Deep in the Brazilian jungle lies the small town of Teutonia. The town is home to an Adidas factory, and one street of stores including a surf store! On the outskirts of town, a road heads up a steep mountain. At the top of this road lies a small resort, Lagoa da Harmonia.
As someone pointed out, they found a cliffed, and put asphalt on it, and called it a street. The bottom of the course appears to go straight up!
Thursday, October 22
I flew into Porte Alegra from Igaussu Falls. I spent a few days at the falls, and if you like waterfalls, this is a must see place!
Friday, October 23
We got up fairly earlier to grab some breakfast. I think the shuttle was heading out about 8, but we had our car so we weren't in a huge rush, and we wouldn't be riding for a while yet. It was sunny at the resort,
Marcus ran tech before we got started.
We were at the top of the course, but this course is so fast, the first run is taken from the half way point! We were asked to make our way down to the half way spot, and then stop. Right before the half way point is a fairly steep drop, and not a lot of runout, so most of the standup guys stopped above the drop, and sat on their boards to head down the drop. Saves on foot breaking.
We took our first run from the half way point.
Andreas mentioned to me, that someone told him this is a "straight technical course." He said he didn't understand what that meant, until he went down the course. The surface is pretty nice, but there are a couple of rises that unweight you, a couple of patches, and the wind blows your feet up. You fight all the way down to stay stable, and in your tuck.
We had gotten a late start, and we finally broke for lunch close to 3PM. There was discussion that we would run until 8 PM. Lunch was back at the resort,
We got another warm up run before doing our first qualifying run. Street luge qualified first. Then Will and I were shuttled up a back way to take our classic run. I tried to take some pictures, but they skateboarders were going so fast, it was difficult! We had a small audience to watch the qualifiying runs.
The sun was just setting when we got back.Unfortunately he didn't have a printer, so we just gathered around his laptop. The surprise is I had the top time in classic, despite taking only one run! We finished the evening off just hanging out in the living room of our cabin.
Saturday, October 24
Another early start for breakfast.
Andreas was in a hurry, he was first on the line when we got to the start.I watched some of the practice runs, and again tried to take some pictures, but most of them were out of focus, they were just too fast.I wished I had filmed some of the runs, you can hear them just whoosh by.
It was time to run qualifying. Again luge went first, but this time they were just going to run Will and I back up the course in a car. My run felt better, but I was still braking too much for the turn.
Lugers and Buttboarders at Tuetonia 2009
After getting cleaned up, we went up to the mess hall for lunch.
Sunday, October 25
I woke up at 7:30 and took a look outside,
Immediatley after our warmup run we started racing. We were going to run classic in conjuction with standup. But classic started first, and as the #1 classic qualifier I was in the first heat. I got on the line, I got prepared to start, when I realzied I had no idea how they would start us, or how to say "go" in Portuguese. I was about about ready to stick my hand up to stop, and ask how they would start us when I realized the other guy had already left the line and someone was shouting "go!" I took off, thinking I was going to be upset if I lost because of the start. I managed a pass in the upper section, and finsihed with a decent lead.
In the finals I face Will Stephenson, #2 qualifier only two tenths of a second behind me. I knew it would be a tough heat. Will got a decent push, but probably due to his cold not as good as it could have been. As you come to the drop you want to drift to the right, so you'll be on the outside of the left turn. I was catching him as we approached the drop. I was on his left, but didn't quite have the speed to get next to him before he squeezed me out. I lifted my legs over his head, and shot down the center of the course. While I never managed to take the turn without breaking, I felt it could be done, or close to it, on my buttboard. Originally I planned on taking the turn as fast as possible, figured I had to, to beat Will. But now I'm in the center of the road, still gaining. I decided to try and stay behind him, so I actually sat up early, and broke hard for the turn. Will took the turn faster than me, and at first I thought I let him get too far out in front. I chased him down the cliff, stayed behind him as long as possible, and flew by him near the finish!
