Catalina Island is a small and rocky paradise off the coast of California. It’s 22 miles long and 8 miles wide. 35 years ago (1977) a small group of downhill skateboarders visited Avalon (the city on Catalina Island) to race the “Catalina Classic”, a unique event that was never repeated, until now.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to California, where everybody was stoked counting the days and hours to a sick event: “The Catalina Island Classic: Presented by Riviera Skateboards”.
An event which was not performed for 35 years, this time the Riviera team decided to take over and revive the scene in this beautiful island.
Upon reaching the island, the colors, the people and the environment welcomed me.
That same day we all prepared for the first part of the weekend! The island was full of excellent riders including Erik Lundberg with part of the Sector9 team, Patrick Switzer, Amanda Powell, part of the Landyachtz crew and Skate House Media amongst lots more!
A mini-ramp show of riders was the first plan in the afternoon, where we had the chance to see Mike Vallely who did not cease to amaze us. That day we celebrated his 25th year as a Pro-skateboarder.
Later that day we had the riders meeting, where we were given guidance and instructions for the next day: RACE DAY!
That night I almost couldn’t sleep.. could not wait.
The next day, a beautiful sunny morning, I got ready and went without much thought to the meeting point, the top of the hill. Everyone had the same face that I had, a face of excitement, happiness and desire to start the event!
The race course, as I heard from some riders, is one of the most exciting of this year, some claimed it was “the best event of the year” even before it began.
Catalina Island was full of good vibes! Everything was kept in order with a great team of organizers, especially Dubes!
For me it was a new experience, although this was not my first race. The feeling of seeing so many riders that I admire had no description.
We heard that the curves were free and riders were ready to go, no more waiting then …RACE BEGINS!
We were 6 girls, which in a meeting with Dubes decided the best way to distribute our heats, because we had enough time to have more than two .. The idea was to launch two heats of three, of which the top two spots of the two heats went to a few more heats in which we determined the Top 3.
To decide this I was competing for the first time with fast girls like Amanda Powell, Christin Gregersen, Tamara Prader .. All my heats were intense, ALL OF THEM. In the penultimate heat it was decided that Tamara Prader had achieved the top spot by winning two heats for first place, second place in the last heat was discussed between Christin Gregersen and I, who wore a tie 2 and 2 … SO EXCITED! In this heat I drifted more than what I had to in a curve and Christin won the second place on the race when she arrived first in that last heat! WOW!
I must say that this is my first big race, and that was a pleasure to compete with these girls! An infinite pleasure!
While all this was happening, they were throwing the heats of the Open category, where James Kelly, who dominated the race from the beginning faced his last heat with Alex Tongue, Patrick Switzer and Dillon Stephens, emerging victorious with first place in the now annual “Catalina Island Classic”.
These are the final results:
1) James Kelly
2) Patrick Switzer
3) Alex Tongue
1) Tamara Prader
2) Christin Gregersen
3) Pam Díaz… What?? That is so sick and exciting at the same time!
The island is beautiful, full of happy people and good food. DEFINITELY a place to visit.. so glad and thankful I made it down there! Thanks to Dubes, my sponsors: Daddies Board Shop, Comet Skateboards and Encargo PAQ and my super team manager Shawn Tseng!
Counting the days for the next Catalina Island Classic, next year! With memories of fast speed checks and a photo album full of stories, the next day I boarded the ferry back to Los Angeles.