Amsterdam Skateboard Slalom Cup
Report by Rob A. from www.ukslalomskateboarding.com
The race was located at The Sports Park Sloten just outside Amsterdam on a newly surfaced (specially for the occasion no less!) hill adjacent to the Velodrome. The British contingent was made up of Paul and Michael in the Pro’s and Sam, Louis and myself in the Am’s. Sam, Paul and myself flew out on Friday evening and shortly after arriving at Schiphol Airport we bumped in to Mike, Louis’ dad who had flown over to support to him and Team GB. We met up with Louis later at the hotel when he came back from a few practice runs at the race site. Whilst at the bar have the customary “few ales” we where joined briefly by a small “Viking” landing party in the shape of Antonio and the Hadestrand’s. However due to a self inflicted “booking error” the Swedes found no room at the inn and were despatched, via cab, to the nearby Mercure Hotel by the concierge. Leaving us to enjoy another couple of beers before a good nights sleep. Saturday saw the qualifying for Pro and Am Special Tight & Hybrid. There was a large turnout with some 42 Ams and 12 Pro’s competing, amongst them George Pappas fresh from the worlds and bearing a few “interesting” scratches!! Unfortunately yours truly was having a “bad skating day”. I just could not get through the course and eventually (and frustratingly!) DQ’d. Thankfully this was not the case for the rest of the valiant Brits who all managed to record respectable qualifying times. Eventually I did manage to get a time later in the day during the Hybrid qualifying – phew! Facilities were on hand in the nearby velodrome, refreshments and cycling tales courtesy of Joop and his wife, the proprietors of the Café Rooseboom in the Velodrome complex. They kept us supplied with coffee, beer, chips and croquets over the weekend all at very reasonable prices! Owing to a few timing problems earlier in the day there was only time to run the Pro Tight final on Saturday which Janis won and took gold home for Latvia. Sunday started off with the Pro and Am GS qualifying and finals albeit on a relatively small GS course by normal standards, good fun nonetheless. Time was starting to run out and the sky was beginning to bruise so it was decided to push the Am Tight finals back in favour of letting the Pro’s finish. The Dominator was on impressive form on the Hybrid course and took first with Homer and Ramón taking second and third respectively. Because of time the Am Tight was decided on using qualifying times, which was good news for Louis as it meant he took his first (of many to come I’m sure) European podium, bringing home a well deserved Bronze for Team GB and Gecko. The Swedes took the top spots with Antonio in first place and Viking second.