Words by Lea Robbo Greetings from NZ! What an incredible town Wellington is for skating. Fast downhill and freeride runs everywhere. If I was not so in love with Sydney I would move here just for the hills. Though the town is pretty rad too and the locals friendly and relaxed. My introduction to Wellington skating did not require much effort. I walked out of our guest house and threw myself down the hill outside. Oh my, it was spectacular. Three kilometres long, butter smooth, sweeping corners, fast! I did about 10 runs in a row as Benbro kindly drove behind offering pointers and getting stoked with me on the ride back up. What a dude. The next big task was to tackle the Wind Turbine Race. The view from the top of the hill looking out over Wellington was breathtaking.View from the top of Wind Turbine
The design of the hill was cool, but the surface was inconsistent and rough as guts, so riding down it felt sketchy as. My plan was to ride in the girls bracket and then also enter the opens. I made it through practice and then my first race was against Marisa Nunez from Peru. I kicked out in front cleared the first corner with a slide, though lost a puck. Marisa made a good pass on the small up hill in the middle of the run. I tucked hard and chased her down. As we rounded the second last corner she went out wide and I began to pass on the inside, getting pulled through by her draft. I was surfing through but put my glove down lightly to steady myself. Then whack, my glove with no puck grabbed the rough road and my arm was pulled out! Gutted. We were having such an awesome run together. But that was me done for the day. I cruised on down to the finish line and asked if someone could please put my shoulder back in. Kelly-grom kindly did the task with a loud 'crack' and 'snap', much to the disgust of the surrounding skaters (BTW don't try this at home, I've had my shoulder out before, but you really should go to hospital). My shoulder started to seize a little so it would have been silly to continue skating - though I did consider it! I don't like to be beaten easily! Ishtar Buckland from Sweden was also claimed by the road in a gnarly crash into a dirt wall, so that left three ladies in the women's bracket with Marisa placing first, and Racheal London and Amy London from NZ placing second and third respectively. They all rode well on the challenging hill.
From left to right: Rachael London (2nd), Marisa Nunez (1st) and Amy London (3rd)
Racing aside, the brilliant part of this event was linking in with these international female riders. Dasha Kornienko from Canada, a World Cup racer of many years, was there spectating. Along with Dasha all the girls hung together and commented on how pleased we were to finally meet. We also stoked out as we talked about all the skating, hanging out and racing we'd be doing back in Sydney in five weeks for the Mount Keira World Cup. What a race it's going to be. I can't wait to race Marisa again and see her in full flight, she is a tidy rider, and fast! And to have the Aussie girls step up and race hard against international women is going to be awesome. To the Aussie team- Maga, Gemma, Deanne - get ready to shred! I can hardly wait! Thanks to Rachael London and Max Gordy for all of their hard work and organisation of the event, and to all of the locals who made me feel so welcome. Also to Hopkin for sending me over here. Luca keeps wondering how I am surviving living with seven blokes on a skate trip. Sometimes the boys can be a bit stinky, but I think they are all brilliant guys and I'm stoked to be here! Skate safe, skate hard, particularly you girls! Lea Robbo x