After the second round of standup finished we broke for lunch. We ate lunch at the stand near the finish line.
So far the weather has been holding off, it felt like it was beginning to rain earlier but now it seems to be clearing a bit. After lunch we ran some speed runs! The street lugers ran first,
The speed runs were probably my favorite part of the day. The course was lined with people who cheered me on. I was actually able to pay attention to the people as I shot down the course, as opposed to paying attention to the person in front of me. I did my best to stay in my tuck. It has gotten a little easier with practice, but it is still challenging. There a couple of spots that will throw the board, the wind is blowing your feet, and just as you get stable you hit one of the humps that unweights you. I didn't find out either of my times right away, although it sounded like I took the top times in both luge and classic! Later I found my speeds were a blistering 80.7 on luge (Will was the only other person to crack 80 with a speed of 80.39) and I set the World Record speed on a Classic Luge at 76.41 MPH!
After the speed runs we ran the luge race in conjunction with the last few rounds of standup. While I had a tough first heat, my #4 qualifying against Brundish's #5 spot, I prevailed. Brundish was offered an interview at the bottom.
My next heat was against Will. Again Will had a good start against me, but for some reason I began to overtake him very high up on the course. I initially planned on trying the same manuever against him that I pulled in classic, so I actually put a foot down to stay behind him. After thinking about this, I realized he would out brake me in the corner, so perhaps it wasn't a good idea after all. Unfortunately it was too late, I stayed behind him to the corner, and he did brake less than I did. This time he got too far away from me, and I was unable to catch him.
We had one accident early on, where someone was taken to the hospital. His helmet came off and his head slammed into the pavement. In this last round, we can see about half of the cliff face. Seigrist and Scoot Smith were racing, and apparently half way down, under the trees, so I couldn't see, Smith came off his board. He tumbled and slid for a hundred feet or so. I saw Seigrist win the heat, and come to a stop. He said Smith fell, and I feared the worst. I was amazed a few minutes later when he also finished the head! He ended up with a small raspberry on his butt.
My consilation heat was against Mario Jardim. Mario had a better start than Will and I was just catching him by the corner. I guess I broke harder than I really intended too, and Mario got further out in front of my on the cliff. I tracked him down, and was closing fast. But he beat me by about a board length. My GPS read 134 KPH, or 83.5 MPH!
It was time for the finals in luge and standup. But they stalled, I think to try to drum up the tension, and sell more beers. I think part of it had to do with trying to rush to get the race finished before the rains came. Now it is obvious the rains weren't coming, so there was a need to slow it down a bit. Spectators paid 3 Reais to attend the race,
The finals where held. And after all the anticipation Will came down alone!
With the race over most of the spectators started to head home. I knew there were a few spectators, as the course was lined with them. But it wasn't until they were leaving that I saw exactly how many there were.
The awards cermenony finally got underway.
I never got an actual standup podium. Between throwing of hay,
After the ceremony, we rushed back to the cabin. Mainly to clean up and eat, while others went back to pack up to head home.
We chilled out a bit. Said our good byes to those leaving early. Listened to some tunes,
Monday, October 26
Even though the race was over, we still had to get up early, to get to the airport. Looks like we were lucky with the weather yesterday. Today was another foggy day.
Despite the poor weather, we not only got our speed runs in, but we also completed the race. The field this year was smaller than last year, but we had a great time. The course has been described as "straight technical" and while that might not make sense, it fits perfectly. The spectators love the event, and treat us like rock stars. The race is supposed to be held a little later in the year next year, closer to summer time so the weather should be nice, which hopefully will mean more spectators. This isn't the best, most competitve race in the world, but these sort of speeds are something everyone should do at least once.
We had three injuries. The first was a dislocated shoulder, who came back later to qualify. Someone else slammed hard into the pavement, I never found out how bad it was. And Scoot had a 100 foot slide and ended up with a raspberry.