Kozakov, Czech Republic- The Kozakov Challenge had been a complete washout on Thursday due to rain, strong winds and heavy fog. Rain continued to fall throughout the night and into Friday. The athlete campground was turned into a giant mud pit and everyone’s spirits were low. By afternoon, the wind had finally subsided and the fog had begun to lift.
Previously the organizers had determined that the road would be too dangerous to ride in wet conditions. Faced with the prospect of both qualifying days being canceled and race day not looking much better, everyone was facing the reality of the entire event being forfeited. The IGSA officials felt this was not an option so they approached the organizers with a plan to remove the fastest sections at the top and bottom of the course to increase the safety factor. The organizers agreed and the race was on.
141 riders were entered in Open Downhill Skateboarding although a few of them chose not to ride in the rain. Among them was three-time World Champion Martin Siegrist who decided to pack his bags and head home to Switzerland. 127 riders did make qualifying attempts. The riders found the track surface to be quite grippy in the wet. No injuries were reported for the day.
Patrick Switzer earned the number one qualifying spot with a 1:32.359. Jackson Shapiera was second at 1:34.090. Maryhill winner Ramon Konigshausen was third with a 1:36.363. Fourth was Robin Sandberg with 1:36.988. Sebastian Hertler rounded out the top five with a 1:37.045.
Tamara Prader was number one in Women’s Downhill Skateboarding followed by Katie Neilson in second and Kari Havnevik in third. Marie Bougard was fourth and Lenka Salacova was fifth.
In Junior II Downhill Skateboarding it was Spencer Smith who earned the number one qualifying position. Gabin Piton was second, Henning Patricksson was third. Pierre Conan qualified fourth and Daniel Sokjer-Petersen rounded out the top five.
Junior I Downhill Skateboarding saw Lenny Gires qualify number one, Gero Kalb was second, Pedro Dederer was third. Philipp Schickor qualified in fourth position followed by Jan Dederer who rounded out the top five.
Due to the late start, Street Luge and Classic Luge qualifying will be held on Saturday Morning.