Yaku Raymi 2017: The Water Festival

Yaku Raymi world-qualifying race kicked off the South American leg of the world cup tour with a bang. You may have already seen the results from the event posted but we wanted to give you a full run-down of why you need to attend next year.

Riders from all over South and North America flew into Lima to make the trek into the Andes. The race track was about an 8-hour drive from Lima but the trip offered a cultural taste into rural Peru.

 

 

I arrived to the small town of Chacas a few days prior to the event to help with some pre-event setup with organizers Luis Mogrovejo and Augusto Garcia. The town had a population of 2,000 residents and was located at the base of the Huascaran National Park. We met with the town leaders and had a press meeting with local media sources where the organizers were interviewed for TV. There wasn’t a single local that spoke English.

 

 

Friday

 

This was an unofficial event day and a chance for all of the foreigners to enjoy the local terrain at their own pace. The mountain pass itself was about 25km (15 miles) + on both sides and was filled with endless sweepers and hairpins leading down the mountain. If you start from the top you’re at 450m (14.5K feet) and the air is quite thin. It looked like it was copy and pasted out of a textbook on European alps.

 

 

After a day of exploring the town and skating the passes, riders gathered together in Chacas for the evening rider meeting. It took place in the town hall with speeches from the event organizers, national park manager, and town mayor. Riders enjoyed sandwiches and hot drinks while we checked over their equipment.

 

Saturday

 

The question of the weekend, ‘will it rain?’ The name Yaku Raymi is translation for water festival as last year’s event was absolutely drenched in water.

 

Riders kicked off the day with breakfast at Anabella’s. Your choice of tea or coffee, bread, avocado, and jam. Before practice runs began, the event received a blessing of the mountain spirits from a shaman to bring good vibes to all the riders. Practice runs kicked off that morning and weather was looking good.

 

 

 

Riders got dialed in and the event broke for lunch. Local residents from the town made the trek up the mountain to serve hot food on dishes. They caught fish in the morning and cooked it over a fire on the hill then served with potatoes and corn. Lunch, brekky, and a dinner were all included in registration – not bad right?

 

 

Then the downpour came.. Lunch was extended because no one wanted to leave the tents to step outside. It rained for about an hour then finally began to clear and we were on the ride up to the top for qualifying runs.

 

 

Riders got 4 round robin qualifying runs in wet / patchy conditions. The race course had a consistent grade of road so skating in the rain was not difficult to adjust to for many of the riders. Thiago Lessa from Brazil qualified in 1st after winning all of his heats.

 

 

Sunday

 

Race day started in a similar fashion with breakfast at Annabela’s but this time they included some meats and cheese alongside the toast. Many of the riders were in bed early on Saturday night as a high level of competition for race day was anticipated.

 

 

We started the day with a practice run which led into heats for Womens, Luge, Juniors, and Masters. The sub-categories were completed before lunch and Candy Dungan (US) took the win in Womens, Ryan Farmer (US) in Luge, Bruna Vieira (BR) in Juniors, and Leonardo Discacciati (BR) in Masters.

 

 

Riders broke for lunch and the anticipation for racing was building. The clouds were starting to roll in as they did on qualifying day but the downpour was yet to start. Once riders were situated at the top of the hill the rain had begun. This time the rain was constant throughout the afternoon making for consistent wet conditions and no patchy pavement.

 

 

The crowd dwindled and by the time we get down to the top 8 riders there were 6 of which who were from Brazil – they brought the heat! Although the road was wet, the racing was still tight with riders going side-by-side into corners.

 

 

World champion Carlos Guto Negao (BR) took the win! He dominated his heats throughout the day while his skating looked like he was riding in the dry with the way he was gripping corners.

 

 

Open Skateboard Results

  1. Guto Paixao
  2. Tiago Mohr
  3. Pepe Laporte

Open Full Results

 

Womens Skateboard Results

  1. Candy Dungan
  2. Sirley Tabares
  3. Zulema Chilge

Womens Full Results

 

Juniors Skateboard Results

  1. Bruno Vieira
  2. Brahma Gayatri das
  3. Carlos Rodriguez

Juniors Full Results

 

Masters Skateboard Results

  1. Leonardo Discacciati
  2. Rafael Bastos
  3. Rafael De Campos

Masters Full Results

 

Luge Results

  1. Ryan Farmer
  2. Luis Mogrovejo
  3. Jorge Lozano

Luge Full Results

 

Feeling some FOMO? Don’t worry, we’re excited for this race to return to the circuit again in 2018. Event organizers Luis Mogrovejo and Augusto Garcia are keen to develop the event even further and have full support from the local city council and national park management.