Race Faces

Angies Curves – The Recap

It was a sweltering day with little to no shade apart from the various sponsor and Sector Nine tents set up around the course. About the only thing as hot as the general temperature, was the racing. The track, often referred to as “the most challenging course in the IDF”, coaxed riders out to the Southern California high deserts from all over the world. With one previous day of practice, racers not only battled soaring temperatures while adorned in full race leathers, but also the thoughts and concerns of a course with numerous high speed hair pins, and a top speed in the main straight set at 69 mph. Only in its second year running, Angies Curves has been known to show absolutely no mercy pushing all of those brave enough to race to the very limit of their Downhill capabilities.

Good morning, Francis "Frankie" Cooper Darquea Mauro

Good morning, Francis “Frankie” Cooper Darquea Mauro

Big Louis Pilloni with a pre-race day volunteer meeting. Calling the shots.

Big Louis Pilloni with a pre-race day volunteer meeting. Calling the shots.

The Pala Indian's issued a pre-race rider blessing.

The Pala Indian’s issued a pre-race rider blessing.

Wheels. Wheels. Wheels.

Wheels. Wheels. Wheels.

Blistering mid-day temperatures made spectating a thing of passion.

Blistering mid-day temperatures made spectating a thing of passion.

The Sunday morning race kicked off with one practice run for all of the separate categories, Groms, Womens, and Open. After a rider blessing from the Pala Indians, who’s land the race was held on, the first of the riders began their decent down the viciously steep twists and turns of the ‘Angies Curves’ track. A new live feed system allowed riders not on the course to stay on top of all of the tight racing action, creating a new dynamic in the whole racing experience while also providing a distraction from the stifling morning sun.

Runs begin.

Runs begin.

The fastest corner of Angies Curves saw some serious high speed action.

The fastest corner of Angies Curves saw some serious high speed action.

Elena Corrigall crushing it. She took home first in Women's.

Elena Corrigall crushing it. She took home first in Women’s.

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Emily Pross, on the gas.

Emily Pross, on the gas.

Smokin' soles in an attempt to shed speed.

Smokin’ soles in an attempt to shed speed.

I was gettin' a real Ying Yang vibe from this shot.

I was gettin’ a real Ying Yang vibe from this shot.

The racing, about the only thing hotter than the temperatures.

The racing, about the only thing hotter than the temperatures.

The heat of the pavement made for effortless slides.

The heat of the pavement made for effortless slides.

As the day burned on, riders and spectators alike began to feel the weight of the heat on their shoulders. In a desperate attempt to stay out of the sun, attendees cowered from the searing mid day temperatures by congregating beneath tents and umbrellas, conserving what little stamina not sapped from them by the blistering heat for race runs and the ingestion of liquids. However, despite the sizzling conditions, the race soldiered on, setting the stage for numerous high speed close calls, crashes, and tremendous world class racing action.

P-Swiss, had the fastest qualifying time, a full 2 seconds faster than the lot.

P-Swiss, had the fastest qualifying time, a full 2 seconds faster than the lot.

Feelin it out.

Feelin it out.

Pictures just don't do this turn justice. Angies Curve is something to behold.

Pictures just don’t do this turn justice. Angies Curve is something to behold.

Calvin Staub, going into Angie's Curve sideways.

Calvin Staub, going into Angie’s Curve sideways.

Providing your live feed experience with just the right amount of wrong.

Providing your live feed experience with just the right amount of wrong.

Live Feeding.

Live Feeding.

The big descending straight of Angies saw speeds of up to 69mph.

The big descending straight of Angies saw speeds of up to 69mph.

The meat wagon, collecting the wounded.

The meat wagon, collecting the wounded.

With the mid day sun now transitioning into the late afternoon, the scorching temperatures of the day began to subside to a degree, making way for the final few race runs of the afternoon. Spectators and retired riders alike bustled about, catching the final few U-Haul trucks down the hill to the finish line to catch the 1st place victor. Spectators readied themselves, as the radios came alive with the alerts of “riders on course”, the final four thundering down the hill and across the line. In the end, it was the tried and true race veteran Kevin Reimer with the first place win, Dillon Stephens in a close second, Zak Maytum in third, and Jimmy Riha in forth.

Calvin feels out the slide coming into the tight right at the bottom of the straight.

Calvin feels out the slide coming into the tight right at the bottom of the straight.

The man behind the Curve, Big Lou.

The man behind the Curve, Big Lou.

Navigating.

Navigating.

Max Ballesteros and James Kelly got tangled up. James took a tumble.

Max Ballesteros and James Kelly got tangled up. James took a tumble.

Angies Curves show no mercy. Someone's bad day.

Angies Curves shows no mercy. Someone’s bad day.

K-Rhymes beating out Andrew Chapman to take first place at Angies.

K-Rhymes beating out Dillon Stephens to take first place at Angies.

Grom's Podium

Grom’s Podium

Women's Podium

Women’s Podium

Men's podium

Men’s podium

It had been another year of racing, another day of close calls, speedy runs, and downhill skateboarding at its best. Angies Curves currently stands to represent something of a high water mark, a testament to the required skill and determination this sport demands of it’s athletes, a symbol of how far it’s taken us. So as we close the book on yet another Angies Curves, we pray to the skate gods that next year will be cooler (in temperature), and stand proud knowing that we’ve managed to elevate the game to such a dazzling degree of difficulty. Next year, is just around the corner.

Thanks for reading, now go skate.

    

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