Brighter Feature

The 2013 Catalina Island Classic

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Brighter Feature

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To be completely honest, I didn’t really know how to begin this article when I first sat down to write it. I mean, how do I go about explaining the take over of an island by an international swathe of rowdy adrenaline fueled skaters without it sounding like some kind of elaborate terrorist plot? It’s a tough line to walk, but in so many words this is basically what transpired; minus the guns, bad vibes, and odious intentions. However, this isn’t the first time Catalina Island has seen such a take-over. In fact, Catalina Island has felt the burn of urethane wheels a few times before. The original event, taking place way back in 1977, has served to act as the foundation for what has become an annual event of epic proportions. This year’s Catalina Classic was no exception, with the largest rider / spectator attendance recorded to date, the Catalina Island Classic has without a doubt been fully resuscitated by the good folks at Riviera Skateboards. Once a distant memory, revived by the nu-skool, and rockin’ a little bit harder now.

Pulling up to the ferry landing made it plain to predict the outcome of the weekend. Like a roll call for all of your good friends and colleagues, you didn’t need a crystal ball to tell you that things were going to get wild. A cast of international riders from all over the globe, all gathering curbside to board the same boat, bound for the same weekend party, on the same island. Like some kind of proverbial skate inspired perfect storm, the stage had been set, the Second Annual Catalina Island Classic was rapidly shaping up to be one hell of a humdinger.

Chris D'Alessandro, greeting his people.

Chris D’Alessandro, greeting his people.

Gear.

Gear.

Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria.

Team rider perks.

Team rider perks.

The Resource family, embarking.

The Resource family, embarking.

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The hand-made Catalina Island Classic Trophies were totally boss.

The hand-made Catalina Island Classic Trophies were totally boss.

The Catalina Island Express

The Catalina Island Express.

Waiting for the ferry to dock.

Waiting for the ferry to dock.

Mer.

Mer.

The Resource Riders, late to their own party...

Meanwhile… back at the front desk, the Resource Riders arrive. Late to their own party…

Boating.

Boating.

No, you dah man.

Naw, you dah man.

Welcome aboard.

Welcome aboard.

Daniel Fissmer, wearing a hat.

Daniel Fissmer, wearing a hat.

Cami Best, is stoked.

Cami Best, is stoked.

Rory Russell and the legendary John Rogers, on a boat mutha-f*&$a!

Rory Russell and the legendary John Rogers, on a boat mutha-f*&$a!

Off my wave, kook.

Off my wave, kook.

Riley Harris, is stoked.

Riley Harris is stoked.

Seaward bound.

Seaward bound.

Onward ocean!

Onward ocean.

Kings and Queens

Kings and Queens

More stoke.

More stoke.

The Titanic, no.. wait, the Queen Mary.

The Titanic, no.. wait, the Queen Mary.

Sudden gusts.

Sudden gusts.

Safety first.

Safety first.

The Galley.. ahem, I mean, bar.

The Galley.. ahem, I mean, bar.

DC, throwin up the horns.

DC, throwin up the horns.

Max Dubler, professional.

Max Dubler, getting some epic shots…

First mate, Pete Eubank.

First mate, Pete Eubank.

Ray ban model Sara Paulshock.

Ray ban model Sara Paulshock.

'Merica.

‘Merica.

Seafaring shaka.

Seafaring shaka.

Tankers.

Tankers.

Daisy Jo!

Daisy Jo!

Splash!

Splash!

Cameron Frazier, also wearing a hat.

Cameron Frazier, also wearing a hat.

Leaving Longbeach.

Leaving Longbeach.

Don Sheffler, photographer, badass.

Don Sheffler, photographer, badass.

Yacht Club.

Yacht Club.

Waterborne.

Waterborne.

Sailin'.

Sailin’.

Cutting through chop.

Cutting through chop.

Chance Gaul, is stoked.

Chance Gaul is stoked.

Off the port bow!

Off the port bow!

Babes.

Babes.

Jimmy Riha, chief engineer of the rad train.

Jimmy Riha, chief engineer of the rad train.

The commodore's lounge.

The commodore’s lounge.

The grand prize.

The grand prize.

Tyler Hampson, is stoked.

Tyler Hampson, is stoked.

Malachi Greene, is stoked... and potentially ready to mate.

Malachi Greene, is stoked… and potentially ready to mate.

Everyone listens as Dubes explains the rules of the game.

Everyone listens as Dubes explains the rules of the game.

