After Maryhill it was time to drive to the Olympic Village in Whistler, Canada for my first Whistler Longboard Festival, a 6 hour drive from Portland through beautiful forests and landscapes.
We arrived the day before the event and drove to the track to check it out, where we ran into Andy Lally who brought his own broom and leaf blower to clear the track at points where he thought it was necessary. Such dedication :)
The next day started with a morning aerobics/warmup session, headed by the massage girl. Then practice was on and everyone could get used to this very slippery track. No serious incidents happened and we got through the practice day alright.
The timing system worked as it should so we had timed qualifications. Yours truely got a 5th time, which was promising. I raced my way into my first final, where I had to battle it out against Mikel Echegaray-Diez, Andy Lally and David Dean.
When the start line went up, Mikel and Andy were gone in seconds, so Dean and me had to battle it out for 3 and 4. Dean was ahead but I was drafting his ass, up until the forelast corner, where he went too wide and I could get closer. Wheel to wheel we dove into the last corner together. It was all or nothing. Dean hit the gravel a bit with his wheels, I hit it fully and crashed 2 meters before the finish line, see video below – courtesy of Frank Williams.
Luckily no Uhauls were wrecked during this event so riders were shuttled up the hill in them.
Jimmy Riha had to defend his win from last year and he made it all the way through the finals, where he encountered Patrick Switzer who was just too fast for him…
Some podium shots
See all results here.
After the awards ceremony, everybody freshened up and the after party was on… Party hard before leaving back to the US, to fly home and prepare for the Euro tour. Thanks Lee, it was fun !