Matt Pascoe on a run.
Matt Pascoe on a run.

Speed boarders take on Bathurst

DOES the thought of hurtling down Conrod Straight at Mount Panorama doing 110km/h scare you?

Not really?

Well, what about if you were standing on an oversized skateboard, in the pouring rain with only your shoes as brakes? – Now that’s gutsy.

Four of Gympie’s top down hill skate boarders: Myles Borchardt, Ashley Armitage, Matthew Pascoe, and Michael English, travelled to Mt Panorama over Schoolies Week to compete in the Gravity World Cup event.

Matched up against the best athletes from around the world, the Gympie crew performed well.

Borchardt came second in the junior division and 23rd in the open division, while Pascoe came seventh in the juniors and mid way in the 120-strong open field.

English opted out of the event when rain made the final day more dangerous, and Armitage didn’t compete because of injury before the event. The Gympie High graduate dropped into the Dorrigo Range in New South Wales for a test run on the way to the World Cup Event.

“I had a crash on the hill,” Armitage said.

“I lost control and hit a guard rail.

“I hurt my hip and leg and couldn’t compete.

“I was spewing,” he said.

Borchardt, who is currently ranked fourth in Australia, was rapt in his performance, and hoped to be able to attend other World Cup events overseas.

He said the course at Mount Panorama was pretty exciting. “It starts on top of the hill and you go down through Forests Elbow and on to Conrod Straight,” Borchardt said.

“You reach speeds over 105 km/h.”

Believe it or not, that is not the fastest the Gympie boys have been on their skateboards.

The boys said on a hill at the Gold Coast they had reached speeds of nearly 120km/h and some skaters had reached 130km/h on their boards.

They say stopping isn’t as hard as it seems. Riders attach tyre rubber to the bottom of their shoes so they can drag their foot on the ground as a brake. The simple act of standing up out of the crouched aerodynamic position slows the board from 100km/h to 60km/h quite quickly.

“You are on the edge at that speed,” Borchardt said. “There is no sport that you have to stay so focused; it is so intense.

“The adrenaline rush is crazy.

“It’s all about skill and holding your nerve,” he said.

Gympie Times

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