Vernon DH North American Downhill Longboard Championships
Vernon riders took three of six men’s podium positions at the Vernon DH North American Downhill Longboard Championships last weekend on Middleton Mountain. The event, sanctioned by the IGSA (International Gravity Sports Association), featured more than 100 racers from North and South America, Australia, Sweden and Switzerland. After a rainy qualifying day on Saturday, Sunday brought a sunny day and a much faster course.
“It was a great success again as always,” said race organizer Mischo Erban, 28. “Saturday was a little hectic with the rain, but we didn’t’ have one single hiccup with the timing system. “Thanks to all my volunteers.” Vernon’s Brendan Davidson, 17, and Zen Shikaze, 22, both advanced through four rounds to reach the Open final. They went up against Patrick Switzer, the 2011 World Cup winner, and Kevin Reimer, who squeaked out the win.
Travelling at about 70 km/h coming into the first turn, known as Carnage Corner, Davidson (sponsored by Dunas, Sector 9 and Aera Trucks) and Shikaze (sponsored by Dunas, Ronan and Landyachtz) pulled ahead of Reimer. With a large crowd cheering the riders on, Reimer and Shikaze stalked Davidson in his slipstream through the final stretch to Sawicki Park. The more experienced riders both passed the younger Davidson, with Shikaze finishing inches ahead of Davidson for second place.
Despite being extremely busy organizing the event, Erban, sponsored by Ronin, GMR and Seismic, found time to compete, but was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Locals Matt Rae and Quin Finnochio skated well but were eliminated in earlier heats. In the Junior category, Davidson was runner-up behind Jonas Richter of Brazil. Kelly Carter from Australia took third. Finnochio, who recently claimed fourth in the World Juniors in Australia, placed sixth. Several younger Vernon riders put on strong performances in the Junior division, including Brian Reich, Nick Lutsenko and Devin Nowlan. The Women’s Open was won by Marina Nunez of Peru. Results, photos and videos of the race can be found on www.igsaworldcup.com. The next race for the local racers is the challenging Skylands course this weekend in Kelowna.
Meanwhile, Erban left Vernon Wednesday for Quebec City where he will attempt a Guinness World Record for achieving the fastest speed on a skateboard standing. The current record stands at 113 km/h, but Erban has already clocked speeds of more than 130 km/h. Now it’s just a matter of making it official. “I’ve already technically beat it, but I want to do better than my personal best,” said Erban. “I really wanted to create a big awareness of our sport and what we do. I’ve always dreamed of being in the Guinness book. “I’m pretty confident I can get up to 140.”