Over the weekend was the fourth annual Wind Turbine race hosted by Ultimate Boards. It was on one of New Zealand's many winding roads. Rachael London sent us a few words and photos to share from the event:
April 27-28 marked the fourth annual Wind Turbine race. This is a race held in beautiful Wellington, New Zealand, its on 1km of tight, windy, eat your wheels up sorta chunky road that is intimidating to even seasoned riders. This year we had over 30 riders show up, and of them only 1 brave woman, I unfortunately wasn't able to hold my title, due to still recovering from an injury. We switched it up a bit this year and held it over 2 days rather than the previous 1 day, which meant more gnar, skating and some timed qualifiers.
Day one began with riders meeting to hash over the details of the day and at around 10:30am practise started. Riders got about 3 runs down, in groups of around 4 so were able to skate with mates and have fun with it. We broke for lunch at 12:30 with riders continuing their racing, but this time for food served up by a local food truck and after an hour, reconvened. After a quick debrief the timed qualifiers were on.
Each person got three timed runs with their best time taken to rank them in qualifiers and decide their placement for day two.
The best time was 1.17 going to Callum Matheison, sharply followed by Phillip Cumming with 1.18 and tied for third was Tipene Newberry and local rider Alex Barber with 1.20. Day one was too much to handle for some riders, deciding to keep the rest of their limbs in tact, 3 people pulled out with injuries, including broken fingers, a concussion, a bung hip and a busted ankle. All in all, day one had riders stoked as hell and ready to endure more thrills and spills to take the gold on day two.
Day two started with a wet, wet road. Riders were anxious thinking they were going to be forced to race an already scary track in the wet. Luckily after half an hour it dried up and riders were ready to battle it out. A couple practise runs started the day off and then it was straight into an epic battle of the groms. Lunch broke it up with a gelato break this time, whilst ZM ( a national radio station) showed up to pump the crowd up, give away ice cream and iced tea and play some sick beats. A national tv channel also showed up, conducted a couple interviews with riders in the background desperate for their moment in the spotlight.
Grom heats continued for about an hour, then it was straight into opens. Riders duked it out, with some of the closest races I have ever seen, the competition each year is getting higher and higher and this year was no exception. After about 3 hours of open racing Wind Turbine 2013 was finished and the winners were announced. For the groms, Christy O'Hagen took first, local Wellington skater Ash Sisson took second and third was taken out by Emmett Blackburn. Opens results saw Callum Mathieson taking first, Phillip Cumming taking second, and local Alex Barber grabbing third place.
Once racing was over, everyone decided since we had the road for the rest of the day we should embrace the opportunity, so everyone who wanted to, had an hour of sick freeriding.
Later that night we held podiums followed by an after party at a local rowing club overlooking the waterfront where everyone had the chance to chill, share a couple brewskies, and be stoked at the epic weekend.
If you're in the area and missed out last year make sure to check it out next year!