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Photo: Sharon Le Grange

The 2012 Faircape Downhill Challenge held on the 17th and 18th of March saw one of the largest amount entries for a national event to date, with 42 entries for Downhill Skateboard and 35 entries for Junior Skateboard.

Faircape is usually held in the late summer months in Cape Town, which would mean the predominantly south easterly winds of this time of the year can have a strong influence on racing, with strong tailwinds resulting in some of the fastest racing on the South African circuit over the last few years.

The strong south easterlies did however not materialize this year, with wind direction more South and even turning South West at one stage with speeds of approximately 15 knots predicated for Qualifying and 7 knots predicated for Race Day respectively. This translated into changing tactics and setups with the push off position and drafting becoming a great deal more critical.

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Photo: Sharon Le Grange

Race day saw a very light tailwind, at times changing into a cross wind for the long straight section. After a morning of practice runs, racing commenced at around 13H15. The first category to line up on the staring line was Street Luge with a compliment of twelve riders which included a number of guys from Standup Skateboard also exploring a new discipline.

Racing was tight and fast with Russel Naude taking first, followed by Franco Megannon - a new rider from Gauteng – making a very impressive second and Glen Phillps in third. This seem to set up a very exciting Classic Luge race with the opportunity to settle some scores from earlier on in the day and did not disappoint in a very exciting and close final with Marco Caromba taking first, his wife Nikki Caromba taking second and Russel Naude finishing third.

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Next up was the Juniors’ category, they showed some amazing skill and definitely raised the bar amongst themselves. The final heat provided much drama, as Greg Vardy, a newcomer from the Eastern Cape and the top Junior qualifier from Saturday lost his board during push off and had to play catch up for the rest of the heat. Henry Muller however, finished first with a strong tuck, Greg Vardy followed in second after a heroic effort and Adam Lincoln-Lewis came in at third.

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As a result of the vast amount of entries, the relatively light tail wind and time constraints, it was decided to run six man heats in Downhill Skateboard (open), which would also provide for more exciting racing and the final heat was certainly an excellent example of this. Alex Duss managed to push out in front, but was quickly caught by Richard Dweza – the fastest qualifier from Saturday. Glen Phillips then managed to draft and catch up with Richard and went into the right- hander leading the pack. A battle of some proportion was being fought behind them for third place between Alex Duss, Murray Chandler and Paul Du Plessis with all three of them very tight at the chicane.

Alex managed to hold his position and was even able to draft Richard after a minor speed wobble at the left kink. It’s not over until its over and the battle for fourth place saw both Murray and Paul exploring the patched-up slightly rougher section on the right hand side of the track for any possible advantage down to the wire. A video camera set up at the finishing line helped to decide a very closely run final heat with Glenn Phillips in first, Richard Dweza in second and Alex Duss in third.

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Photo: Sharon Le Grange

The event was a great success and once again showcased not only the great talent and skill on display, but also the rapid growth of gravity sports in South Africa. Thank you to all the riders, officials, marshals, medics, spectators and sponsors for all your support.

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Photo: Sharon Le Grang

Downhill Skateboard (Senior) Results

  1. Glenn Phillips, RSA
  2. Richard Dweza, RSA
  3. Alex Duss, RSA
  4. Murray Chandler, RSA
  5. Paul Du Plessis, RSA
  6. Ben Malherbe, RSA
  7. Anton Pratt, RSA
  8. Mike Upham, RSA


FAIRCAPE2012 JUNIOR PODIUM Photo: Sharon Le Grang

Downhill Skateboard (Junior 2) Results 

  1. Henry Muller, RSA
  2. Greg Vardy, RSA
  3. Adam Lincoln-Lewis, RSA
  4. James Jager, RSA
  5. Matthew McDonald, RSA
  6. Damon De Pinna, RSA
  7. Jeroen Slee, RSA
  8. Camden Lategaan, RSA


IMG 0823Photo: Sharon Le Grang

Classical Luge Results 

  1. Marco Caromba, RSA
  2. Nikki Caromba, RSA
  3. Russel Naude, RSA
  4. Andries Haasbroek, RSA
  5. Franco Megannon, RSA
  6. Duayne Cumpsty, RSA

Street Luge Results 

  1. Russel Naude, RSA
  2. Franco Megannon, RSA
  3. Glenn Phillips, RSA
  4. Andries Haasbroek, RSA
  5. Nikki Caromba, RSA
  6. Marco Caromba, RSA

Eebin van den Bergh for SAGRA