San Francisco Gravity Fest
San Francisco, California
The first IGSA American race in the 2003 series was a National event held in McLaren Park in San Francisco, just minutes from 3Com park. The course was about a half mile long with only three turns. Pretty quickly after the start was a right hander. The road drops quickly after the turn and leads into turn two, a lefter. There was a short straight followed by an uphill section. The uphill was probably 10 feet or so, and speeds were fast enough going over the hill there was a momentary feeling of weightlessness. Immediately after the up hill has a fast sweeper to the right, followed by an uphill shutdown area.
Rob Wurgaft did a fabulous job of putting this event together. Pure Guts
Friday, May 2
I got to SFO early Friday morning. My flight arrived an hour late, and it took me a while to get to the park.
Saturday, May 3
I woke up Saturday morning to a wet parking lot, it had rained throughout most of the night. Fortunately it was no longer raining. By the time we got to the hill, and ready to ride the road was mostly dry.
And then the storm ended, the rain stopped, and the sun came out!
About a month ago USA Luge and IGSA formed a partnership. Gordy Sheer came out to see IGSA at work. Towards the end of the day he got a shot at riding a street luge while standup was qualifying.
Another new thing this year is luge is run under the "unlimited" class. IGSA tried to create a second luge class this year, in a hope to further the sport. This class would be more open, the weight was raised, aerodynamics would be allowed, and some other regulations were losened. In a surprise move, after much talk on the internet, IGSA ran a vote, should it run one or two classes. The vote was to "banish" the original class, and run under the single unlimited class. One of the changes between classes is the "number panels" rule. In 2002 you had to have a number area that was 8 inches by 10 inches. In the unlimited class, only the height of the number is specified (5 inches) and that it should be seen from 20 feet away. A few different plates showed up.
Originally we were supposed to have a party on the beach, but the once the racing was finished it was pretty cold with chances of rain. The party was canceled, so most of us headed to a Taco bar that was a former sponsor of Waldo.
Sunday, May 4
Once again the road was wet, but it wasn't raining. After the usual riders meeting,
Of course it started to rain. Lally and Fryer showed up for the race. Lally had a car race Friday, and another Saturday! So we had 8 buttboarders. I was hoping we would run an 8 man super mass, but I was a bit hesitant with the wet course. So the question was posed to us, run a dual double elimination, a normal 4 man bracket, or 3 8 man races.
The rain had stopped when we started racing, and the course began to dry. The sun came out for lunch time. Some of the kids set up cones on the back side of the hill from the start, and had been riding down it all day.
After the standup and full fairing gravity bike race
The racing was over so we headed down to an amphitheater near the finish line.
Before the awards ceremony started, Marcus announced that Pure Guts wants to start a Pure Guts award, given to someone who has overcame adversity or shown guts in racing. Jono
Stock Gravity Bike:
Fairing Graivty Bike:
Unlimited Street Luge:
Despite the weather (which was better than last year) it was a good race, with a mostly dry course. I don't think there were any injuries this year, in fact there were very few accidents. There was a decent turnout with 23 lugers and 22 standup guys. It was nice to see some sponsorship as well as local media at the event. The event was even listed in ESPN the Magazine! The next San Francisco race promises to be even bigger.