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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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!