"Did he say PBR sponsor?" "HORRAY BEER".

“Did he say PBR sponsor?” “HOORAY BEER”.

"Land Ho!" -JR

“Land Ho!” -JR

The Island.

The Island.

PSwiss and Cami, are still stoked.

PSwiss and Cami, are still stoked.

Sunshine for Cami.

Sunshine for Cami.

Irie Life.

Irie Life.

Skatie and Big Dave.

Skatie and Big Dave.

Catalina.

Catalina.

Moar Catalina.

Moar Catalina.

Coverage.

Coverage.

Yeehaw!

Yeehaw!

Disembarking frenzy.

Disembarking frenzy.

We have arrived.

We have arrived.

Brad and Justin, ready with the Van.

Brad and Justin, ready with the Van.

Brad Parker and Amanda Powell, are SO stoked.

Brad Parker and Amanda Powell, are SO stoked.

P-Swiss, fresh off the boat.

P-Swiss, fresh off the boat.

Dubes, in a golf cart, calling the shots.

Dubes, in a golf cart, calling the shots.

Dane Webber, stoked to be in a golf cart.

Dane Webber, stoked to be in a golf cart.

Catalina Cruisin, via golf cart.

Catalina Cruisin, via golf cart.

Thumbs up mini cooper.

Thumbs up mini cooper.

So much sunshine.

So much sunshine.

Hotel de Resource.

Hotel de Resource.

Our Friday afternoon arrival on Catalina very quickly became an island-wide party. With practice runs scheduled for tomorrow’s AM, skaters culminated then dispersed to their various lodgings about the Pacifically situated archipelago, soaking away the remainder of the afternoon with healthy helpings of spirits, stoke, and smiles. Everyone you encountered on a skateboard was a comrade, an agent of good vibes. Each individual ensuring that everyone else had a good time. An island-wide insurance policy that made certain that you were gonna be hyped to be there, skateboarder or not.

Checkin' in.

Checkin’ in.

Hotel roomin'.

Hotel roomin’.

Private party balcony.

Private party balcony.

"How do you get on the list?"

“How do you get on the list?”

The drinking begins.

The party begins.

Shotgunning.

Shotgunning.

An afternoon with nothing planned. To the beach!

An afternoon with nothing planned. To the beach!

Swim team.

Swim team.

Catalina palms.

Catalina palms.

Seaside.

Seaside.

Loaded.

Meanwhile… back at the hotel room.

Darkwing Duck enjoys beer, and worshiping skatin.

Darkwing Duck enjoys beer, and worshiping skatin.

Max decides to mix his own brew

Max decides to mix his own brew.

And then encourages others to try it out.

…and then encourages others to try it out.

Max is happy to share his beverage.

Max is happy to share his beverage.

Cameron Frazier, to the point.

Cameron Frazier, to the point.

Crew.

Crew.

Friday night was a rager.

Friday night was a rager.

After a thoroughly raucous evening of decadence and debauchery, Saturday’s vibe quickly became one of seriousness. Riders relinquished their steins for skateboards and leathered suits, transforming the day from one of soggy over-saturation, to incline oriented seriousness. With shuttles transporting competitors to and from the top of the hill, a good solid afternoon of practice was to be had. Multiple runs lent to the repetitious learning of the Catalina track’s technical curves and bends. A slithering snake of hairpin lefts and rights tracing a line along the southern most ridge of the city of Avalon, the course’s technical layout lent itself to countless crashes and washouts. Just being fast was not enough, this course demanded technical prowess as well. As the afternoon of thrills, chills, and spills speedily melted away, the party promptly picked up where it had left off, and yet another night of whole-hearted indulgence began anew.

Morning after.

Morning after.

Yardwaste.

Yardwaste.

Saturday morning, practice runs on the hill begin.

Practice runs on the hill begin. I skated all day, so no photos from Saturday… Meh.

Sunday morning, race day. An evening of blurry memories quickly dissipated into total focus. Once again, riders relinquished their brews and climbed back into their sponsor laden skins. An air of anxiousness permeated the island, it had all come down to this. The jest and cheer on the faces of riders had been replaced by a demeanor of determination and true grit. Full face visors down, fresh wheels after every run, the race was on. Over the course of the afternoon I frantically sprinted up and down the track, capturing as much of the shoulder to shoulder action as I could. The racers battling tooth and nail to hit that inside line, stick the inside corner on the edge of grip without washing out. It was like watching some kind of ferocious organized ballet with the penalty for error being a straight line into the blocks. Despite all the viciousness however, despite the side by side, wheel to wheel combat, the thrill became the ultimate reward. Sure, some will object, claiming the time honored phrase “winning is everything”, but at the end of the day there was something else to encapsulate the occasion. Something much greater then a spot on the podium, or a big foam board check. In the end, there was thrill and there was camaraderie. Sure, winning may mean something, but the experience meant everything.

