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Maryhill Showdown at the Loops 2016 Event Recap

This June 21st through 25th, the Maryhill Showdown at the Loops presented by the Maryhill Ratz commenced for the first time. The event went off with major smiles, relaxed attitudes, and minor hitches. Over 100 riders from over eight different countries made it for the IDF World Qualifying event. In the end, Brazil swept up the Open class skateboarding race, with Max Ballesteros claiming victory and keeping his top 2016 IDF world ranking. Here are 69 bangin’ photos from the event.

A view from the top of Maryhill.

A view from the top of Maryhill.

The track at the Showdown at the Loops is located on Maryhill Loops Road near Goldendale, Washington. The 2.2 mile long course with banked corners on a constant 5% grade requires little to no drifting in order to get down safely. Drafting and smart racing tactics at speeds up to 50 mph are key to doing well on this course.

For a decade, the race at Maryhill has always been the Festival of Speed, so it’s hard not to compare the Showdown to its predecessor. The festival was a well-oiled machine organized by John Ozman, with the help of his brother Bob and many others. The event had a certain consistency to it: a loud sound system with the organizer keeping us informed, strict rules for safety including required leathers, and hard ass corner workers (keeping people off course). It also had, year after year, the same itunes playlist and the orange fencing around the hay bales on the corners. Though I’m not gonna miss the ugly orange or the crappy music on repeat, I am going to miss the hype, the good times, and the great organization. Thanks John for a great decade of Maryhill racing. Respect!

Louis Pilloni (in the golden light) and friends took some practice runs  without leathers, something that wouldn't have been possible at the Festival of Speed.

Louis Pilloni (in the golden light) and friends took some practice runs without leathers, something that wouldn’t have been possible at the Festival of Speed.

It may have been the first race for the Ratz organizer, Dean Ozuna, but it wasn’t his first rodeo. This year, the vibe of the five day event was more #maryhillandchill and felt much more like Ratz freeride event. I welcomed the lack of orange fencing in my photos and relaxed my eardrums to hear the whoosh of riders’ wheels and the wind turbines overhead. I was also stoked to have fun in the sun for a few days with good friends in a lax atmosphere. As this was the first race held by the Ratz, it was very low-key and bare bones compared to the festival. 2016 has been a tough year, in general, for event organizers and so the sponsorship level was lower than years past at Maryhill. Nonetheless, riders are gonna wanna ride Maryhill and many showed up to ride for the week. Unlike the festival, the showdown allowed multiple disciplines to ride the hill, anything powered by gravity. There were skateboards, longboards, 2×4’s (a hot new discipline – #everythingserious2016) buttboards, street luges, inline skates, drift trikes, gravity bikes, and even a unicycle.

Spencer Smith and Adam Little get down on some borrowed gravity bikes.

Spencer Smith and Adam Little get down on some borrowed gravity bikes.

This guy was fast!

This guy was fast!

So was this guy!

So was this guy!

Street Lugers Jan Tarradas, Mike Paproski, Mikel Echegaray Diez, and Kolby Parks in good form.

Street Lugers Jan Tarradas, Mike Paproski, Mikel Echegaray Diez, and Kolby Parks in good form.

Andrew Perkins drifts through with the trike. Though they didn't have a race, he's probably the quickest drift trike rider down the hill.

Andrew Perkins drifts through with the trike. Though they didn’t have a race, he’s probably the quickest drift trike rider down the hill.

Dylan Greer and Joanna show that Maryhill can squash any beef between inliners and skaters and we can all ride in peace and harmony.

Dylan Greer and Joanna show that Maryhill can squash any beef between inliners and skaters and we can all ride in peace and harmony.


Year of the Dog

This year, besides being everything serious and the year of the ratz, was also the year of the dog. I saw more dogs at this event than any previous Maryhill. I just don’t think the festival would have allowed it. No dogs were harmed in the running of this event.

What up, dog?

What up, dog?

Freeride

Check out how stoked Don Sheffler is to be in this stuffy U-Haul.

Check out how stoked Don Sheffler is to be in this stuffy U-Haul.

Adam Little and Spencer Smith get low around the never ending left.

Adam Little and Spencer Smith get low around the never ending left.

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Emily Pross got snaked on the inside by Ryan Vitale...

Emily Pross got snaked on the inside by Ryan Vitale…

...and he took her out.

…and he took her out.

Sorry.

Sorry.

Thiago and Max, relaxed, comfortable and ready for more practice.

Thiago and Max, relaxed, comfortable and ready for more practice.

Mike Paproski, rad old dude who rides skateboards and street luges and takes extreme close-up photos while riding street luge.

Mike Paproski, rad old dude who rides skateboards and street luges and takes extreme close-up photos while riding street luge.

Maryhill's curves in close-up.

Maryhill’s curves in close-up.

Roy Wolf won the Master division in the end.

