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    Brazilian Cerri Machado wins Luge at World Roller Games

    Brazilian Cerri Machado wins Luge at World Roller Games

    An important win for Brazil, that hopefully starts the healing process, after their loss of Pastrana.

    Brazil, in their first major international competition in 2019, has shown the world who is the real powerhouse in Downhill racing.

    Day 3 of the World Roller Games was all about Brazil flexing. Vitória Mallmann and Melissa Brogni Da Luz were 2nd and 4th respectively in the women's standup time trial. Tiago and Dalua 7th and 8th in the stand up time trial with impressive starts that will make them favourites for the finals. The day belonged to the Brazilian luge team who did not slow down for anyone. Cerri Machado 1st and Walter Ribeiro 3rd.

    The luge final was all about Farmer versus Machado. They started at opposing ends of the draw. The immoveable object versus the unstoppable force. They were both destined to meet head on in the final. Ryan Farmer is the number one US luger and 2017 World Cup Champion, he won all his races up to the final with impressive form. Knocking out big names along the way; Stephenson in round 1, Kolby Parks (2018 World Cup Champion) in the quarters, Graham Brittain in the semis. Cerri's path to the finals was not a cake walk, he knocked out multi World Cup Champion Abdil Mahdzan in the semis.

    What made the Luge racing this weekend so special was the quality and quantity of competitors. We have not seen a world class draw like this in many years. So it really was a World Championship event. The winner of the luge can really call themselves the best in the world in 2019, and that was Cerri Machado.

    It came down to the final and two names: Cerri (BRA) and Ryan (USA). Both undefeated through out the event. It was won on the start line. Watch the footage from Ryan Farmers GoPro and you can clearly see Cerri Machado wins the start, and gets so far out in the lead Ryan Farmer has no alternatively but to run clean and finish second. Without a close start, Ryan was unable to draft, and make any passing moves.

    WRG Downhill Luge draw with results

    1st Cerri Machado (BRA)
    2nd Ryan Farmer (USA)
    3rd Walter Ribeiro (BRA)
    4th Mikel Echegaray (ESP)

    Special Mentions

    Mikel Echegaray, racing in front of a home crowd, had an impressive day. There is always an advantage for the racer who gets to compete at home, and Mikel took full advantage. He stalked through the draw, winning, and coming a close second to Farmer in the semis. It could have been his day, but home ground advantage only gets you so far!
    His racing was courageous, side by side with Walter in the final for 3rd and 4th, was super exciting to watch.

    Spanish luger Mikel Echegaray

    Grits vs Abdil: the battle continues!
    Graham Brittain and Abdil Mahdzan continue their fierce rivalry. Every year Abdil turns up at Newtons on Mount Panorama expecting a shoulder rubbing stoush with Aussie legend Graham "Grits" Brittain. The rivalry continued at the World Roller Games with the pair facing down in the Consolation Finals. Abdil getting the better of Grits, he won the consolation final with Grits coming second. That made Grits 6th overall at the toughest luge race series in the modern era (can we call it that?). A huge accomplishment, after being semi retired for many years. Hopefully we can see both racing against each other next year at Newtons, and Grits can get his revenge!!

    Oh yeah, there was a bit of Downhill Skateboarding

    Time trials were on WRG Day Three for Downhill Skateboarding.

    The conditions where tough for time trialing, the wind played a major factor. Jackson Shapiera summed up most racers day on Instagram "Winds had slowed down the track and sent times all over the place."

    If you want to see an awesome wrap up of Day Three for Downhill Skateboarding at the World Roller Games check out Max Capps Instagram Story (@daggers_rule). If we get permission we'll try to upload some of those videos so we can embed them.

    The time trial was a medal event. Local hero Óscar Rodríguez has been proclaimed world champion, after beating the French Makarian Yanis and Canadian Dane Hanna.
    1st Óscar Rodríguez (ESP)
    2nd Makarian Yanis (FRA)
    3rd Dane Hanna (CAN)

    Watching the Instagram videos, it was clear that having a big push will be key to doing well on this track. It might be the major factor in finals racing tomorrow.

    The big start pushing from Dalua, Hanna, Hiller, Clarke, Thompson, Hampshire are all going to be fighting it out for that all important lead off the start line. It might come down to who has enough gas in the tank. The Brazilians might be saving it all for finals day, Dane mentioned on Instagram that his push out leg is tired, so who can recover quickest? Or who has been saving their push for the finals? The Brazilian team are always thinking, one step ahead, have they planned to put it all on the line for the finals and glory? Have the other countries been tiring themselves out on the meaningless lead up racing? All that counts is the finals. The Spanish media have crowned Oscar their local World Champion today but the real winner will be the person on top of the racing podium tomorrow.

    Finals racing will be live broadcast. It will be on The schedule is on that website, it will be adjusted for your timezone based on your country.

