Maryhill Showdown at the Loops 2016 Event Recap
This June 21st through 25th, the Maryhill Showdown at the Loops presented by the Maryhill Ratz commenced for the first time. The event went off with major smiles, relaxed attitudes, and minor hitches. Over 100 riders from over eight different countries made it for the IDF World Qualifying event. In the end, Brazil swept up the Open class skateboarding race, with Max Ballesteros claiming victory and keeping his top 2016 IDF world ranking. Here are 69 bangin’ photos from the event.
The track at the Showdown at the Loops is located on Maryhill Loops Road near Goldendale, Washington. The 2.2 mile long course with banked corners on a constant 5% grade requires little to no drifting in order to get down safely. Drafting and smart racing tactics at speeds up to 50 mph are key to doing well on this course.
For a decade, the race at Maryhill has always been the Festival of Speed, so it’s hard not to compare the Showdown to its predecessor. The festival was a well-oiled machine organized by John Ozman, with the help of his brother Bob and many others. The event had a certain consistency to it: a loud sound system with the organizer keeping us informed, strict rules for safety including required leathers, and hard ass corner workers (keeping people off course). It also had, year after year, the same itunes playlist and the orange fencing around the hay bales on the corners. Though I’m not gonna miss the ugly orange or the crappy music on repeat, I am going to miss the hype, the good times, and the great organization. Thanks John for a great decade of Maryhill racing. Respect!
It may have been the first race for the Ratz organizer, Dean Ozuna, but it wasn’t his first rodeo. This year, the vibe of the five day event was more #maryhillandchill and felt much more like Ratz freeride event. I welcomed the lack of orange fencing in my photos and relaxed my eardrums to hear the whoosh of riders’ wheels and the wind turbines overhead. I was also stoked to have fun in the sun for a few days with good friends in a lax atmosphere. As this was the first race held by the Ratz, it was very low-key and bare bones compared to the festival. 2016 has been a tough year, in general, for event organizers and so the sponsorship level was lower than years past at Maryhill. Nonetheless, riders are gonna wanna ride Maryhill and many showed up to ride for the week. Unlike the festival, the showdown allowed multiple disciplines to ride the hill, anything powered by gravity. There were skateboards, longboards, 2×4’s (a hot new discipline – #everythingserious2016) buttboards, street luges, inline skates, drift trikes, gravity bikes, and even a unicycle.
Year of the Dog
This year, besides being everything serious and the year of the ratz, was also the year of the dog. I saw more dogs at this event than any previous Maryhill. I just don’t think the festival would have allowed it. No dogs were harmed in the running of this event.
The Showdown at the Loops had a grassroots feel to it. In addition to the IDF racing on Saturday, there was some fun to be had. Organizer Dean Ozuna walked around announcing an impromptu team race promoted by word of mouth and pretty last minute. No points were to be awarded to the winners, just bragging rights.
2×4 Chinese Downhill Race
Another fun race that showed how serious riders could get in 2016 was the Chinese Downhill Race on 2×4 pieces of wood as part of the Bustin Skate Everything Project. The major competitors were Trevor Ovenden and Brandon Desjarlais. They even took a qualifying run with their favorite new boards. Brandon qualified with a time of 3:20. When it came time to race, Brandon had his first fall on Maryhill and Trevor took the win and the $500. #skateeverything #everythingserious2016
With five days of riding, racers got plenty of time to get to know the course and their fellow riders. On Friday, racers took four solo qualifying runs to be seeded into the final bracket. Defending Maryhill champion, Zak Maytum, qualified first with a time of 3:04.328.
The 2015 IDF World Champion, Carlos Paixão, was close behind Zak’s time with a 3:04.347. Carlos has won all three IDF events he’s entered this year and this was the first time he hadn’t qualified first.
Emily Pross dominated the women’s times, qualifying at 3:10.444, and ranked 24 in the open class.
On qualifying day, Dean Ozuna had an unfortunate crash, breaking a rib, his collarbone, and his hip. It was quite unfortunate, but the rest of the Ratz stepped up and took over the organization. Dawn, Carole, Robin, and Colin, the IDF man, took care of the racing the next day.
On Saturday, the racing commenced with little hiccups and the event finished by 5pm as scheduled. Here are the race heats as I saw them through my lens.
Max Ballesteros was in second coming through Cowzer’s Corner and drafted into first before the final corner and the finish line. Jackson made a pass on Carlos, but Carlos passed him back after the final corner. It was a Brazilian sweep for the Open Class Maryhill Showdown at the Loops podium.
Okay, so it wasn’t 69 photos, but you get the idea.
A huge thanks goes out to all the skaters and riders that showed up to the event. Thanks to all the sponsors of the event: Moonshine Manfacturing, The Polyboards Project, The City of Goldendale, Ronin Trucks, Sector 9, Daddies Board Shop, Loaded Longboards, Goldendale Chamber of Commerce, Rider Approved Designs, The Ponderosa Hotel, Orangatang Wheels, The Skate School and The Maryhill Museum of Art. Thanks to the Ratz crew who held the event down, and the volunteers who also killed it. Thanks to the EMT’s for helping us when we kill it too hard. Thanks to Dean Ozuna for holding events at Maryhill.
If you want some of this hill, sign up for the Fall Freeride coming up September 24-25. Registration closes by July 22 so get on it.