Second Annual Catalina Island Classic Presented by Riviera Skateboards
Daaaaaang! You see all those ladies? More than double last year!
In retrospect, I don’t think I had any business racing at the Catalina Island Classic it’s first year in 2012. While I was almost positive I wouldn’t die on the way to the bottom, I didn’t actually have a plan of attack. On top of that, there was a lot of dots needed to be connected in order to race, like tiny leathers and a full face, entry fees, lodging, and that damn $70 ferry ticket. As if the universe were playing some kind of sick joke on me, each piece to the puzzle fell easily into place one by one until I was at the top of the hill, trying on a borrowed Predator for the first time, finding out that it was way too big for me. I asked to use a kind gentleman’s beanie, stuck it in the bottom of the full face in lieu of extra padding, and returned it sweaty and used to the owner at the end of the day. Sorry about that.
Last year, I popped my shoulder out high-siding in the last corner, and took two runs unable to put my toeside predrift hand down during the race (or for a few weeks later).
This year, I knew what I was doing. Sort of. At least I knew enough to try something, analyze, and try again. Due to injuries from the past year, I was not as ready as I thought I would be for the Catalina Island Classic this year, but I was stoked and happy to race it. I felt peaceful at the top of the hill, equipped with all my own gear. To give myself something to be afraid of, I took my first run on flat-spotted freeride wheels, and worked my way away from slide or die round lipped wheels to grippy hard lips as I decided my plan of attack for race day was to airbreak into the first two lefts, footbreak after them and grip the final corners hard.
I had the opportunity during one of my heats to high side and relive the shoulder injury, but decided mid high side to flip over instead. Only a few people saw, but Dez Sanchez caught it on camera, which I think is rad.
There were 14 girls at the top of the hill, only one of which I had not yet met in the past year of skating. We’re definitely still in a man’s world with this desire to skateboard down mountains, but it’s clear that more ladies are starting to take it seriously, or at least seriously starting to have fun with it.
Katie Nielson wins most ninja. Rachel Rayne wins raddest helmet. Tamara Prader wins most fierce. Amanda Powell comes in close second, but that blond pony whipping in the breeze kills her chances.
Victoria Waddington, Elena Corrigall, and Anna O’Neill form a (fast) crew from Calgary. I’ll be chatting with them about it soon.
This photo is rad. Thanks again to David Ruano for his photography skillz and photos of the weekend.
I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be this happy to race each other, or this happy for the girls that beat us, but we are.