New, Exciting developments for 2013!
The IGSA World Cup Series will celebrate its’ 13th season in 2013 and the IGSA’s 17th year of sanctioning races. In those years we’ve watched the sport grow with street luge through the X Games years (1997-2001), nearly die when the sport went into a dark period with severely curtailed participation and virtually no media coverage and then grow to expand around the world with the current explosion of downhill skateboarding. Along the way we’ve expanded from our base in North America to Europe, Africa, South America and ultimately Australia. We’ve made a lot of friends along the way and watched as the longboard industry grew along with the sport.
From our grass roots beginnings, we’ve nurtured the industry, the participants and the organizers to create a fun and sustainable sport. We’ve had plenty of growing pains along the way but the love and selfless dedication for the sport by a few dedicated individuals enabled us to continuously grow. As we look to the 2013 season and beyond, it’s time for the IGSA to grow up so that we can become a better and more consistent sanctioning body to better meet the needs and demands of the competitors, promoters, sponsors and growing fan base of the sport.
Non-Profit International Sports Federation
Were in the process of establishing the IGSA as an official Non-profit International Sports Federation. This will give each member voting rights and more say with regard to rules and regulations. There will be transparency with regard to how funds are used and distributed. It will also enable the association to secure grant funding to help with things like longboarding advocacy, land access and special events. We’re even working on a policy that will give each member international medical insurance. That’s not a done deal yet, we’ve been working on it for over a year but progress is being made.
MIscho Erban IGSA European Representative
After several years of hard work on the IGSA website, the IGSA Euro Downhill Series and events like Peyragudes Never Dies, IGSA European Director Cyrille “Koma” Harnay has decided to step down from his position. We want to take this opportunity to thank Koma for all of his hard work and dedication these past years.
We are very pleased to announce that 2009 IGSA World Cup Series Champion & 2011 IGSA World Champion Mischo Erban has stepped up to take over the position. Mischo, who was born in the Czech Republic, recently moved to Austria after living in Canada for many years. He brings vast knowledge from both an elite competitor’s point of view and a promoters point of view having organized the Vernon Downhill for the past eight years in a row. We are excited about the wealth of experience and strong work ethic that Mischo brings to the table.
Almabtrieb Returns In 2013
After hosting the 2010 IGSA World Championships, Organizer Stephan Risch decided to take a break from promoting events to enjoy racing. We’re very excited to announce that Stephan will be bringing back Almabtrieb in 2013 to the same venue used in 2010. The course and event were universally loved by both competitors and spectators alike, so we expect Almabtrieb to once again be one of the can’t miss events of 2013.
2013 World Cup Series Starts Down Under
For the second consecutive year, Newton’s Nation will kick off the IGSA World Cup Series in Bathurst, Australia. Channel Zero and promoter Ben Perry have been working flat out since Newton’s 2012 to bring another amazing event. They’re pulling out all the stops to raise the bar on their already great live webcast. Start making plans to be in Australia May 3-5, 2013.
We’re still busy finalizing the remainder of our 2013 schedule. Our plan is to announce the complete 2013 IGSA World Cup schedule by November 15th. You can expect most of the popular 2013 venues to return.
New Software Will Streamline Registration, Results & Points
Since 2001, we’ve relied on an Excel based program to tabulate the IGSA World Rankings and Points. It’s an incredibly labor intensive process that IGSA Vice President Bob Ozman has performed tirelessly for many years. Our event management software that we use for registration, qualifying, race brackets and final results is also Excel based. Longtime racer and Software Engineer Chris McBride has been developing an entirely new race management program for over a year that will streamline the registration process, organize the qualifying & race brackets and tabulate the results smoothly and efficiently. Whenever there are delays with the posting of results, it’s always due to a problem with how the data was entered or tabulated. This new software will eliminate these errors and ensure results quickly every time. The program will utilize a data base and contain each competitors entire competition history. There will even be an area where each competitor will be able to log in and customize their bio with photos, sponsors and other information. We believe this will be a big step forward. Thank you Chris!
We’ll be rolling out more and more transponder based timing at World Cup events in 2013. With transponder timing, we’ll be able to give each competitor timing data for every practice run enabling them to see how changes in equipment and technique translate into faster or slower runs. It will also enable us to have riders much closer together during qualifying runs resulting in more riding and less waiting around. Our goal is to have 100% transponder timing for every World Cup event by 2014.
Pro, AM Sport & AM Novice Divisions
Over the past few years, we have seen the popularity of the “Repacharge” or last chance qualifier that gives competitors the opportunity to race with others who have similar abilities. Using the idea of people racing with other who have similar abilities, we will go to a three category system for downhill skateboarders who are 18 and over. Beginning with the 2013 season we will offer Pro, AM Sport (Intermediate) and AM Novice (Beginner) Downhill Skateboarding classes at each IGSA sanctioned event. The Junior I and Junior II classes will remain unchanged. This will allow competitors of similar ability to race each other for both event wins and Championship titles. Once a competitor chooses a division, they will lose half of their points earned that year if they move up or down.
Pro Division – This is for the elite competitors. If you are qualifying in the top 20 at World Cup level races on a consistent basis, you will belong in the Pro Division. Brackets will be limited to the top 32 Pro qualifiers only in four man heats. At the end of the season, we plan to split a $10,000 purse among the top five in points. There will also be prize money at each Pro World Cup stop along the way. The World Cup Series is currently in negotiation with several sponsors to contribute to the prize money offered at each Pro World Cup race.
AM Sport Division (Intermediate) – This class is designed for strong amateur racers who are not at the elite level. If you are currently qualifying outside of the top 20 at World Cup races, you will belong in the AM Sport Division. This class will typically use a 64 or 96 bracket depending if 4 or 6 rider heats are run. The AM Sport Division will have it’s own points championship with the top points scorer earning the AM Sport Division World Cup Series Championship.
AM Novice Division (Beginner) – This class is designed for new amateur racers who have little or no racing experience. If you are currently qualifying outside of the top 100 at World Cup races or have never competed, you will belong in the AM Novice Division. This class will typically use a 32 or 48 bracket depending if 4 or 6 rider heats are run. The AM Novice Division will have it’s own points championship with the top points scorer earning the AM Sport Division World Cup Series Championship. Sandbaggers will be automatically moved up to the AM Sport Division if they finish on the podium in their first three races and lose half of their points.
2013 and Beyond!
We’re very excited about all of our new developments. We’ve been working hard for the past two years on most of these ideas and we’re excited to roll them out for 2013. We’ll continue to bring you daily race reports from each IGSA World Cup in 2013 but with updated content and photos. We’re continuing our longstanding partnership with Concrete Wave Magazine featuring indepth reports from each IGSA World Cup along with Season Previews and Reviews. Last but definitely not least, we’ll be publishing the 32 page IGSA World Cup Series Official Guide for the fifth consecutive year. It all adds up to a very exciting 2013. We’ll have regular updates over the remainder of the season and into next year as we roll out the new developments.