Early morning, race day, setting up.

Early morning, race day, setting up.

The shuttle begins its crawl.

The shuttle begins its crawl.

The shuttle crawls it's way to the top of the hill, as the race gets underway.

The shuttle crawls it’s way to the top of the hill as the race gets underway.

A kiss for good luck.

A kiss for good luck.

That pageant wave steeze.

That pageant wave steeze.

Dustin Hampton and Sinjin Davis decide to hike it.

Dustin Hampton and Sinjin Davis decide to hike it.

Kurt Hurley, running things up at turn 3.

Kurt Hurley, running things up at turn 3.

Style and grace.

Team S9, style and grace.

Erik Lundberg, Sector 9 stealth.

Erik Lundberg, Sector 9 stealth.

Stickin' like glue.

Stickin’ like glue.

Race day crushing.

Race day crushing.

Riley Harris with the T-Hawk.

Riley Harris with the T-Hawk.

Coop!

Coop!

Turbo Troy, flying solo.

Turbo Troy, flying solo.

Clear the way, Slippery Pete, coming through.

Clear the way, Slippery Pete coming through.

Skatie Katie

Skatie Katie

Entering the final corner.

Entering the final corner.

Daniel "Kelly" Fissmer.

Daniel “Kelly” Fissmer.

John Rogers, so inside.

John Rogers, so inside.

Chris D. in the lead.

Chris D. in the lead.

Visors down.

Visors down.

Rolls Royce'ing it.

Rolls Royce’ing it.

The Shocker, all leathered out.

The Shocker, all leathered out.

Keyla Dennise crushing corners.

Keyla Dennise crushing corners.

Swaggin.

Swaggin.

Slippery Pete.

Slippery Pete.

Left, Left, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, RIght.

Left, Left, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, RIght.

Riley Harris & Trevor Baird, gettin' real close.

Riley Harris & Trevor Baird, gettin’ real close.

Pre-drifts were a necessity to navigating this course.

Pre-drifts were a necessity to navigating this course.

Slip sliding.

Slip sliding.

Twists and turns.

Twists and turns.

Chris D. again, surfing the rail.

Chris D, surfing the rail.

Gettin' so tite.

Gettin’ so tite.

Straight to the blocks.

Straight to the blocks.

Dusty dodges disaster.

Dusty dodges disaster.

Chris D'Alessandro with the post run knuckle bump.

Chris D’Alessandro with the post run knuckle bump.

Aerodynamically spectating.

Aerodynamically spectating.

Stickin' the turn for her fans.

Stickin’ the turn for her fans.

Drafting.

Drafting.

Group grip.

Group grip.

Pete is dressed to impress.

Pete is dressed to impress.

Leading line.

Leading line.

Nick Ronzani, so much lean.

Nick Ronzani, so much lean.

Turbo Troy, leading Max Capps into the corner.

Turbo Troy, leading Max Capps into the corner.

Queen Victoria, holding her own.

Queen Victoria, holding her own.

Turn two was fast and demanded some kind of scrubbing to navigate it.

Turn two was fast and demanded some kind of scrubbing to navigate it.

The Duke.

The Duke.

Skate face.

Skate face.

Scott Lembach, on his birthday run.

Scott Lembach, on his birthday run.

Friends are always there to point out when you've F'ed up. Tough love.

Friends are always there to point out when you’ve F’ed up. Tough love.

Cameron Frazier is a wall flower.

Cameron Frazier is a wall flower.

Shuttlin.

Shuttlin’.

All the marbles.

All the marbles.

To the top!

Back to the top!

Stragglers.

Stragglers.

Catalina Cove.

Catalina Cove.

Last year I saw a similar picture of Tai on this corner. This was my attempt to emulate it.

Tai, turn two.

This high speed left made for some spooky cornering tactics.

This high speed left made for some spooky cornering tactics.

The leading lady.

The leading lady.

Pam Diaz what up!

Pam Diaz what up!

Scoot and Byron scrubbin.

Scoot and Byron scrubbin.

