Maryhill Festival of Speed
For the fourth straight year Maryhill Loops Road will host the Maryhill Festival of Speed. I think this is the eight downhill race held on this hill, by various organizations. The road is the first paced road in the state of Washington, and heads down the hill towards the Columbia River. Once again the campground was 10 miles away in the small town of Goldendale.
Maryhill Loops Road is an unsual road. It is technical, but not incredibly fast. The better standup riders can tuck the entire course. The best luge riders can run the course without braking, and yet many of the turns can barely be taking without braking. The course itself is 1.8 miles long with 23 turns.
Tuesday, June 29
The plan was to get to the course sometime before 5:00 PM to get registered and tech out of the way. We ran into a few problems on the way, and ended up getting there about 10 minutes late! Instead I dropped my stuff off at the hotel, went to dinner and headed over to the campground.
While there was already quite a few people at the site, many people were yet to arrive. It was actually pretty quite until close to midnight when Team Madrid showed up. It wasn't so much that they were rowdy, it was just more like, the party hed started and everyone was happy to see each other.
Wednesday, June 30
Since I missed registration yesterday,
We had two vendors on site serving food. One had drinks like coffee and smoothies.
While I was eating lunch, Big Steve pointed out one of the standup riders had designed an unusual skateboard truck. This truck has no kingpin and no bushings!
While tents for Vendor Row were set up. Only Tactics Skateshop was already there.
We had about an hour break for lunch before heading back up the hill.
For the first time Maryhill had more classic lugers registered than street lugers! There were close to 30 classic lugers signed up. Most of the classic lugers raced standup or luge as well, with a couple racing only classic, but there were still about eight or ten every run.
We were getting in a run about every 45 minutes.
Activities were set up for each night of the week. Tonight's dinner was at the local Mexican restaurant.
After dinner I walked over to the campsite. This year the campsite was immediately behind the Ponderossa Hotel. Like any campsite people hung out in small groups around the site. There seemed to be two main groups, one around the Loco Express and one around the Madrid van, and then a few smaller groups. I hung out at the Luge Camp with Paul Busse.
Thursday, July 1
Today is the second day of practice. We got up early, with the goal of getting to the track earlier. But by the time we got the car packed and ate breakfast we got to the track at 9 AM. Just in time to miss the first truck. I didn't want to miss the second truck like I did yesterday, so I got ready a little early, and made it up on the next truck.
After lunch an impromptu riders meeting was called.
The weather today was slightly overcast
As we finished up for the afternoon the skies got a bit darker. It looked like it might rain, and I wanted to get back to the hotel before it did rain. It sprinkled a little on the way back to Goldendale.
Back at the hotel Will decided to wash his bearings with soap and water. He used the coffee maker to dry the bearings faster.
Friday, July 2
Today is the first day of qualifying.
It took about 4 and half hours to get through all of the stand up qualifying. We sat around, watched some of the qualifying,
Street luge was the next class after standup.
Immediately after street luge, we all jumped back on the truck for classic. Katie was waiting on the truck for us.
I was almost the last one down, and qualifying was over. We still had a couple of hours left so we had time for a couple of practice runs. I had been having problems with my luge the last couple of days. I finally realized, as I was getting ready for my qualifying run, that one of my front wheels was lifting off the ground in the turns. So as soon as I got down with my classic qualifying, I started working on my luge to solve the problem. I worked quickly, but didn't get it finished before the practice run went up the hill. It did give me a chance to watch the USA run. This was a large super mass of American Standups coming down all at once.
Before heading back to Goldenale, a few people checked out the times from today's qualifying.
Back at the campground the fireworks were still a popular attraction.
Saturday, July 3
With only one run on my new setup, I really wanted to take the morning practice run. I got up early enough to make it to the riders meeting.
I expect qualifying today to go faster than it did yesterday, but it will still take several hours. I spent some time wandering around the pits. Zack had got a box of his new Venom wheels.
Just like yesterday street luge qualified after standup. My qualifying run went much better, altough I only shaved off about five seconds from my time. Not as much as I would have liked, but at least I still improved. My classic run went ok, but I have no idea what my time actually was.
