Max Capps Wins the 2017 Maryhill Windwalk
This past Labor Day weekend over a hundred downhill enthusiasts from ten nations battled at the Maryhill Windwalk in Washington State. It was a hot 3 day weekend with temperatures of 100+ F˚ on Saturday. Friday was freeriding, Saturday was freeriding and qualifying, and Sunday was racing. There were many different classes racing including a women’s street luge class, but the biggest news is that Max Capps won the Professional Class at one of the most sought after race hills, Maryhill.
This first time event, The Maryhill Windwalk, came out with a bang with it’s huge infrastructure, multiple video cameras, the jumbotron (GoVision) on the final corner, and the music stage in Goldendale. The first day, riders got hella runs in while the video crew set up their tents, cords, and rest of the gear for filming. The course workers were volunteers from Goldendale’s Future Farmers of America and after one of the hot days, a few of the kids had heat stroke. A big thanks goes to them for the help in the extreme conditions.
The first night of music got a late start because of an oversight of the need for enough generators. But once it did, it was rockin’. The most excitement of the night was when an older Goldendale man drove straight into the venue to argue about the noise. I can understand his frustration, but we had every legal right to be there. After he left to drive around the Ekone Park parking lot, organizer Darius parked the Uhaul in the entrance to prevent another “situation.”
The second day consisted of freeriding and qualifying. Saturday was the hottest with temperatures rising to 106˚F. Riders stayed hydrated and in the shade when they weren’t riding. Some smart ones drank lots of water and sweated in their leathers for the extra weight. After a day of qualifying, riders wanted to know their times, but unfortunately technical difficulties contributed to them not getting their qualifying times until the next day.
Freakin’ Zak [Maytum] helped me with my set-ep. I was way too loose, Ha! Never in my life have I had my trucks so loose. I never touched my board; just got on it and rode.
The second night also had some “hitches” in getting the music started on time. Ironically enough, the delay was all because of a proprietary hitch that the rented generator had attached to it. Once it was finally towed to the hill, there was enough power for all the stage lights, full sound, and visualizations. The visualizations and multiple DJs were provided by the Waves Seattle team.
Last day was Sunday, race day. There was a lot of anticipation among the racers. With so much history behind the hill, it was awesome to see another race go down here. From EDI to Timeship Racing to the Maryhill Festival of Speed to Maryhill Showdown at the Loops to now the Maryhill Windwalk. For the pro class, there were many past winners racing. Douglas Silva won in 2014, Zak Maytum won in 2010 and in 2015, and Max Ballesteros won last year. Max Capps has been coming to Maryhill for years, but hadn’t had what it takes to make it on the podium. In 2012, he didn’t even make the qualifying cut in the open class. Last year he won the consolation final. After many years of dedicated training on Glendora Mountain Road, SoCal rider Max Capps came back with a strong passion and desire to win.
I hadn’t made it past second round at Maryhill before; last year made it to the semi-final round and won consolation. This year was my first final at Maryhill.
Racing ended pretty late in the day so Awards didn’t start until after dark.
I put down the camera after that so I could enjoy the rest of the night. I was supposed to play a HueyLove/HueNasty DJ set but they were short on time, so I cut myself from the list. I did take these cell phone photos while dancing to Frida K and EMZY until midnight.
Though there were some hiccups, the first Maryhill Windwalk was a success and a video edit should be dropping soon after this blog post is published. The organizers, Street Lounge Productions, had these shoutouts:
-City of Goldendale for always greeting the world’s gravity sports scene with warmth and hospitality upon our arrival.
-Dana Peck at the Goldendale Chamber for helping us with the onslaught of hurdles to overcome both in preproduction and during the 16 hour daily event.
-Punch Drunk and GoVision for the incredible live feed on the big screen. I wish we could have worked closer this weekend, but I am stoked that you took lead of our amazing volunteer camera ops. Brian of PD and Chris of GV went above and beyond in every way.
-One Pro AVL for dealing with me running around like an already clueless chicken with it’s head cut off. Darren and Topher, your patience and adaptability were inhuman. We will order the right generator next year.
-WAVES for also dealing with my first time ever trying to coordinate something like this. Jackson was a huge help in managing our own unpreparedness.
-All the musicians and performers that compromised due to our shortcomings this weekend… I am truly sorry for the ripple effect of chaos that had a very clear epicenter.
-Kurtis Head for running the start line and managing the course crew. You were constructive, effective, and were invaluable to the success this weekend.
-All the volunteers who went above and beyond expectations due to a low turnout and severe underestimation of staff requirements for such a huge event. We could not have done it without you.
-Ryan Villa at Subsonic Skateboards for pouring countless man hours into the hand crafted, beautiful trophies and designing the epic Subsonic Spirit: Windwalker 2017 ltd deck.
-David Dean and Danny Connor for their unparalleled announcing ability and adaptability to take control when we were nowhere to be seen.
-Jon Huey and Maxwell Storey Dubler for the epic photo coverage of the event. These photos are seriously epic.
Nick Danielson and Jake Tull for shooting and editing the daily recap videos. NickDanielson.com
-The friends and family of Chris and Darius, we would not only have lost our minds along the way, we would have not been able to get through the event without you. Thank you for being our rocks.
There are tons more missing from this list. You know who you are and we cannot wait to do this again: better, smoother, faster, and with a vast list of improvements already in the works.
We are set to host Windwalk over Labor Day Weekend (USA) every year into the future. We hope you will join us for the adventures ahead as gravity sports racing enters the future. It is going to be a wild ride.
Stay tuned for more media from Windwalk 2017!
See you August 31st 2018!
-Darius and Chris
Street Lounge Productions