You asked for it, so we’re giving it to you — more downhill news and events. Over in the categories you might (or might not) notice that I added two new categories, one under the “Events, Competitions & Group Skates” category relating to Downhill Events and competitions here on the East Coast. The other new category is simply “Downhill.” It will focus on the East Coast downhill scene as a whole, not just events and competitions. Of course we’ll also be adding a category for Freeride, Freestyle, and LDP when articles come about, something we’re really excited about. RSS feeds are available, if you still use them, for both of these new categories in case you really only want to hear about DH on the East Coast! And, as always, if there’s something you’d like to see here on the blog, shoot me an e-mail at mike [at] skatetheeast.net or comment on our Facebook Page and I’ll do my best to get back to you quickly!
If you’re in the Southeast, especially Florida, in the middle of the month (January) then you’re in the sweetspot for the two biggest downhill competitions in taking place all season. Starting a new year of downhill off right will be the always exciting King of Clermont race in Clermont, FL on January 14th and 15th, followed quickly by the 6th Guajataka Downhill Race in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico on January 20th, 21st and 22nd.
Both of these races will showcase some unreal East Coast talent and give people a chance to see what the downhill scene is looking like in some far-away places. Guajataka, which has gained quite a name for itself since it’s inception in 2006, already has 100 racers registered and is filling up quickly!
I’ve reached out to event organizers to find out what the registration limit is, but I can’t imagine it being much higher than 150 racers which means spots are VERY limited and are likely to fill up quickly as the race looms closer. If you want to enter online you must e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get a race application and waiver, I’m not sure what the entry fee is but they can tell you when you e-mail them.
UPDATE: We got some more details about the race and wanted to share them with you. There are 200 spots for registration total this year which means that at the time this was first posted, around 6 days ago, the race was already half full. Registration is $30 for the Downhill Race Amateur race, $60 for the DH Open Pro race, $80 for the DH + DH Open, and $20 for the Slalom/Slide Jam (WITH LIMITED SPACE!). Rob (one of the event organizers) told me that last year they had 10,000 people show up for the festivities — THIS IS SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!
Because it’s the biggest downhill event not only in the Southeast, but in the entire Caribbean as well, it’s not just your average race, but an entire weekend of stoke-filled fun and sun with not only some great longboarding, but also some cool music and get togethers with other skaters.
It all begins on Friday the 20th with an Event Briefing and Welcome Cocktail followed by a big party being put together by the fine folks at Sector 9, since it’s a thing in the works we’re still waiting to hear more details as to what exactly that will entail and what times the Event Briefing and Welcome Cocktail will begin. We aren’t sure if the course will be open for practice runs earlier in the day, but again, are trying to find out. So far it appears that Friday has the loosest schedule of the weekend since Preliminary Heats start at 9AM on Saturday.
Saturday the 21st begins at 9AM sharp with Preliminary Heats expected to run until about 4:00PM. While those heats are running, starting at around 2PM the Graffiti Contest, Slide Jam, and Slalom Events will begin and run until around 5:00PM, at which point skating for the day will close and the afterparties soon begin…at 8PM the music show will begin (unsure about what or what type of act) and run until around 1AM, although I have a feeling most people skating Sunday will be heading to bed a little earlier than that.
Sunday the 22nd marks what will most likely be the most exciting day of the competitions as the Quarter Finals, Semifinals, and Finals will all be held back to back starting again at 9AM and running till approximately 4PM. Some of the fastest skaters from not only the East Coast, but across the entire country and Caribbean will be going balls to the walls in the first international race of 2012, looking to take home the crown and the second set of DH bragging rights on the East Coast this year.
The sponsor list is of course swag and stoketastic with names such as our friends at Surf-Rodz, Loaded Boards, Orangatang and Rayne as well as other heavy hitters such as Randall Trucks, Venom Bushings, and Sector 9. For more information you can also check their Facebook Page or e-mail them at email@example.com.
This is an event I really wish I could make, it’s going to be an unreal weekend with not only some of the best skaters in the world, but lots of fun and warmth for everyone. Bustin’ rider and friend of Skate The East Solomon Lang will be making a trip down to the isle to compete, so hopefully we’ll be able to grab some updates from him as the weekend wears on. He’s also looking for a place to stay still, so ladies, let him know ;-). In all seriousness though a bunch of the guys and gals from the Bustin’ Boards Crew including Jeff Vyain are looking for places to stay so if you can accommodate, or know of someone that can get in touch with them and let ‘em know!
Also, check out the video from last year’s Guajataka event if you need any more convincing about how sweet it should be: