Written by Emily Pross, Marketing and Communication Major

For those who don’t know, my nickname in Downhill is: The “PROSSecutor,”- hence the name, “Tales of a Traveling PROSSecutor.” I’m hoping to share more tales this year as I travel and race again. A couple of weeks ago, I got back from a trip to Australia and New Zealand, a.k.a. The Land Down Under. Thanks to the flexibility of Berkeley’s Online Program, I was able to visit these countries, race, and do a little bit of touristy stuff on the side, all while going to school and getting my Bachelor’s in Marketing and Communications. Not going to lie, it was very stressful traveling, racing, and managing school work all in one trip, but it was worth it! I got to visit places I never thought I’d get a chance to visit, and on top of that, I got to see it all on a skateboard!

You know the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Here is my story through a few of the many photos I took on the trip. (And if you want to see more, check out my trip hashtag #PROSSecutorDownUnder on Instagram!)

Airplane Selfie.PNG

Every trip has to start with a good ole’ airplane selfie. Only this one wasn’t joyful. I was just about to start my total of 22 1/2 hours of total travel time from Newark – San Francisco – Sydney.

While in Australia, fellow Rider Approved Designs rider, Jackson “Jacko” Shapiera and his mom and dad, Lea and Pip, were kind enough to give me a place to stay. Big shoutout to them!

They also showed me around the city, and we took the scenic route into Sydney. The long haul on the plane was totally worth it for views such as these:


Sydney Skyline at Sunset while on the Ferry



The iconic  Sydney Harbor Opera House


Random Sydney Harbor Buildings

Then, after a day of sight seeing, it was off to the town Wollongong for the Mt. Kiera IDF WC race.


Up at the top of the hill on Practice Day. Had to take a photo next to the hiking trail sign

Run w Jacko PNG.PNG

Last Practice run of the Day with Jacko hot on my tail. Photo: Hopkin Skate

Day 2 at Mt. Kiera was qualifying day. I ended up qualifying  1st in Women’s and 13th Overall, with a time of 1:48.583. I was stoked heading into race day!

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Making an inside pass to advance to the Quarter Finals in Open.  Photo Hopkin Skate

My journey in the Open Category ended in the Quarter Finals. I ended up finishing 11th overall and I took 1st in the Women’s category.

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Women’s Podium at Mt. Kiera IDF WC

A couple of days after Mt. Kiera and it was off to the next race,- Mt. Ruapehu Downhill in Whakapapa, New Zealand for an IDF WQS.

When we got there, the weather was bad. So bad that they cancelled practice.


Selfie from the top of Mt. Ruapehu. The start line would be right behind me. AS you can see there is a little river going down the hill behind me. Although it doesn’t look it in the photo, the weather was deplorable.

So we went right into Qualifying the next day. The weather didn’t let up.


We went down in dense fog and heavy rain conditions. At times I could only see twenty feet in front of me while going down the hill. Photo: IDF racing

After fighting the rainy conditions all day on the hill, for the last two qualifying runs we had perfectly dry conditions. Bummer, considering I was sitting in the Top 10 Overall while riding the wet. With the dry conditions, my final placement was 1st in women’s and 14th overall with a 1:51.507. I was ready to race!

Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day for racing! While driving to the top of the hill, New Zealand’s beautiful landscape finally showed itself.


Mt. Ruapehu, a beautiful volcanic mountain


Adjacent to Mt. Ruapehu sits another active volcano, Mt. Doom. And it does look pretty sinister in this photo.

After admiring the mountains, it was time to race!

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Speed Tucking Hard Photo: Jake Williams

In Open, I made it all the way to the Quarter Finals again only to be eliminated and miss the Semi’s by inches. In the Women’s class, I took first place.


Getting carried to the Women’s Podium by my homies, Jayden Mitchell (right) and Jacko Shapiera (left)

After racing, the event organizer’s gave us a couple of extra bonus runs. It was one of my  highlights and a great conclusion to the trip!


Quick selfie with the ladies after pushing off to begin our decent down Mt. Ruapehu during our bonus runs.

Big thanks to all my sponsors for supporting me on the trip!

Moonshine MFG  http://www.moonshinemfg.com/

Berkeley College http://berkeleycollege.edu/

Daddies Boardshop https://www.daddiesboardshop.com/

Rider Approved Designs http://www.radesigns.com/

Gform Protection http://g-form.com/

and Ronin Trucks http://www.ronintrucks.com/

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. […] race. I had an idea of what Australia was like because I visited there, for a short time, last year to race in a different […]


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About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, established in 1931, is a regionally accredited college providing excellence in teaching and learning through a student-focused approach to career education. Berkeley College offers Bachelor's and Associate's degrees, Certificate programs, and non-degree professional courses at campuses in New Jersey, New York, and through Berkeley College Online. A Master of Business Administration degree is offered in Woodland Park, NJ, and online. The college enrolls over 7,100 students (more than 440 international students, representing nearly 75 countries).


Emily Pross


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