Teutonia is a small town in the Brazilian jungle, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Its biggest claim to fame is footwear. Several show companies, including Adidas, have factories in town. About 10 kilometers up the hill is Lagoa Da Harmonia, a small lake resort, where we stayed.
The course starts in front of a church and heads down through a few chicanes.
There is one steep drop heading into a hard left turn.
The speeds at this point are in the 50 MPH range, with the turn slowing the speeds down to 40 or so. Then the road just disappears.
The road begins to drop away, as well as turn.
After the left is the real drop,
you can feel yourself falling. From here it is a relatively straight shot to the bottom.
A very long straight shot, with a couple of humps that actually unweight you.
Thursday, October 23
I flew into Porto Alegre around noon. Porto Alegre is the closest airport to Teutonia, but is still about 2 hours away. The organizers sent someone to pick me up. My driver, who spoke no English, arrived a couple of hours later, and while we were packing his small car with my bags, I found out we were picking up three other people! Douglas showed up a bit later with our other passengers.
Somehow we managed to get five people and all of our gear. Everyone, except the driver had a bag on his lap.
About half way to Teutonia it started to rain. This wasn't a good sign, maybe is just a storm that will blow over. We pulled into the resort, and had to register immediately.
The resort had a dozen cabins and a small hotel.
Each of the cabins slept six people in two bunk beds and a double bed. It looked liked we had just enough beds for everyone!
Friday, October 24
The resort is about 5 km from the race, and I needed to catch the bus to get there. So I made sure to get up early enough to get some breakfast
and catch the bus. The breakfast was included in lodging. It was fairly simple, bread and jams, some cereal and cakes, and some fresh, locally grown bananas.
While it wasn't rainy, it was very foggy.
I couldn't see more than about 20 feet. Things weren't looking good, but we all hoped the weather would improve and we would get to ride.
About 10:30 we piled into the bus, apparently we were going to ride. We get dropped off at the left turn, half way down the hill, just before the main drop. We aren't really sure what is going on. Apparently we will start practicing from here. A couple of us decide to walk the rest of the course.
The course is so steep, my feet hurt when I tried to stand still.
The course was fairly dry, and the parts that were still wet didn't look like it would cause a problem. They were still constructing a bar at the bottom.
We manage to hitch a ride back to the top. The car had to back up down the hill, and get a running start to make it up the road!
We took two practice runs, one at a time,
from just at the top of the big drop.
Pete Conelly said it best "This is the first time I've started a course at the half way point, and I don't mind." I took it pretty easy, sat up most of the way down. After our first run, pretty much everyone adjust their trucks.
I've never seen so many people make adjustments before.
I tightened my trucks up quite a bit, I was actually a little worried about making it through the turn we were currently in.
After hour second run,
we headed back to the resort for lunch.
Lunch was a buffet
After our lunch break, we headed to the top of the hill.
The excitement was pretty high, as we all got ready to run from the top for the first time. Then we were told that we would take a run from lower down the hill!
We had to make our way down the hill to just before the left turn.
We probably should have started from this spot this morning. Once again we took individual runs.
From this spot the left turn could be taken without slowing down, but now you are hitting the top of the real drop at about 30 MPH!
We were quickly running out of time, but after going back to the top of the hill
we were going to take our qualifying run. Our first run down the hill, from the top, would be our first qualifying run. Standup started the qualifying, as there were only a half dozen lugers.
Expn.br was onsite to do filming. Apparently they would also go with some of the standup guys on the Hill Hunters tour that was going to follow the race.
I took off on my run, and wasn't sure how well my luge was going to handle in the corner, so slowed down too much. My luge was still not set up quite right, I still wobbled a bit down the hill. My next runs should be better. After the last luge run, I was whisked back to the top for my solo buttboard run. I tightened my trucks up, and took my only buttboard down the course. I think I was the first person to go down the course on my buttboard! I didn't have my GPS with me, but I am sure I hit 75 MPH maybe even 80! It was one of the most scariest thing I have ever done. And I felt alive! I couldn't wait to go again.
We were done for the day.
It was time to head back for dinner.
Like lunch, dinner was a buffet. With pretty much the same type of food, mostly steak and some rice and pasta and salad stuffs. After dinner we had some live entertainment.
A few people headed back to the cabins to hang out, and some hung out at the bar.
Saturday, October 25
I woke up in the middle of the night to pouring rain. It didn't sound good. My alarm woke me up, I turned it off and went back to sleep, I knew we weren't getting started any time soon. I woke up about an hour later, and decided to go get breakfast.
I passed the bus driver on the way over. He told me no racing today. The fog was worse than yesterday, and it was raining.
Things started to clear up about noon.
It was too wet to ride. While we generally race in the wet, we are hitting 85+ MPH on this course. The day was a bust, although some of the guys raced beetles.
A couple of us headed into town to get some money and do some shopping.
We got back to the resort to hang out for a while before dinner. There was a big party atmosphere after dinner. The forecast for tomorrow was unknown, but I think most of us knew we weren't going to race.
A projector was set up and footage from last years race was shown.
Some of the guys burned off their competitive energies by wrestling.
With legs, or arms.
The party lasted well into the night, much later than it would if we were going to actual race in the morning.
Sunday, October 26
I got up late, but in time to grab a bite of breakfast. I got there just before they closed it down. The ground was wet, the clouds were low, and it was still raining. It didn't look like we would race. It wasn't so much as the road was wet, but the water that was cascading down the mountain.
The lake we were staying out rose over a foot.
The pathway is completely under water.
After lunch we had our awards ceremony.
The awards would be based on our sole qualifying run.
Araujo, Lemes, Saldaha
Silva, Reimer, Alves
As soon as the ceremony was over, people started to pack up to head out.
Of course as we were packing up to leave, the sun came out.
But it was too late, the race was over.
Seems like half of the race were heading to Douglas's place to spend the night before heading out on Hill Hunters.
I was given a ride into Porto Alegre to catch my flight tomorrow. The race road was mostly dry, but the water had done some damage.
Towards the bottom of the hill we saw some hay bales about 50 feet out in the field, carried there by rushing water!
This was one of the strangest races I've been to. We had a total of four runs, I got five because I ran two classes. The entire race was run on a single run! Our first three runs start part of the way down the course. The run was one of the most terrifying things I've done. Most of the way down the course I keep thinking to myself, just what am I doing. When I get to the bottom I don't want to go again, and yet I can't wait to go again. I wasn't planning on attending the race in 2009, but now I think I have to go, because I didn't really get a chance to run. We were planning on doing runs with an official speed trap to try and set World Records (for Classic and Standup at least) but that didn't happen. I'll have to return next year.