    This should be the live link for finals racing

    Day One for Downhill at the 2019 World Roller Games

    Day One for Downhill at the 2019 World Roller Games

    The World Roller Games has started and the downhill skaters and lugers have been bombing the race track.

    The World Roller Games is held every two years by World Skate, and it is the biggest roller event in the world, 4500 competitors and it is the first time Downhill has been included. Edit: I originally said the Downhill event is sanctioned and run by IDF. Federico Barbezio contact me with a correct. He said "the event is sanctioned by World Skate and runned by the LOC (Local organization committee) WRG with Alfred Cano as head of the team."

    What makes this event special is the diversity of racers and that everyone is officially representing their country and can only race is selected by their national skateboard governing body. Downhill is getting recognition in many ways, being part of a global world championships, as well as the involvement of national skateboard organisations in Downhill.

    Racers were getting to know the track today, so the times are not that relevant. Team Australia showed up in their official racing leathers, and posted 4 of the top 10 fastest times of the day.

    Dane Hanna has continued his dominance of racing this year with the fastest time on the track.

    Welcome back Patrick Switzer, after a long hiatus from downhill racing, P-Swiss has pulled on the leathers, they still fit, and blasted out a top 20 time. It is day one, we'll see how the old legs hold up by the time we get to finals racing.

    Team Brazil, missing Thiago Lessa, were also practicing on the hill. Dalua continuing his fine form after sweeping the Brazilian race series this year. Tiago Mohr posted the fastest Brazilian time on day one but only 13th overall, so it will be interesting to see if Brazil's absence from IDF racing this year affects them at the World Roller Games. I spoke to Thiago Lessa last week about the WRG, and true to his statement in the Hop Podcast, he is taking a year off international racing to concentrate on his Cuei skate business.

    Follow the Aussies down the race track

    Jacko and Tim burn down Barcelona WRG race track (credit Shredemite)

    Downhill Skateboard times Day 1

    1. Dane HANNA CAN 44.92
    2. Mitchell THOMPSON AUS 45.69
    3. Tristan CARDILLO SUI 45.90
    4. Chase HILLER USA 45.99
    5. Harry CLARKE AUS 46.06
    6. Zak MILLS-GOODWIN AUS 46.20
    7. Shannon TULLY AUS 46.23
    8. Tzouganakis ALEXANDROS FRA 46.25
    9. Tomas Eduardo Romualdez  PHI 46.43
    10. Oscar RODRIGUEZ ESP 46.50
    11. Marakrian YANIS FRA 46.50
    12. Jackson SHAPIERA AUS 46.50
    13. Tiago DE SOUZA MOHR BRA 46.53
    14. Patrick SWITZER CAN 46.55
    15. Stefano BARBIZZI ITA 46.55
    16. Diego PONCELET ESP 46.57
    17. Aleix GALLIMO ESP 46.61
    18. Trauet AMBROISE FRA 46.62
    19. Javier TABOAS ESP 46.70
    20. Douglas RODRIGUES DA SILVA BRA 46.70
    21. Daniel ENGEL USA 46.71

    Downhill Luge times Day 1

    These times are insane, the top 10 all within 1 second of each other and Abdil has not posted a time yet! This is the biggest luge field we have seen in a long time. There are 48 registered luge competitors. We are going to find out who is the best luge racer is in the world, they are all here to compete.

    1. Jan TARRADAS MIQUEL ESP 48.88
    2. Mikel ECHEGARAY DIEZ ESP 49.37
    3. Alexandre CERRI MACHADO BRA 49.42
    4. Timothy KOCH CAN 49.51
    5. Leo Adriano BORTON BRA 49.56
    6. Kolby Stefan PARKS CAN 49.56
    7. William STEPHENSON GBR 49.94
    8. Frank WILLIAMS USA 49.96
    9. Ryan FARMER USA 50.00
    10. Walter Andre WERBINSKI RIBEIRO BRA 50.05
    11. Julian SLANEY AUS 50.28
    12. Matthias LANG GER 50.34
    13. Maurizio DE POLLO ITA 50.35
    14. Graham BRITTAIN AUS 50.43
    15. Gerling OLIVIER FRA 50.73
    16. Juan CALVO LAZARO ESP 50.98
    17. Jorge Ernesto MARIN LOZANO PER 51.09
    18. Gareth CHAMBERLAIN GBR 51.16
    19. Olivier FILIATRAULT CAN 51.58
    20. Gaston Ariel MERLO ROA ARG 51.81

    Could you skate 50 miles a day for 2 months?

    Could you skate 50 miles a day for 2 months?

    If you can, then you should SKRAAM

    SKateboard Race Across AMerica

    This is a Long Distance Push (LDP) race across America, as fast as possible in a solo, self-supported fashion. There are rules, and there will be a lot of pain and self contemplation along the the way.

