We know 2020 has been hard for everyone. So, we would like to take this time to remember the legendary moments of 2019 and the champions who stole the show! Here is a belated, but hugely deserved, congratulations to the 2019 World Series Champions and contenders:
- Harry Clarke (AUS)
- Daina Banks (USA)
- Chase Hiller (USA)
Open Street Luge
- Abdil Mahdzan (MYS)
- Kolby Parks (CAN)
- Ulrich Becker (DEU)
- Emily Pross (USA)
- Teresa Gillcrist (USA)
- Elissa Mah (NZL)
Junior’s Skateboard (under 18)
- Nicholas Broms (USA)
- Riley Young (AUS)
- Grégoire Schwab (CHE)
Master’s Skateboard (over 35)
- Kyle Martin (CAN)
- Damian Derek Blanquer Gelez (ESP)
- Juan Montoya (COL)
In Open Skateboard, Harry Clarke held down the champion position with a tight, consistent, and fearless racing style. Harry will go down in downhill history for winning a Maryhill event on his FIRST attempt - something that has previously been considered impossible. Congratulations on a winning season, Harry Clarke!
Top runner-up Daina Banks brings new meaning to the word “savagery” by completing the world circuit despite a huge crash at Tame the Taipan WQS, AUS, which resulted in a dislocated sternum. His style resembles a race car and his biggest accomplishment of the year was winning the iconic Kozakov Challenge WC, CZE.
The second runner-up, Chase Hiller, made a big splash when he aced Pasul Vulcan WC, ROU, (the fastest and most formidable race track on the circuit) by earning the top qualification spot and winning the race! He did this on what has previously been considered an unorthodox truck due to its fixed-axis steering, proving that downhill skateboarding still has so much room to grow in terms of high-performance gear.
In Open Street Luge, Abdil Mahdzan secured the 2019 Champion position and became a 4x World Champion! He almost had a perfect season too, but he failed to conquer the 2019 Kozakov Challenge. Can he land a perfect season in 2021?
The top runner-up and defending 2018 Street Luge World Champion, Kolby Parks, made a valiant effort to tie the champion in points. However, he was short of one podium and finished the season boasting four podiums to Abdil’s five.
Second-runner up, Ulrich Becker, is much newer to the World tour, with this being his second year racing IDF. Nonetheless, he also finished the season with a respectable four podiums. His wins prove that, although there is a long line of incredible talent in the Open division, a World title is always anyone’s game!
In Women’s Skateboard, Emily Pross finished with a perfect season. However, her biggest accomplishments were in the Open Skateboard category where she placed 7th overall in the World, 3rd in North America, and honored the Killington WC, USA, podium with her third-place finish.
The first-runner up for the Women’s Skateboard category is Teresa Gillcrist - a fresh face to the World Circuit who battled her way through the season in order to narrowly beat out 6x PacAsia Women’s Champion Elissa Mah in total points. Expect to see both these women back at the battle in 2021!
In Master’s Skateboard, Canadian legend Kyle Martin made a triumphant return to racing after many years away from the limelight - and with a perfect Master’s season. Not only did he dominate the Master’s category, but he placed 11th in Open Skate and raced in the Tame the Taipan finals! Veteran-racer Derek Blanquer from Spain took the top runner-up spot while Juan Montoya from Columbia closed the season in third.
In Junior’s, Nick Brom showed impeccable form and earned two Open Skateboard category wins, while simultaneously winning the Junior’s category over formidable contenders across the field. Top runner-ups, Riley Young and Grégoire Schwab, represent the next generation in two dominant countries of downhill, Australia and Switzerland, respectively.
Honorable mentions in the Women’s Street Luge and Adaptive categories:
In 2019, the IDF created two new categories for downhill racing. This wouldn’t have been possible without many of the Women’s Street Luge and Adaptive racers. However, two racers in particular traveled out of their continents in order to represent their demographic on an international scale. We would like to give a big thank you to Jenn Butler and Kassy Jhones for taking it upon themselves to further the sports of downhill.
Jenn Butler is a USA Women’s street luger who traveled to Colombia and placed 2nd in Open Street Luge at La Leonera DH WC. Kassy Jhones is a Brazilian adaptive racer who traveled to the USA and placed 3rd in the first-ever, Adaptive-category race at the 2019 Tour de Maryhill WQS.
Congratulations again to our 2019 World Cup Champions and top contenders! To get to know our champions better, check out their video interviews here and stay tuned for info and interviews related to our Continental Champions.
To our downhill family around the globe, we hope to see you all again soon… on top of a mountain. Until then, stay safe and keep going.