Skateboards take over

MORE than 100 skaters descended on Mount Panorama on Friday to test themselves on the track that will challenge them all weekend. 

The iconic circuit will host the first International Downhill Federation (IDF) race and World Cup of the year, the Newton’s IDF World Cup 2017 on Saturday and Sunday.

Skateboarders will compete across five categories, Open Skateboarding, Womens Skateboarding, Junior Skateboarding, Masters Skateboarding and Luge.

It is the sixth time the event has been held at Mount Panorama. 

Australian Skateboard Racing Association president James Hopkin said the surface and configuration of the track makes it perfect for this kind of event. 

“There are very few places in the world where there is a race track on a mountain,” he said.

“This is probably the most perfect surface we race on.”

Mount Panorama is known best for its motor racing, where even the most seasoned driver can trip up on its difficult corners.

Mr Hopkin said these skateboarders are “elite riders” and can handle the track, but what will challenge them is the unpredictability of other competitors. 

The weather could also have an impact, particularly if there is strong winds or rain.

“If it is heavy rain it slows the competitors down, if it is light rain we have to decide whether it is safe for the riders; if there is light rain it makes it slippery,” Mr Hopkin said.

Members of the public are able to watch all the action for free over the weekend.

Entry is via McPhillamy Park, with patrons then able to walk over to Brock’s Skyline to watch the start and proceed to Forrest’s Elbow.  

For schedule details, visit www.internationaldownhillfederation.org/races/newtons-2017.