Watch those puddles

Yesterday, I made an early morning trek to Harvard, Mass. to check out the Central Mass Skate Festival. It’s a 3 day event, with all kinds of skate action. I was bringing up a few riders for the event and we made our way back to NY after they were done racing.

Saturday was all about the downhill racing. Some 150 people were registered for this event, which was split into 3 groups (Open, Junior and Women’s). Open started with about 32 heats, which split everyone into two brackets. After that eliminations began. Of the people I was familiar with, Gary made it the farthest, nearly making it to the semifinals.

Since the course was only 1.7 miles, I made my way up and down a couple times to shoot in some different areas. I always like to try and find a good turn. There are usually some adjustments being made by the rider, so it’s more than just the background changing as I follow them along. I found this one spot with a nice incline and turn, which was followed by a straight flat.

The weather forecast was pretty bad. Rain was expected to hit through the whole day. Everything was dry when I first made my way through the course. Little did I know this spot would have some drainage issues. It came down pretty hard early in the morning. I saw about a dozen crashes like this just at this spot. Two people even managed to crash into the same hay bail within seconds of each other. Most of the time, people just pop right up and their only major concern is finding their board.

One crash that freaked me out a little took place near the finish line. I was sitting in this one spot waiting for people to come down. I decided to get up and change position. I hear someone coming down the hill, so I moved further away from the pavement. I turn around and find someone crashed into the spot I just left.

Fortunately, this was only during practice runs and the rain did eventually let up and the massive puddle that formed drained away. All in all, it was a fun day. I didn’t even mind the rain too much. Only my phone gave me some trouble as water drops confuse the touch screen. Next time, I might go for the whole weekend. It’s definitely preferable to spending 26 hours awake on a couple hours sleep.

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