Roy Wolf won the Master division in the end.

Bradley Cameron, the man behind Subsonic Skateboards and the starting official and Noel Perkins, part of the Ratz working crew.

Bradley Cameron, the man behind Subsonic Skateboards and the starting official and Noel Perkins, part of the Ratz working crew.

The Showdown at the Loops had a grassroots feel to it. In addition to the IDF racing on Saturday, there was some fun to be had. Organizer Dean Ozuna walked around announcing an impromptu team race promoted by word of mouth and pretty last minute. No points were to be awarded to the winners, just bragging rights.

Superteam Scott Smith, Spencer Smith, and Zak Maytum won the team racing.

Superteam Scott Smith, Spencer Smith, and Zak Maytum won the team racing.

2×4 Chinese Downhill Race

Another fun race that showed how serious riders could get in 2016 was the Chinese Downhill Race on 2×4 pieces of wood as part of the Bustin Skate Everything Project. The major competitors were Trevor Ovenden and Brandon Desjarlais. They even took a qualifying run with their favorite new boards. Brandon qualified with a time of 3:20. When it came time to race, Brandon had his first fall on Maryhill and Trevor took the win and the $500. #skateeverything #everythingserious2016

Bustin's Marcus Bandy holds up the $500 prize money and an example of the 2x4 set-up.

Bustin’s Marcus Bandy holds up the $500 prize money and an example of the 2×4 set-up.

Trevor (T-Rev) Ovenden and Brandon Desjarlais line up for their qualifying run on a 2x4. #Everythingserious2016

Trevor (T-Rev) Ovenden and Brandon Desjarlais line up for their qualifying run on a 2×4. #Everythingserious2016

Brandon D. pushes his wood into action.

Brandon D. pushes his wood into action.

T-Rev won the race, after Brandon crashed near the top. Brandon says it was his first Maryhill crash.

T-Rev won the race, after Brandon crashed near the top. Brandon says it was his first Maryhill crash.


Qualifying

With five days of riding, racers got plenty of time to get to know the course and their fellow riders. On Friday, racers took four solo qualifying runs to be seeded into the final bracket. Defending Maryhill champion, Zak Maytum, qualified first with a time of 3:04.328.

Zak Maytum blasts around the never ending left for the fastest qualifying time at the Showdown.

Zak Maytum blasts around the never ending left for the fastest qualifying time at the Showdown.

The 2015 IDF World Champion, Carlos Paixão, was close behind Zak’s time with a 3:04.347. Carlos has won all three IDF events he’s entered this year and this was the first time he hadn’t qualified first.

Emily Pross dominated the women’s times, qualifying at 3:10.444, and ranked 24 in the open class.

Emiliy Pross kills it like a boss.

Emiliy Pross kills it like a boss.

Tanner Morelock was looking good and fast.

Tanner Morelock was looking good and fast.

On qualifying day, Dean Ozuna had an unfortunate crash, breaking a rib, his collarbone, and his hip. It was quite unfortunate, but the rest of the Ratz stepped up and took over the organization. Dawn, Carole, Robin, and Colin, the IDF man, took care of the racing the next day.

Dean Ozuna - R.I.P.

Dean Ozuna – R.I.P.

No wait, he's alive everybody. Pretty broken, but still handling business. Maryhill Ratz live on!

No wait, he’s alive everybody. Pretty broken, but still handling business. Maryhill Ratz live on!

Race Day

On Saturday, the racing commenced with little hiccups and the event finished by 5pm as scheduled. Here are the race heats as I saw them through my lens.

First round of racing.

First round of racing.

Jimmy Riha leads this heat out of the back-breaker right.

Jimmy Riha leads this heat out of the back-breaker right.

Scott Smith and Pedro Frangulis take up the lead in this heat.

Scott Smith and Pedro Frangulis take up the lead in this heat.

Jackso, Adam Little, and Job Crisostomo try to catch up to Carlos who had a huge lead.

Jackso, Adam Little, and Job Crisostomo try to catch up to Carlos who had a huge lead.

Thiago Gomes Lessa leads this quarter-final heat.

Thiago Gomes Lessa leads this quarter-final heat.

Thiago leads this semi-final heat approaching the first left-right repeater.

Thiago leads this semi-final heat approaching the first left-right repeater.

Justin Rouleau hangs back a bit on the entrance to this left turn.

Justin Rouleau hangs back a bit on the entrance to this left turn.

Some controversy is only to be expected with racing. Riders watch the evidence with the IDF man, Colin Beck, in order to make the right call.

Some controversy is only to be expected with racing. Riders watch the evidence with the IDF man, Colin Beck, in order to make the right call.

Frank Williams burns rubber next to Kolby Parks around the corner before Cowzer's in the buttboard finals.

Frank Williams burns rubber next to Kolby Parks around the corner before Cowzer’s in the buttboard finals.