    If you want to read the rules, I suggest Jack Smith's post in the SKRAAM facebook group. These are my brief interpretations.
    SKRAAM is a web-administered, do-it-yourself challenge based on the purest of wagers: the gentleperson’s bet or agreement. Nothing to win or lose but honor.
    Skaters are to solo and self sufficient. Resupply of food etc is to be done commercially in towns along the way. What that means is skaters have no support between towns, and any assistance they get, must be available commercially to all skaters. Basically your mum can't bring you lunch, and you can't sleep at your friends house along the way. Skaters can have pre-arranged caches on route but it is hoped the majority of resupply will be commercial to make it fairer to international competitors that can't create their own caches.
    There are no checkpoints or officials on course.
    Skaters are alone and responsible for their safety.
    Skaters alone must police their conduct.

    The skaters will have spot GPS so their times and position can be monitored, and I assume there will be a website that will have updated racing data.

    The race is based on the Trans Am Bike Race, and is an excellent skate adaption.

    The race is expected to be in 2020.

    I think it is a great idea and it will be interesting to see how competitors prepare. If you want more information join the Facebook group.

    These are the competitors so far
    Sasha Popper (aka The Mad Russian)
    Paul Kent (Mr Long Treks on Skate Decks)
    Colby Cummings (skateboard racer)
    Morgan Dossett (Ultra skater)
    Conan Issac Gay ( three time IDSA Masters World Champion)
    Sean Endres (can a drone follow him the whole way?)
    Andrew Andras (aka La Marquina aka The Machine)
    Calleigh Little (LDP Supergirl)
    Andre Bruni (Ultra Skate Brawler)
    Raveena Minor (future first black woman to cross America on a longboard)

    Jackson Shapiera ABC Radio interview

    Jackson Shapiera ABC Radio interview

    Jacko talks downhill on the radio

    The Australian national radio station interviewed Jackson Shapiera on the weekend.

    Jacko did a good job explaining downhill skateboard racing and of course he promoted his Facebook Fund Me campaign.

    It is only a 10 minute listen

    Why is no one is talking about Sora Shirai?

    Why is no one is talking about Sora Shirai?

    Skateboarding has started it Olympic qualifying period. Street skating has had two qualifying events, London a few weeks ago and Long Beach California on 12-14th June 2019.

    Skaters need to compete in specific events to earn ranking points to qualify for the Olympics. These events have seeding, which means if you are one of the top 15 ranked skaters in the world, you get seeded in the Quarters or Semi Finals. Everyone is focusing on the top 12 skaters in the world, but they get a free pass to the Semi Finals, what about skaters who are not ranked and have to start in the open qualifiers or as a wild card. These skaters battle like it is a knife fight, their survival and Olympic dream depends on skating every day, in every round.

    That brings us to Sora Shirai.

    Sora Shirai in Dew Tour Long Beach Final

    Sora is a 17 year old skater from Kanagawa, Japan. At the London qualifier he started from the bottom, battled his way into the final and came 7th. We wrote about Sora and how he made it into the final.

    Next Five Star qualifying event was last weekend at the Dew Tour in Long Beach California. Sora is not ranked, so he has to start in the qualifying round with everyone else.

    Sora Shirai in the quarter finals

    He is consistent, not winning each round, but doing enough to proceed through the tournament. By the quarters he is matching it with Sheckler, Eaton, Ortiz and fellow countryman Yukito Aoki. He makes it through to the Semis.

    Sora dropping hammers in the semi finals

    Here he is dropping hammers with Olympic gold medal favourites like Nyjah Huston, Aurelien Giraud and Felipe Gustavo. Sixth in the semi final means Sora makes the final.

    He is easy to pick in the final, and it is not because he is Japanese. Soro is 17 years old, which means he has to wear a helmet. He is the only skater in the final wearing a helmet!

    And yes he slays some of the sports great street skaters to come 2nd, narrowly beaten by Aurelien Giraud from France.

    Final podium: 2nd: Sora Shirai (JPN), Winner: Aurelien Giraud (FRA), 3rd: Felipe Gustavo (BRA)

    We all know skateboarding will debut in the Olympics next year in Tokyo. America probably thinks they will be sending the dream team who only have to show up to win. No one is talking about young skaters like Sora Shirai. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.

    What happens if a 17 year old Japanese skater qualifies to skateboard in his home Olympics?

    According to The Boardr, he has no skate hardware sponsors. No sponsors for deck, trucks, wheels, bearings etc. If you are brand, now is the time to find your Olympic skaters.

    Watch this space. The world's media will discover Soro Shirai in July 2020 when he starts his journey to the Street Skating final. In front of a home crowd, with all that tournament experience getting him there, he could be a national hero and an unlikely first gold medalist in Olympic Skateboarding.