Beton on fire 2012(c) Alexandra Pauli

Altenberg Beton on Fire 2012

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Near the end of day 1 we were notified of a 90% chance of rain for Sunday so we were each allowed only one qualifying run on Saturday. By the end of the day it was Hartmut aka “Hack” Olpp standing at the top, myself in second, and Danny Strasser in third. All three of us were standing on 1:02:00 something so it was again really close. Obviously we all wanted another day to skate so it was positive thinking all round. A lot of the locals kept our heads high by saying they didn’t think it would rain. After that it was beer o’clock!

That evening we had a little party at the hostel. I was inside writing up the day 1 recap. By the time I had finished I wanted to join the party but pretty much everyone was gone. It’s crazy to think that almost all competitors were sleeping by 23:00 but I guess that proves how much concentration you have to exert and how much strain is tested upon your body.

On Sunday it did rain. It came down a bit in the morning. After breakfast and coffee we drove to the track.

The track was drying up quick but there were still a few wet patches. Most of the wet spots were in places that you wouldn’t even touch, like on the inside of the turns. It looked scarey but like most things it was all in our heads. We took a walk down, checking it out. By the end we all seemed reasonably confident that it shouldn’t affect our riding. Time to suit up!

Hack took the first leap down the track. Thanks to the organizers of the event, there was a TV at our start point connected to all the cameras going down the track so keeping an eye on our friends was rad. I think everyone’s time was a lot less than the last run of day 1. Mostly because we wanted to take it easy due to the wet and, well, because it was the first run of the day…it’s still a scary thrill. On the other side (I remember this from 2010) if you had had a crash on your last run the day previous your mind is creating all kinds of things in your head for the first run of the day that follows. Alex Duss had that. Corner 12 didn’t treat him so well the day before, he stood out the first run of Sunday to watch us skate the semi wet track and take pics. After he saw the track was all good he took his first run of Sunday. The evening before we had a good chat about that corner. He put his head to it and “slayed his dragon”. It can be very scary when you come off your board so when you put your mind to it, focus and give it your all it can be a very gratifying and rewarding when you come out alive. Shout out for Duss facing his fear, well done bru.

After our first run we had one more run that would count as our second qualifier. Hack went down first, Danny second. After watching Hack’s run on the screen, I felt kinda intimidated because his time was close to our first quali and considering it was our second run of the day I knew I had to push myself a lot harder than day  1 to beat his time. Just before our second quali, I was playing The Animals on my little green portable speaker to get all the guys amped. While the music was playing I told myself that I’d push off really hard for my quali and thats exactly what I did. Just after the light went green I shut my visor and PUSHED, I pushed lank hard. Kinda like all or nothing, I was hungry! Simply put it was the best 1 minute I’ve ever had on my board, I stuck almost every corner (except the 15), I tucked every little straight and every little line in each turn possible. It was the sickest feeling ever and I wish we could have had more runs after that, I was in my element! I gained just over two seconds off of Hack’s first place. I was stoked, I was mostly stoked because the adrenaline was way up high, I was high as a kite. The high was the orgasm, winning was the cherry on top. Anyway that’s my stoke, back to it…

After we all went down for our second quali it started to rain. The inliners kept skating but for us it was a case of “no, f*ck that shit”. The traction from our wheels was too much and skating a bobtrack in the rain is just plain crazy. So that was it for us. A few beers were opened, suits off, time to chill. Alexandra gave us a a brief viewing of the pics she had taken. Our spirits were up high from the rush, so seeing yourself in a sick as pic ends the day on a perfect note…well for me anyway!

Once the inliners had finished their race we all headed up for prize giving. After burning eyes and wet clothes from the champagne, we grabbed one last beer and made the drive back to Switzerland.

This year Seba Beton on Fire is holding a second event at the Bobtrack La Plagne in the French Alps. The event is held on the weekend of the 10-12 August. I hear registration will be open soon. If you’re keen to get involved or you want to know more keep your eye on betononfire.de

There’s something that I’ve wanted to say. The whole deal with us skaters ripping on inliners is something I’d have to disagree with. I know it’s all fun and games, similar to surfers and bodyboarders, but there’s something very real to this. Beton on Fire and all other bobtrack events before it have been inline events. Phillip and the rest of the guys who compete have shared with us, the skaters, their stoke. Their sharing is the only reason we are doing this. To SEBA, the main sponsor which is an inline company, thank you for being so generous in the involvement of skating. Them not being greedy is the only reason you’re reading this. If they kept this to themselves I would never be the happy man I am today. So on behalf of all the longboarders from Beton on Fire, Altenberg we’d like to thank you guys for supporting us and in turn we will keep supporting you.

In the end it doesn’t really matter what toy you are using to reach top speeds and keep a constant grin on your face as long as that family/brotherhood keeps growing then it’s all good. Viva la STOKE!

I’ve spent over two years in Europe, mostly Switzerland. It’s been a crazy ride, so on a personal level ending my journey on this event and being in France is great. Straight after the event in France I’ll be heading back to Cape Town, South Africa for good to be with my girl. So this is a really great way to end my travels. Plus I’ve never been to the French Alps so I hope to get in some freeriding previous to the event.

Shout outs to Phillip for putting on such a great show in organizing the event. He pulled it off very professionally. He always checked up on us and was always there to help with absolutely anything. Thank you Anthony Finocchiaro from SEBA for a well done edit on the event. Always to Alexandra Pauli for sharing with us her great pics, as always they rock. Danke Schön:)

Final Result Longboard
1 RSA MALHERBE Benjamin 1:00.86
2 GER OLPP Hartmut 1:02.60
3 GER STRASSER Danny 1:02.93
4 GER HASS Benjamin 1:06.33
5 SUI RÜFLI Stefan 1:06.42
6 FRA CHOMMY Seb 1:08.24
7 RSA DUSS Alex 1:14.59
8 SUI CANTIENI Samy 1:16.41

 

 

 

 

 

 

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