Roy Wolf leads the Master's final heat. Next is William Ortiz Rodrigues, Brendon Corrao, Mike Paproski, and just out of frame, Dennis Manougian. Many passes were made after Cowzer's Corner.

Roy Wolf leads the Master’s final heat. Next is William Ortiz Rodrigues, Brendon Corrao, Mike Paproski, and just out of frame, Dennis Manougian. Many passes were made after Cowzer’s Corner.

Brendon makes the move on William.

Brendon makes the move on William.

Pap Dog is not far behind. Pap Dog ended up in second behind Roy Wolf and Brendon got third.

Pap Dog is not far behind. Pap Dog ended up in second behind Roy Wolf and Brendon got third.

The final Junior's division heat was pretty tight. From left to right is Parker Schmidt, Sandor Voros, Niky Matousek, and Knox Heslop. Knox won.

The final Junior’s division heat was pretty tight. From left to right is Parker Schmidt, Sandor Voros, Niky Matousek, and Knox Heslop. Knox won.

Emily Pross, way ahead of the rest, gets a blast of Don Sheffler's flashes for my photo of the women's final heat. Thanks Don!

Emily Pross, way ahead of the rest, gets a blast of Don Sheffler’s flashes for my photo of the women’s final heat. Thanks Don!

The consolation final was a tight one, Brian Choi, Nikolas Curtright, Jimmy Riha, and Max Capps.

The consolation final was a tight one, Brian Choi, Nikolas Curtright, Jimmy Riha, and Max Capps.

Nikolas makes very subtle contact with Jimmy.

Nikolas makes very subtle contact with Jimmy.

The tight open final heat was lead by Thiago Gomes Lessa through Cowzer's.

The tight open final heat was lead by Thiago Gomes Lessa through Cowzer’s.

Max Ballesteros was in second coming through Cowzer’s Corner and drafted into first before the final corner and the finish line. Jackson made a pass on Carlos, but Carlos passed him back after the final corner. It was a Brazilian sweep for the Open Class Maryhill Showdown at the Loops podium.

From left to right, Jacko Gnarsteeze, Carlos Paixão, Max Ballesteros, and Thiago Gomes Lessa   aim for the inside apex through Cowzer's Corner.

From left to right, Jacko Gnarsteeze, Carlos Paixão, Max Ballesteros, and Thiago Gomes Lessa aim for the inside apex through Cowzer’s Corner.

Podium

Max Ballesteros, out of breath, but on top of the competition.

Max Ballesteros, out of breath, but on top of the competition.

The trophies were sweet ceramic cups that were safe for drinking.

The trophies were sweet ceramic cups that were safe for drinking.

Street Luge Final: big surprise, Mikel Echegary Diez won.

Street Luge Final: big surprise, Mikel Echegary Diez won.

Buttboard final: Portland local Frank Williams won.

Buttboard final: Portland local Frank Williams won.

Junior II Final:  1. Knox Heslop 2. Nikolas Matousek 3. Dylan Shrimpton

Junior II Final:
1. Knox Heslop
2. Nikolas Matousek
3. Dylan Shrimpton

Master Final: 1. Roy Wolf 2. Mike Paproski 3. Brendon Corrao

Master Final:
1. Roy Wolf
2. Mike Paproski
3. Brendon Corrao

Women Final: 1. Emily Pross 2. Victoria Waddington 3. Candy Dungan

Women Final:
1. Emily Pross
2. Victoria Waddington
3. Candy Dungan

Max Capps and Scott Smith give Max Ballesteros the victory escort to the podium.

Max Capps and Scott Smith give Max Ballesteros the victory escort to the podium.

Open Final: 1. Max Ballesteros 2. Thiago Gomes Lessa 3. Carlos Paixão 4. Jackson Shapiera 5. Justin Rouleau 6. Tanner Morelock

Open Final:
1. Max Ballesteros
2. Thiago Gomes Lessa
3. Carlos Paixão
4. Jackson Shapiera
5. Justin Rouleau
6. Tanner Morelock

Okay, so it wasn’t 69 photos, but you get the idea.

A huge thanks goes out to all the skaters and riders that showed up to the event. Thanks to all the sponsors of the event: Moonshine Manfacturing, The Polyboards Project, The City of Goldendale, Ronin Trucks, Sector 9, Daddies Board Shop, Loaded Longboards, Goldendale Chamber of Commerce, Rider Approved Designs, The Ponderosa Hotel, Orangatang Wheels, The Skate School and The Maryhill Museum of Art. Thanks to the Ratz crew who held the event down, and the volunteers who also killed it. Thanks to the EMT’s for helping us when we kill it too hard. Thanks to Dean Ozuna for holding events at Maryhill.

If you want some of this hill, sign up for the Fall Freeride coming up September 24-25. Registration closes by July 22 so get on it.

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