Shredemite: Tame The Taipan Turns Out A Top Tier Event
After 5 years in the making, Tame The Taipan turned out to be more than just a downhill skateboarding race.
Held on a private road in the hills of the Gold Coast, the Taipan is a short but sweet (0.83km) track with steep gradients ranging from 13% up to 24%. The road features long drawn out curves, smooth well kept pavement and a super fast chicane to finish off with. Over 50 racers from across the country along with a few international blow-ins gathered to battle it out and claim the title of Australian National Champion.
Upon arrival, a lot of riders were greeted with a hill far steeper and gnarlier than any photos/videos could have shown. Day one was only a half day, but most were chomping at the bit to get amongst it, so everyone was there early with plenty of time to gawk at the beast of a race-track and figure out what race lines should be taken – if they were going to race at all. Some were there just for kicks and to seize a great opportunity to ride a crazy hill in a safe environment, but most were there to do just one thing: TAME THE TAIPAN.
The first runs down the hills saw barely anyone riding in a pack, only the more experienced riders were game enough to go balls-deep first push. Most of the crew decided that figuring out the hill solo before mixing it up was the safest option, as when the crashes and tangles happened they were extremely heavy. The Taipan did indeed claim many victims over the course of practice before any racing started – there were dislocated shoulders, broken ankles, TKO’s and many crushed spirits. One by one competitors dropped like flies until there were only 36 left able to keep racing when the quality rounds came along.
The afternoon of day 2 was dedicated to qualifying for Sunday’s finals. The format was set to ‘Round Robin’ style were racers were randomly sorted into heats of 4, and each placing from the heats would then seed them into the next heats randomising who everyone would race against. Those who kept winning would stay apart, those with lower scores would be shuffled across the heat draw over the course of 4 rounds. This ensured that everyone got maximum time on the hill and also got to experience some racing heats without the fear of being knocked out right away. Mitch Thompson, Aldo Dezani, Max Heaton and Caden Castellini all shared the top spots for qualifying with James Robertson, Josh Evans and Nico Gallman rounding out the rest of the top scores.
When race day came along, the energy levels on the hill shot off the scale – people had come for a show and the riders were ready to give one. The excitement and stoke was pulsing from start line to finish, local punters and the residents had gathered on the hillside in anticipation of the action while the MC’s and local group EmphNTreats (Les, if you can try and find the Emph N Treats FB page and link to them? HipHop group from the Gold Coast) kept everyone entertained. Yates had the place setup to cater for everyone weather you were a rider, spectator, family member or sitting at home on the computer. There was live stream coverage of every heat of the day pumping through the Taipan Facebook page for those who couldn’t attend, and plenty of food/entertainment for those slugging it out in the heat spending all day on the hill.
With only a 32 man bracket and some pretty high caliber riding happening the race heats were tough from round 1. Some of the heavy hitters on the hill were sent packing earlier than anticipated when faced against a stacked heat of other fast riders. Mitch Thompson and Shannon Tully made it through the first semi final round against Rob Mcwhinnie and Dan Guzzardi, while Josh Evans and Nico Gallman held off Aldo and Finn Cantrill in semi final 2. The final heat was tight right off the start line with Mitch and Josh holding a very close lead, while Shannon unfortunately got stuck in a bad line and faded in turn 1. Josh ditched the double-slide into corner 2 and swooped passed Mitch and held it clean, taking the lead and held strong all the way to the finish line. Mitch made solid ground but couldn’t quite get to where he wanted to be and took home 2nd with Nico rounding the podium in 3rd.
Josh Evans is the first to TAME THE TAIPAN! Big win for @happy_lil_jev with Mitch @_mitch_thompson_ in 2nd and Nico @safety_nico in 3rd. Shannon @_shannontully_ got tangled in turn 1 and had to settle for 4th. Huge shout out to Yates @yatedawg for putting on a sick show, see you all next year! #shredemite #getitinya #tamethetaipan
Huge shout out to Adam Yates for living the dream and doing what he does. Much respect and admiration to everyone that volunteered and supported the event as well!
Here’s a few more clips to watch,
Get That Skateboarding
The East Cooperative
Shredemite – Get it in Ya!