Sinjin battles for the lead.

Sinjin battles for the lead.

...and keeps it.

…and keeps it.

Maximus Cappus.

Maximus Cappus.

Our Canadians comrades were out in full force.

Our Canadian comrades were out in full force.

Need for speed.

Need for speed.

Jimmy leads.

Jimmy leads.

Way out in front.

Way out in front.

Troy "Yardwaste" Turbo, going fast.

Troy “Yardwaste” Turbo, going fast.

The man, the legend, Jeff Budro.

The man, the legend, Jeff Budro.

Many claimed the race was won and lost at the first corner.

Many claimed the race was won and lost at the first corner.

Skatie leads her pack into the first corner.

Skatie leads her pack into the first corner.

Distaster for Daisy...

Distaster for Daisy…

Trevor Baird and Dustin Hampton. Ladies... they're both single.

Trevor Baird and Dustin Hampton. Ladies… they’re both single.

The name says it all, Jake Fast.

The name says it all.

The bracket.

The bracket.

Fresh wheels after every run ensures maximum grip.

Fresh wheels after every run ensures maximum grip.

Schep and Turbo, having a chuckle.

Schep and Turbo, having a chuckle.

Scootering back down the hill with Dubes.

Scootering back down the hill with Dubes to catch the finals.

Chance Gaul, putting the pressure on P-Swiss.

Chance Gaul, putting the pressure on P-Swiss.

Holdin' on to the inside against a persistent Trevor.

Holdin’ on to the inside against a persistent Trevor.

The wide angle makes him look farther away then he really was...

The wide angle makes him look farther away then he really was…

And the crowd goes wild.

And the crowd goes wild.

Power levels exceeding 9000...

Power levels exceeding 9000…

Ladies final.

Ladies final.

Mens final.

Men’s final.

Patrick wins the Catalina Island Classic! That's it. Hugs all around.

Patrick wins the Catalina Island Classic! That’s it. Hugs all around.

P-Swiss, signing posters and kissing babies.

P-Swiss, signing posters and kissing babies.

So much interviewing.

So much interviewing.

Trevor Baird, is stoked.

Trevor Baird, is stoked.

What up, buddy?

What up, buddy?

Elena Corrigall wins ladies division at the Catalina Island Classic!

Elena Corrigall wins ladies division at the Catalina Island Classic!

Big checks, who doesn't like big checks?

Big checks, who doesn’t like big checks?

Patrick Switzer, is really stoked.

Patrick Switzer, is really stoked.

Spoils to the victor.

Spoils to the victor.

The Final Standings

Women’s

1st. Elena Corrigall

2nd. Tamara Prader

3rd. Anna O’Neill

Men’s

1st. Patrick Switzer

2nd. Byron Essert

3rd. Jomar Guzman

The Catalina Island Classic is something of a rarity within our sport. An event that is based upon a race, but at its core is all about an experience. It’s not about just venturing to another odd little corner of the earth to compete in a competition, it’s about celebrating what we have grown up on this little spec of mud in a sea of darkness to do: live. The Catalina Island Classic experience is therefore something beyond skateboarding, as skateboarding-centric as it may be. It is a moment of reprieve from the push and pull of our daily existence to remind ourselves and everyone else why we do what it is that we do. That at the core of all our competitive lives, lies one very simple often overlooked thought. That thought ultimately being, to live, and to live boldly, vivaciously, and to the fullest of our own potential. To exist genuinely and purely for the experience that is life itself. This, as a whole, is skateboarding, this is downhill.

 A very, very, very sincere thank you to Resource Distribution and Riviera Skateboards for getting me there, housing me, and for throwing such an epically fantastic event. Additionally, a huge thanks to all of the sponsors of the event, Loaded, Otang, Abec 11, Resource Distribution, Paris, Divine, Riviera Skateboards, and anyone else I missed. Also a proper nod to Brent “Dubes” for all of the organization before, during, and after the race. We owe you a lot for making the scene a better place. An additional thanks to all of the course workers, the people of Catalina for putting up with our raucous behavior over the weekend, and to everyone who skated, partied, or otherwise had a hand in making this weekend simply incredible. Thank you.

Stay tuned for another article to go live on Loaded Boards Ambassador Blog featuring more all original photography as well as additional words regarding the event from yours truly. Furthermore, additional photos from the weekend will be posted on The Gel Lab Facebook page soon, so peep dat.

Thanks for reading, now go skate.

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