Reimer Puts an Exclamation Point On His Season!
Bathurst, Australia- Kevin Reimer continued his domination of the 2010 IGSA World Cup season with a solid victory at Newton's Nation on a rainy and cold afternoon in Bathurst, Australia. Reimer earned his fourth World Cup victory of 2010 to give him a perfect 1800 IGSA World Cup Series points.
No other Open Downhill Skateboarder has ever achieved this feat and Reimer did it against the strongest group of competitors in series history. Finishing second was James Kelly who rode a very solid race under difficult conditions. Patrick Switzer earned the final podium spot by finishing third. Andrew Chapman was fourth.
After two beautiful days, Sunday morning greated everyone with cool, drizzly conditions that left the track surface wet. A check of the weather forecast said that the rain would become heavier throughout the day. The ASRA and IGSA officials got together to discuss how to proceed. Could the track be run safely in the rain? Would ASRA and their insurance provider comfortable with letting the riders race in the rain? ASRA was told by the IGSA that if they were comfortable with a "wet" race, then the riders could vote if they wanted to race or not. A practice session was held from 8:00 - 10:00 A.M. During that time it was determined that the track could be ridden safely under the conditions. New impact zones were created by the slippery conditions so straw bales were repositioned.
At 10:45 A.M. a riders meeting was held. Everyone was infomed of the poor weather forecast and then votes were taken for each discipline. Inline Skating, Women's DH Skateboarding, Jr II DH Skateboarding and Open DH Skateboarding all voted to race. Street Luge and Classic Luge voted to abort the race and revert to the qualifying results for their final placement. A number of prominent competitors including number two qualifier Mischo Erban, Stefan Rufli, Jeff Budrow and Stephen Daddow felt the risk was too great and opted not to race.
Many of the heats in the first round were short as more and more competitors opted out of the race as the rain began to fall harder and harder. By the second round nearly all the heats were full. The first big showdown was between Scoot Smith, Louis Pilloni, James Kelly and Matthew Ryan. Pilloni and Kelly prevailed and the 2009 World Champion was eliminated. As the heats wore on, there were a few competitors that looked particulalry strong in the wet conditions including number one qualifier Douglas Silva, Patrick Switzer, Kevin Reimer and James Kelly.
After three rounds, the Semi-Finals were set with Silva, Reimer, Christoph Batt, and Andrew Chapman in the first. Switzer, Kelly, along with upstart Aussies Ben Hay and Craig Bond were in the second. In the first Semi, Silva and Batt crashed and were sent to the Consolation race. Everyone was shocked that the number one qualifier was out after he'd looked so strong all day. Switzer and Kelly prevailed in their Semi sending Bond and Hay to the Consi. The final was set with Reimer, Chapman, Kelly and Switzer.
Prior to the Final, the Consi was run between Silva, Batt, Bond and Hay. Most thought Silva or Batt would prevail but no one told the Aussies! Ben Hay surprised everyone when he won the Consi to secure fifth place. Batt finished in sixth and Silva in seventh. The Finals were next.
Reimer, Chapman, Kelly and Switzer all pushed off the line hard jockying for position. As they approached "The Dipper" they all drifted and slid in unison. Reimer was out in front with the others following closely behind. As they went through "The Dipper" Chapman did a 180 slide and went through the corner switch stance. Unfortunately Switzer was next to him. Switzer's hand was run over by Chapman and they both crashed. Reimer streched his lead over Kelly as they worked their way through Forrest's Elbow and then down the Con-Rod straight. At the finish line Reimer led Kelly by about ten meters (30'). Switzer and Chapman both recovered with Switzer earning third.
At the conclusion all four riders smiling and grateful that the race had taken place. Reimer earned $5000 for his victory. Kelly received $2500 and Switzer $1500 for the days work. It was an epic battle fought between the giants of the sport.
Open Downhill Skateboarding
1. Kevin Reimer, Canada
2. James Kelly, United States
3. Patrick Switzer, Canada
4. Andrew Chapman, Canada
5. Ben Hay, Australia
6. Christoph Batt, Switzerland
7. Douglas Silva, Brazil
8. Craig Bond, Australia
Wildash Wins the Junior II Race
Merrick Wildash was the winner of the Junior II Downhill Skateboarding race for competitors aged 14-17 years old. After spending the summer gaining experience racing in Europe, Merrick put in a strong performance winning all of his heats enroute to victory. It was the Australian riders first World Cup victory. Finishing in second was Myles Borchardt. Cooper Kruize picked up the final podium spot with his run to third.
Jr II Downhill Skateboarding
1. Merrick Wildash, Australia
2. Myles Borchardt, Australia
3. Cooper Kruize, Australia
4. Kelly Carter, Australia
5. Alexander Knight, Australia
6. Connor Wagner, United States