K113 Grand Prix Flash Race

05 K113 Grand Prix Longboard Race Repercharge Final

K113 Grand Prix Flash Race

Written by: Elster Pieterse
Photos by: Lloyd Clark. Graham Gerber. Nick Fischer and others.

My Downhill Journey: I have been skating for 4 years now, riding with the Jo’burg Longboarders club and Luging for 2 years. Being based in Gauteng with work commitments and a limited travel budget makes it difficult to get to the races on the official national circuit since most of those events are held near Cape Town.  I have raced a few of them and the races hosted in Gauteng, King Of The Fort & Dookie Downhill are big events on my annual calendar. Racing is my thing, I’m not really one for freeride.   Inspiration to host Outlaws in Gauteng: As many of us Cyber/Facebook skaters do… I moaned about the fact that most races are held in one province so far away everyone else! Eventually grew tired of all the complaining and decided to start doing what I can to help grow our local scene. I’ve been organising night sessions on my local hills around Greenstone for some time now and there has always been talk of hosting a race there. Finally the time was right and I decided to host an ‘outlaw race’ by invitation only.

By getting involved with the local riders and upcoming skaters I have realised that I can actually be part of something bigger and possibly start hosting legitimate events one day. Maybe even make my events part of the national circuit! Outlaws are just for fun and great to build the community. But having another sanctioned event in JHB would help in so many ways, both to grow out local scene as well as the competitiveness of the national circuit.

K113 Grand Prix Invitational: This race was by invite only to keep the numbers controllable since we didn’t have any official permission to use the road for the event. The road is a dead end and is in an industrial area. Traffic is almost nonexistent on a Sunday afternoon making it an ideal location for a downhill skateboard race. The rules of racing were made on the day by the competitors. No bump drafting. No clapping. Rider in front has choice of line.

Surprisingly almost everyone pitched up at the planned starting time of 2pm. This is very unusual for skaters but I guess it can be attributed to the early notice and the start time not being in the morning when some would still be recovering from a babalaas. We had a few practice runs as the skies threatened to pour down on us. Thankfully there were only few drops that came down but it was still enough to make you question whether you’d be able to stick your line through the corners.
04 K113 Grand Prix Longboard Race
After 3pm everyone lined up on the start line for one qualifying run. To make things fair, it was a one push start. 23 skaters pushed off the line and it was mayhem as we all shuffled for position struggling to catch a draft at the low speed. By the time we got to the first corner everyone had spread out a little but it was still tight and fun! Everyone made it to the finish safely and then we had a job on our hands to work out everyone’s position.

After the single round of qualifying we went straight into racing where we would still race everyone together but the last two people to cross the line in each round would be eliminated. To make things interesting, we used a grand prix style grid at the start line. We all lined up with Kyle, the number one qualifier in front, Danilo two meters behind Kyle, Craig two meters behind Dan and so on until everyone had a spot. This wasn’t as much of an advantage for the top guys as you might think. Starting out front meant you could be drafted from behind!
03 K113 Grand Prix Longboard Race Corner 1Dan won the first heat with Kyle and Lloyd close behind. We then lined up again in our new finishing order for round two.  Dan won the second heat as well, this time with Lloyd on his tail and Kyle in third. Kyle finished first for the last round of elimination heats with Lloyd and Dan less than a board length behind him and Nick Simic in 4th. The top 4 of this round would go through to the finals and the remaining 7 would go into a repercharge final where the top two of that heat would get a spot in the final. I won the repercharge final with Craig just behind me.

The final was really tight with all 6 of us bunching up after the push off. Dan, Lloyd and Kyle managed to break away slightly before the first corner but then we started to real them in on the final straight. Lloyd Managed to get some good draft out of Dan and Kyle to win by a board length and it was a photo finish for Dan, Kyle and Nick with myself in 5th and Craig in 6th.

The lugers raced on their own as some skaters were weary of the dangers of racing against them. Andries took the win for luge with Franco in second, Phill in third and Berni, the only lady on the hill taking 4th.

Thanks to all the spectators who came out in numbers and the instagramers who got some great pics (#JHBLongboardingMeet)! Thanks to Longboarding SA who provided some much needed shade from the scorching sun with their gazebo, Dragon Energy for keeping the skaters refreshed and Enviroclaim for their cash sponsor.
13 K113 Grand Prix Longboard Race Group Graham Gerber
Final Positions:
1. Lloyd Clark
2. Danilo Deletic
3. Kyle Vermulen
4. Nick Simic
5. Elster Pieterse
6. Craig Harvey
7. Nickolas Farinha
8. Nick Fischer
9. Robin Moodley
10. Victor Peenz
11. Connor Robert
12. Josh Jensen
13. Graham Gerber
14. Alic Mabie

Video Edit by Black Sheep:

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