Switzer Cleans Up At Insul But Drama Dominates The Day
Patrick Switzer Celebrates his second World Cup win of the year. Photo Dave Kessler
Insul, Germany- Racing promised to be close and exciting as race day, Saturday 30 July 2011 dawned in the pretty German Town of Insul. However no one could have predicted how the day would end, with controversy and a full disqualification for one of the sport’s up and coming stars, following an incident of unsporting behaviour.
Stefan Rufli had his best ever World Cup finish in second place. Photo Dave Kessler
It was the Open Downhill Class that was as usual the centre of attention, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. Early heats ran problem free with organisers ensuring efficient management to enable racers to concentrate on the task in hand. In the first semi final an incident at the top of the course lead to Ramon Konighausen crashing out. He raised an objection to the incident and IGSA Chief Steward Norman Kinnish, found on his behalf. However Konigshausen reacted badly to the news that the decision did not lead to him moving into the final. In front of a significant crowd in the shut down zone Konighausen physically assaulted fellow Swiss rider Nicholas Robert, resulting in his disqualification from the entire event. IGSA Officials subsequently confirmed their zero tolerance policy for unsporting behaviour and have placed Konigshausen on probation for the remainder of the year.
The Final was won by Patrick Switzer who confirmed his season’s dominant performance. Second place was taken by Stefan Rufli. In a display of superb sportsmanship, Boris Shinke and Alex Tongue who had crashed out up the course, crossed the line together hand in hand to tie for third place. The gesture emphased to the assembled rider community that Downhill Racing has a strong and supportive community of like minded competitors.
Open Downhill Skateboarding Final Results
1. Patrick Switzer, Canada 2. Stefan Rufli, Switzerland 3. Boris Shinke, Germany 3. Alex Tongue, United States 5. Torbjorn Sunde, Norway 6. Stefan Kolpatzik, Germany 7. Nicolas Robert, Switzerland 8. Sebastian Hertler, Germany 9. James Kelly, United States 10. Dominik Kowalski, Germany
Skatie Katie Makes It Three In A Row
Katie Neilson crosses the line to win her third World Cup of the year. Photo Dave Kessler
Katie Neilson continued her domination of Women's Downhill Skateboarding earning her third World Cup victory of the season. The race was marred by a last corner incident involving Dasha Kornienko and Rebecca Gemperle. Entering the final corner Dasha was in second place with Rebecca chasing hard. Rebecca moved to the inside in an attempt to pass but was not able to pull alongside. As Kornienko took her regular line to the apex the rear of her board was clipped by the front of Gemperle's board. The result was a huge crash that sent both riders sliding into the straw bales. Both skaters struggled to recover with Gemperle crossing the line second. Kristina Engstrand was able to pass Kornienko to finish third and Kornienko crossed the line fourth.
A big controversy ensued. Video footage of the incident was produced for IGSA Chief Steward Norman Kinnish to review. After careful consideration he decided to move Gemperle to fourth place for causing the incident based on the following IGSA rule:
XV. Racing Rules B. PASSING: Overtaking competitors assume the responsibility of avoiding the lead competitor. A racer who violates this protocol will be penalized.
Women's Downhill Skateboarding Final Results
1. Katie Neilson, Canada 2. Kristina Engstrand, Sweden 3. Dasha Kornienko, Canada/Ukraine 4. Rebekka Gemperle, Switzerland 5. Marie Bougourd, France 6. Hanna Jaakola, Finland 7. Tamara Prader, Switzerland 8. Gloria Kupsch, Germany 9. Anne Kaske, Germany 10. Fabienne Liebing, Germany
Gires and Smith Win the Junior Races
Jr I Podium (L-R) 2. Jan Dederer, 2. Lenny Gires, 3. Philip Schickor. Photo Dave Kessler
Lenny Gires from Germany won the Junior I class after posting the class leading qualification time. His race was run without incident. Jan Dederer was second, Philip Schickor third and Gero Kalb fourth.
Junior I Downhill Skateboarding Final Results
1. Lenny Gires, Germany 2. Jan Dederer, Germany 3. Philip Schickor, Germany 4. Gero Kalb, Germany
Spencer Smith rounds the final corner enroute to the Jr II class win. Photo Dave Kessler
Spencer Smith from America, underscored his dominance in the Junior II class this class by posting a clean win after a flawless performance during the initial heat. Fredrik Wangsten was second followed by Pablo Fouz Rey in third. Smith has now won all three of the Junior II World Cup races in 2011.
Junior II Downhill Skateboarding Final Results
1. Spencer Smith, Canada 2. Fredrik Wangsten, Sweden 3. Pablo Fouz Rey, Spain 4. Oscar Froelund, Sweden 5. Rob Borek, Great Britain 6. Max Meurling, Sweden 7. Maximillion Schulte, Germany 8. Paul Zerweck, Germany 9. Alexander Tobrand, Sweden 10. Edvard Hagman, Sweden