This year’s Newton’s Nation has brought plenty of international visitors from all four corners of globe to Mount Panorama, including Luca Coleman.
Coleman, who grew up in Australia but has called Spain home for the past three years, was in action on Friday, as the first practice heats started from Brock’s Skyline.
He tested his skills out on the iconic motor racing circuit, saying the track has been as good as it has ever been.
“I came here for the first time in 2008 as a spectator and that is actually what got me into the sport,” Coleman said.
“The year after I came back as a competitor and I haven’t missed one since. We had a bit of a hiatus for the past four years, but it’s great to have the event again and see all the old faces and some new ones.”
He said the track never stops being “intense”.
“It’s always intense, no matter what your skill level is,” Coleman said.
“Especially when you’re racing, when you’ve got four other guys with you at the same time. You’ve got to try and negotiate the track, as well as beat the other guys.
“It can get pretty adrenaline fueled.”
Coleman said there is nothing else in the world that comes close to Mount Panorama because there are no other tracks in Newton’s Nation that use motor racing circuits.
“It is unique in that sense,” he said.
“The hill is quite short. Most of our racing hills in Europe are a bit longer, in terms of kilometres and not as fast as when you’re going down.
“In this track, it’s fast the whole time. In Europe you’ll have faster sections, slower sections and sometimes when you go up hill.
“Here, it’s all the way down. No stopping.”
While he did not label Mount Panorama as the best downhill skateboarding track in the world, Coleman said it is one of the most intense courses.
“When you add up what you’re doing in that short space of time and the speed you’re travelling, you can’t really compare it to anything else,” he said.
Coleman is confident of a good showing on Sunday, even though he admitted his best racing performances are behind him.
In 2010, he achieved the world number two rank and was competing regularly at all the downhill skateboarding events in Europe.
“Since then, business life, baby, family, wife and it’s hard to [make a career out of it] because there is not much money in the sport.
“You’re basically doing it for love.
Skateboarders will compete for qualifying spots, before final competition from 12.30pm to 5pm on Sunday.