The Canberra Outlaw Race: King of The Hill
For most people when someone mentions “King of the Hill”, their first association is the animated sitcom. Though for us, who shred it means an adrenaline dose, for which we’re willing to bleed, get stiches and break our bones for.
Today’s story comes from Julian. He’ll share his experience & impressions from his recent trip to Canberra “King of the Hilll”, held through out residential streets and suburbs. Enjoy.
The road to Canberra.
The car was jam packed to the brim, with skateboards, gear and a bunch of skaters stoked to be on a road trip together. After escaping the dense Melbourne traffic, before, we committed to the entire journey, we had decided to hit a hill on the way, only about 20 minutes outside of the outskirts of Melbourne.
Because its winter here in Australia at this time of year, we reached the hill at night, and we impressed with what we found. At the top is a lookout, with scenic views of the hills and mountains below. The winding road featured a somewhat steep descent, with good tarmac, and a few fun corners, with the last couple of corners being particularly challenging. Dale decided to give night skating a go for the first time so he followed him down. If you watch “Karol Pabich’s video you will see the awesome raw run at the start!
After our more than 7 hour long journey driving from Melbourne, we arrived to Canberra. Canberra is one of the coldest Australian capital cities and quietest. With a population of just over 350,000 people and a colder climate than most of Australia.Reaching temperatures as low as 1 degree or colder in the winter. Me and riders “Karol Pabich”, Api Ihaia, and “Dale Smith” were all in the same car together. All together about 8 skaters from Melbourne had turned up. Riders such as James Robertson, Jack Mulholland has come to race. One of the only local riders left “Max Mandl” was letting us all crash at his place which was awesome too and greatly appreciated.
Our first race began in the one of the many quiet streets of Canberra. The first track took place in “O’ Malley”. Over 20 people turned up, with us quickly turning the quiet demeanour of the street into much livelier one. With some of the residents coming out for a watch. Riders from a couple of states in Australia were present, with most riders coming from NSW and ourselves “Victoria”.
The competition started out with multiple 4 man heat. There were a couple of people, one for each corner with radios to make sure the road was clear of cars. Whilst the street looked simple but provided a good challenge for those wanting to work on their corning skills and lines. Almost flawless pavement provided some decent speeds. Especially at the first left corner, as it was the most important if one wanted to win the race.
However despite this relatively tame and easy looking hill to some, it wasn’t too long till it started to claim a couple of victims.
Within a few races through there were already multiple injuries, with a few riders going to hospital, with injuries such as a broken collar bone, leaving a few riders with a sling and unable to race. With some of the best and quickest riders having been claimed, the racing list was already dwindling.
This was my first downhill racing competition, with only racing experience in multistorey carparks. I found myself lasting till one of the elimination rounds, having come first during my first round, due to two people crashing in front of me around the first left. Allowing me to pass in between them.
After the first race, we all moved to another hill, for some fun free riding. A much steeper residential hill, with lots of corners for people to practice their pre drifts on as well throw out some steezy stand up slides.
After a night out checking out some of Canberra’s night life. We got up half awake, greeted with a typical cold and frosty Canberra morning. Heading off to the next race we were all keen to see the next, even faster hill.
With almost our entire crew knocked out, Dale, was the sole survivor left racing. Whilst I just took the opportunity to do some practice.The track was also another residential street although much quicker and more technical than the previous track.
The track consisted of a couple of moderately quick corners, where drifting and taking the right line was essential to make the bottom last right with a decent amount of speed. Drift too much or too late you lose too much speed and lose the race. As the race tracks were super short, making every second count. This hill also didn’t seem to like us all that much with a couple of riders washing out through the bottom right corner and hitting the curb. With our host “Max” going to hospital, with a one seriously messed up finger.
The race ended with our own “Dale Smith” coming 3rd, tied with, “Shannon Tully”.”Tyron Knight” who had held amazing lines and scored first place in the race and won first for the overall event. With “Zane Bonser” coming 2nd overall.
Be sure to check out Karol’s awesome edit of our trip and the races here
After the race had finished we all wished the NSW and ACT long boarders well and made our long trip back to Melbourne.