I know I haven’t mentioned it yet, but if you’re on the East Coast and haven’t heard about the I Love Downhill Grand Prix going on at Windham Mountain in Windham, NY this summer it’s time to listen up. Since details were a little lose earlier on I decided to hold off on talking about the event, much more is clear now and registration is actually open so let me catch you all up.
What is the I Love Downhill Grand Prix you ask? Set to take place on June 23rd and 24th I Love DH will be the biggest downhill racing event for both longboards and luge on the East Coast, period. When I say biggest, I mean it in ever respect: number of racers, course, speed, and prizes. Surf-Rodz is throwing up some major cash along with other East Coast manufacturers such as Bustin’ Boards and PhatDeanZ for the pro’s and tons of chances to walk away with gear for the amateurs. Only 2.5 hours north of New York City and 3.5 hours west of Boston the race is going to attract the fastest skaters from all over the Northeast and will draw pros from the far reaches of the East Coast and beyond along with some of the larger crowds of spectators we’ll see this year. The course itself is over a mile long with 5 technical hairpin turns and speeds reaching well over 50mph for longboarders and into the 60’s for streetlugers, with such a fast and technical course this could end up being one of the best races we see in the U.S. period, especially in future years!
So what’s on the line? Marc Dean, the event’s organizer, sent out an e-mail telling potential racers a little more about the prizes and sponsors today and I have to say, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it in downhill racing yet — especially not on the East Coast. East Coast companies are supporting hard, and we’re so happy to see it. Surf-Rodz is putting their money where their mouth is and putting up $1,500 in prize money to be split between the men and women pro events and a ton of trucks going out to the winners of the amateur events. Bustin’ Boards is also putting up some big money, offering $500 for both the first place in the men’s and women’s pro events and Phat DeanZ throwing in another $200 in prize money. Kebbek skateboards is also contributing by making some (what should be) sweet event t-shirts. All of the sponsors listed on the sponsors page are donating some sort of gear, so rest assured even if you don’t podium you’ll have a great chance of walking away from the event with some killer swag.
Registration is now officially open and costs $135.00 to register for one class or $165.00 to register for two (Luge/Pro Skate, Luge/Am Skate, Luge/W’s) Skate). Unfortunately there’s no way to tell who has registered yet and who hasn’t or how many are signed up like there has been in races past, so we’ll just have to play it by ear and keep you updated as we hear more. If you want to race make sure you have both a full face helmet and leathers that are in good repair as both are required, along with slide gloves, to race. All racers will be required to undergo a pre-race technical inspection for all your race gear and safety equipment so be sure everything is in good condition as no refunds will be given on race-day due to you being unprepared. Check the rules for all the information.
Beyond all the serious racing and prizes at the end of the day this is a race in the true spirit of longboarding and will offer some fun events to meet other racers and enjoy the company of a bunch of like-minded individuals. The last two runs on Saturday will be a classic luge/butt board race that’ll change things up a bit from the rest of the Grand Prix. The race will be open to both men and women and will require a $5 entry fee to be paid right before the race. Heats will be of 10 with the top 3 advancing to the next round and will feature a Les Mans (running) start. It’s a skate what you brought type race which means if you run it on your downhill setup it’ll be kosher, including your 10mm Surf-Rodz! Then Saturday night, after the first day of warm-ups, racing and butt-boarding, the I Love Downhill masses will be taking over the Cave Mountain Brew Pub in town for some great burgers and great brews along with great company — sounds like a fun time to me.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more but so far this is shaping up to be one of the events of the summer for sure!