mercer Potgieter and John Upham who did well with their foot brakes but couldn’t get to the corner in front and were beaten to the line in the race heats. Joey Marcus and Stuart Purchase had the best pre drifts, unfortunately Stu got knocked out in the quarter finals when he didn’t scrub enough speed for the left and ended up in the hay bales.
There were injuries but lucky not too many. Best wishes to those who are still recovering. I think JP Pelllissier was the worst off and is still in ICU. Word is that he will be ok though.
Congratulations to all of the Racers that survived The race without injuries, especially those who made the podium. Well done to SAGRA for a well organized event. Can’t wait for the next one!
Also read the race review by Ricki Allardice
High Rising 2014 Video by Hylton Boucher and Ruan van Jaarsveldt
High Rising 2014 Video by #SuccessfulLongbboards