Exploring Australia

Written by Emily Pross Marketing and Communications Student

Recently I embarked on a trip to the land down under, Australia, for the return of the infamous Newton’s Nation  downhill skateboarding 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 event.

Last year doing  the 25 hours of travel really took a toll on me. So I split it up and stopped in California, to skate down some hills for a few days, before embarking to Sydney.

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We had a solid trio skating the “Good Mountain Road” on my last day in Cali

After one lay over in Auckland, and 16 hours of flight time I finally met up with my travel crew. The Shapieras once again, provided some solid hospitality!

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The whole squad enjoying good beers, food, and Australian Lawn Ball photo: Daniel Engle

After about a three hour drive and some stops in between to do some skating. We made it to Newton’s Nation. Once there, we threw on our gloves, not to skate but to help assist the Australian Racing Association volunteers in throwing hay bails.

For those that don’t know the hay bails are the first line of defense for a falling skater, before impacting the cement wall. Since Newton’s Nation took place on the Mt. Panorama car racing track squishy hay bails were needed to slightly deaden the impact of the cement wall.

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Throwing Hay photo: Bruce de Graaf

The next morning was beautiful day for racing, well half the day. We had a few quick visits by some thunder storms, which interfered with the amount of runs we got.

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Beautiful Morning at the Starting Line

Saturday was qualification, and Newtons proved to be a quick course. Times were generally under or around 1 minute. So it was clear you had to have a good racing strategy if you wanted to go far in the race.

Another fun addition Newton’s Nation had was a teams race. Basement skate shop sponsored the teams race, and the winning team received a full keg of beer and 100 AUD each.

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Me getting in tuck after kicking off in Qualifying

For race day I ended up Qualifying 24th overall and 1st in the Women’s Category. Because the times were so close to each other, everybody knew the racing was going to be tight.

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Mauritz Armfelt (yellow) slayed the Newton’s Track. He qualified first, and took home the gold for Sweden photo: Emma Shapiera

 

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Crashes were also in abundance all weekend photo: Emma Shapiera

 

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I had fast heats in the Open Class. I managed to make it to the quarter final round and finished with a 12th overall in the Open category

 

The lady racers were very heavily out numbered at this race. There were only 4 total registered ladies, including myself. However, we held out own on the gnarly track, and still sent it and went really fast.

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Newton’s Nation Women’s Podium

The beauty about Bathurst Australia, is that its a wide open area that hosts a lot of native Australian wildlife. While in Bathurst, I saw a bunch of Kangaroos, and I also got to taste a favorite  Australian food, “Kangar Bangers”

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Look a wild kangaroo
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“Kangar Bangers” or Kangaroo Sausage made for a tasty dinner

We also paid a visit to a really cool wildlife park, where I got to pet kangaroos and wallaby. But the highlight was getting up close and personal with Koala Bear.

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Me and the cute Koala Bear

My Australian trip was a total blast. Big thanks to all the ASRA volunteers, the Shapieras, and all my sponsors!  My next trip will be to the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife. So i’ll see you guys on Tenerife!

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