As forecasted, Gravity Fest WQS race day was WET and proved that "anything can happen in racing."
USA racers dominated the Open Skate category on a dry course with solo, timed conditions. However, when racing on a wet (and slightly patchy) course, the leader board was international.
Dane Hanna (CA) is the 2019 Gravity Fest Open Skate Champion. He took first place in every heat he raced; reminding us that Canada RULES the rain! Diego Poncelet (ES) is back to commemorate his second year traveling the NorAm tour with a second place at Gravity Fest. Chase Hiller (US) held it down for the USA by closing out the podium with a third-place finish.
Tyler Topping recapped the highlights:
“Davis Lanham (AU) led the Finals heat into "crash corner" with Chase close behind him. They both took a wide line out of the corner, which allowed Dane and Diego to swoop the inside line to the top of the podium.”
This leaves Dane Hanna and Chase Hiller leading the North American continental tour. Hot on their heels is Gravity Fest’s consolation racers Daina Banks, Andy Atchison, Emily Pross, and Tim Del.
When it came to racing, Tim Koch (CA) proved yet again that he can best 2018 NorAm Luge Champ and Gravity Fest track record holder, Kolby Parks (CA), on the Gravity Fest race course. Their Final heat came down to a game of “chicken” into "crash corner." Tim slowed down first, leaving Kolby without ample time to shed enough speed for the corner. He ended up missing the apex and coming to a stop at the hay bails.
Consequently, Kolby received a 4th place finish behind Ira Hewton (CA), 2nd, and Yan Triponez (CA), 3rd. It’s looking like the 2019 NorAm Luge Champion title will be a fight to the finish!
The race for the Women’s podium was between Ashley Winecoff (US) and Teresa Gillcrest (US) for 2nd and 3rd place behind Emily Pross (US). Ashley overtook Teresa into "crash corner" before experiencing the corner’s legacy with her own crash. Ashley then got up, chased Teresa down the rest of the course, and passed her out of the last right (just before the finish line). Talk about EPIC finishes!
Kyle Martin (CA) is back and dominating the Masters’ circuit. It’s no surprise that the rain doesn’t slow him down. Are we looking at our 2019 Masters World Champion?
Finishing behind Kyle was Beast Coast's Sean Graves (US) in 2nd, and Slalom guru Pascal Jean (CA) in 3rd.
Colorado is back on the podium with young Kai Runes (US) leading the Juniors to the finish line and besting the top Junior qualifier, Matthew Antrum (US). Closing out the podium in third place was Jacsen Kutik (US).
Huge thank you to Mike Girard and Emgee Events for a seamless event with great coverage and protection! The NorAm tour continues with Killington in less than two weeks. Show Mike how much you care and click here to register for Killington now!