Riders have fallen, come out unscathed, then skated to their hearts content. Practice day was an absolute blast, from the mayor kicking it off by cutting the ribbon at the start line, till skating a full length track becoming to gruesome on our legs. It was a day to be remembered.
During the morning of qualifying day we had a dry track. Everybody wanted to skate a dry track at full length to match the way we had practiced the day prior. The weather would soon cast thunder clouds over us however, rain starting around 10 am, putting the event on hold till 3pm. The time recording system being relocated, to suit a wet track for safety reasons, we had the afternoon to hang out and get lunch.
3 pm rolled around and the boys suited up. Heading to the top we had a fully wet track, as expected. Things got intense. The sun came out, the top of the hill started to dry. Then the fog came in. At this point (4:30pm) the track is fully wet, times were slow, some skated rain wheels others waited, but everybody was tense since dry spots meant faster times. The forecast did call for more rain however.
First run, getting to the bottom was an achievement, I had tweaked my neck from losing a slide puck during one of the corners, not ideal for a good time but I had been seated 18th over all. I rode Green K-rimes with grooves for rain wheels, but having fresh K-rimes 75mm 82a wheels I knew they would throw down a fast time if it dried.
At 5:30 pm the pavement at the top was fully dry, but we had word about some still wet spots not drying up. In moments like those, its pretty much make it or break it. We end at 6pm so the one run that happens is a critical moment in the way you’re seated on race day.
I threw the Black Powells on and got ready. Most people were on they’re third run. I had taken one. Durning the decent It was patchy, a tricky situation. Every little spot on the road needed to be noticed, searching for a good line was crucial. Mike Gerard, an IDF official, yelling from the finish line, I had took the number one spot!
Not for long. Racers threw fresh wheels on and things got fast. Top speeds in the straight section were getting to be around 102km/h.
Then the rain came on race day
Understanding line choice, gear selection, wet riding skills are some of the things we take into consideration