North American Championships
Vernon, BC, Canada
Vernon is a small town in the Okanagan Valley. The town sits at the northern tip of Kalamalka lake, and just minutes from Okanagan Lake. As one of the warmest regions of Canada, and sitauated on a beautiful lake, the region sees a lot of tourists activity. Vernon is also home of 2009 IGSA Skateboard Champion, Misho Erban.
The Vernon course is fairly short, at exactl 1 kilometer, about 2/3 of a mile, but it runs right through a neighborhood. Starting at the top of a steep hill, the course heads down
Saturday, June 12
We have a pretty tight schedule. Today is practice and qualifying and tomorrow is racing. I wasn't sure when things would start, last year it was supposed to get going around 8. With the schedule so tight, I figured things would get going fairly quickly. Becausing parking was sparse at the start line, we were asked to park at the parking lot
I got back to the top and managed to get in line first for tech inspection.
Our chase vehicles were two school buses.
The riders were given a lunch ticket for a free lunch. One of the neighbord near the corner was frying up hamburgers and hot dogs. The ticket got us a hamburer, a hotdog, and a drink.
Street luge started of the qualifying, followed by the standup riders. Because the road had to be open every 20 minutes, it took some time to get through the entire lineup. I hung out at the corner, listening to Stryker announce, watching the standup riders.
After packing everything into the car, I was ready for a shower. But a bunch of people went down to the lake, which was only a few minutes from the hill. I found the group already there, and apparently most of the throwing people in the lake was already done.
Sunday, June 13
Today the festivities were getting under way at 10:00 AM. I slept in and got at 10. I thought I might be late, but things were still getting going. They were handing out Tshirts and a really cool water bottle.
After lunch it was time to race. The entire field of street luge, Will, Kolby, and I
Street lugers, Vernon 2010
Our second heat started off much like the last. I got around the first turn better, although I could still hit it harder. I also hit the second turn a little better, but I was still trailing a foot. Fortunately Will and Kolby also took the turn slow. I thought I had a chance to draft them. I was trailing behind Will who was drafting Kolby. There is a slight bend as we approach the finish line. I finally pulled out of the draft to try and pass, and headed to the inside. Will left at the same time, also heading to the inside. I almost caught him, but ran out of room. I think my feet were around Will's waist. Fortunately Will didn't quite hit the apex of the turn, giving me room. I did run over the code that was there. Turns out it was a photo finish between Will and Kolby. Will thought he won, and I thought he won, but I wasn't exactly paying attention to Kolby. We started our third heat without knowing who won. This was my best run, although I still hit the brakes too soon heading into the first corner. I exited the second corner with more speed than the previous run, and closer to Will and Kolby, but they also had more speed. I tried to draft, and I was inching closer, but it wasn't enough. I think my feet would have just been past Kolby's head as I tried to shoot between him and Will. But Kolby was closing the door, and at the last second I veered around his left side.
There were about 70 standup riders, so they ran a 128 man bracket, to give everyone a chance. Buttboard would race with the final three heats of standup. I hung out in the corner to watch the first two rounds. Max the youngest standup rider did a stint at announcing, and did a great job.
Some of the racing in the corner was very tight, even in the second round!
For the last round, standup consilation was run, and then our third heat of buttboard. This time I had a much better run heading into the first corner, but Will changed up his run, and apparently tried to apex the corner properly. It was completely unexpected as he pulled out of nowhere in front of me, and I ended up slamming on my brakes hard.
There was still plenty of time, so we were given a ride up to the corner to watch the standup final.
Juniors I Standup:
Juniors II Standup:
The standup awards were these cool etched glass trophies. But getting off the podium wasn't exactly easy, and Reimer dropped his! Fortunately only a small corner chipped off, fairly sturdy for about a 10 foot drop!
For me I got my car packed up, and a quick diner with the other lugers before I took off for my seven hour drive home.
Vernon was a really nice warmup to the World Cup season. The course was short with two hard corners. It gave me a chance to try out some new equipment, and also a chance to enjoy some nice warm weather. I think we only had one person how had an injury. Vernon really isn't a continental event, but it is an awesome regional event. And the neighborhood, for the most part, seems to love having the race. I hope there are many more Vernons in the future.