Before the race could get underway it was discovered someone had parked in the U-haul turn around spot (which was blocked off.) So a bunch of guys pushed the car out of the way!
After the race was over the King of the Hill heats were run. These were two six man heats, one for luge and one for standup, where the top six qualifiers in each discipline raced. McIntyre cross the line first
Reimer was coming on quick, and was given the win by inches. Shikaze was only about a foot behind Maytum and Switzer a few more feet back. An incredible finish.
Awards were given out for qualifying and for the races.
Then the fastest qualifiers were announced. Alex for the Juniors
Tonight the autograph session and the Saturday party were merged into one and was heled at the local bowling alley.and others actually bowled!
Loose Tooth headlined the night.
Sunday, July 4
Our plan was to make it in time for the first free ride. I got up a little earlier, and figured we would end up at the course a few minutes earlier. While we were eating breakfast someone mentioned something about 8:30. So Will and I rushed out, and go to the track just in time.
Junior I and Classic would start off the racing, despite Quinn racing in both classes. So classic went first. I'm not exactly sure what happened. We were running a 48 man bracket for about 28 racers. But heat after heat had only three racers in it.
In my second heat I got a slow start, and Castaneda and an incredible start and got way out ahead. I followed McIntrye and Parks down the hill, and felt like I was slowly gaining on them. But as we approached the left before cowzers we got a yellow flag. My first thought was Castaneda was a moron and wrecked. And he was so far out in front. I tapped a little harder than I wanted, but had almost closed the gap. I was thinking of trying to pass in cowzers when I saw the second yellow flag. I slowed down more. I thought I had one more chance to pass before the finish, but wasn't sure of the legality. I thought I couldn't pass until I saw another green flag. I crossed the finish line just feet behind Parks, and noticed that Castanenda was just stopping, so he didn't wreck.
I am not sure if I would have had a shot if the yellow flags weren't out, but I was still upset. Personally I think yellow flags have no place in a race. Basically once a yellow flag is thrown, the race is practically over. I stormed up to Marcus to discuss the issue. It turns out that claim was Condon had wrecked in the previous heat, and they were still cleaning the hay, even though I didn't see any hay on the course. Marcus also said it was legal to pass once the riders had cleared the "incident." Of course a racer doesn't have any idea what "incident" caused the yellow flag to be thrown.
After the semi finals
By this point we were running a little bit late. The tope 12 standup qualifiers were presented.
I didn't catch many of the first round runs. I spent some time hanging out with the other lugers, and watched a few runs from the final corner.
It took a couple of hours to get through the first few rounds of the 96 man standup race. Luge went up with the semi final run to start the luge race.
I raced Stephenson, Conway, and Lally. Lally won last year, Conoway was on fire and was the #3 qualifier, and Stephenson has a better push. I ended up on the short end of the Lally stick, going from the third best in my heat, to the fourth best. Of course I got out paddled, and while I stayed close, I didn't have a chance. Until I came flying around cowzers and noticed that Conway is sitting on his board in the middle of the road pushing! Apparently he went in too hot and hit the hay. I passed him and eeked into the semi finals. I got blown out in the semi final, but go to run in the consolation.
IGSA has been trying to run all the finals at the same time. I think for some of the competitors this can be a bit rough. For example classic was raced earlier in the morning, and its now about fice hours later. But I think from a spectators point of veiw it is fairly exiting as you see all of the consilation and finals in a short amount of time. Classic
The awards were given out right after the race was over. I guess it took some time to get things ready, so some swag was tossed into the crowd first.
It was getting pretty late (although not as late as last year) and most of were hungry. It didn't take long for most of us to clear out, and head into town for dinner. I'm not sure what is still open at 8PM on a Sunday night. A bunch of us headed to the Mexican restaurant.
This was the fourth IGSA race on Maryhill and it went pretty well. There was plenty of water, and for the most part the campsite was pretty quite. I think there was only a couple of injuries on the hill, one was a dislocated thumb, and there was maybe a dislocated shoulder? The biggest problem was a lack of spectators, probably because it was the weekend of the Fourth.