Goldendale, Washington, USA- With nine full practice runs on Thursday everyone seemed to be getting down to business today. The strong winds that hampered practice on Wednesday subsided into a steady breeze today. The second day of practice saw riders trying to find optimal lines and beginning to explore their limits.
Speeds increased all day and so did the risks the riders seemed willing to take. This was increasingly evident in Cowzer Corner where riders attempted daring passes and hit the bales when they got it wrong.
Skaters with the beautiful backdrop of the Columbia River Gorge. Photo Jon Huey
Uta Hung (GER) is looking for a podium finish in the Women's division. Photo Jon Huey
Veteran racers say they saw total unknown skaters pressing some of the biggest stars in the sport. Everyone is really curious to find out who the leaders will be after Fridays first qualifying run. It’s obvious that the level downhill skateboarding has progressed significantly over 2007. Last years qualifying mark of 3:10.044 set by Martin Siegrist could be in serious jeopardy. Qualifying could expose the sports next star.
Martin Siegrist (SUI) flying through Cowzer Corner. Photo Jon Huey
Once the days practice runs concluded, the riders went to the Goldendale McDonalds for the second annual Festival of Speed autograph session. David Dean, Billy Meiners, Riley Meehan, Brianne Davies, Fredrik Lindstrom, Thomas Edstrand, Martin Siegrist, Mischo Erban, Quinn Dubois, Erik Lundberg, Matthias Lang and Uta Hang all signed autographs for over an hour to a large group of excited fans. Local radio station KLCK did a live remote broadcast and Ronald McDonald posed for pictures.
After the autograph session, Festival of Speed organizer John Ozman treated all of the autograph participants to a nice dinner at The Sod Busters restaurant. For more race reports and huge event photo galleries please visit www.silverfishlongboarding.com.