Posted In Sector 9 - Downhill Division by admin Friday, May 13, 2011

Downhill Division Rider Update: Jackson Shapiera

Words by Sector 9 Rider, Jackson Shapiera:

Racing in the Tropics, great people, great weather, cheap beer, what more could you ask for?



On Saturday we attended the big race, the Sublic Flash Pizzaz. Riders from all over the country gathered together to hang out and skate, and also take a shot at winning the big race. The hill itself was a drafting racing, it has long straights and fast sweeping turns that really made each rider think about what position they were sitting in to make use of the draft and move on to the next round. Sandbagging was the name of the game. After a few practice runs everyone started to figure out the drafting game, and became aware of their opponents weaknesses and strengths on the track. The larger, heaver riders were reeling in the people who pushed off hard, and most of their passing was done through the middle section of the track, which had less gradient than the rest and allowed for distance to be gained on other riders. As more of the riders became aware of this they started to use tactics right from the push, making sure they were in the position they wanted to be to use the draft at the right time to not get drafted back and lose. It was really cool we see everyone figure out this style of racing and really just dial it in!



I had some really good heats, skating with Gerrard, Kiko, Pauolo, Jay, Arthur and Sherwin. Those guys were really stepping it up. Gerrard is just fast, straight up. Hes got a solid push and know how to race, so coming up against him in heats always made me think hard about how i would get to the bottom first. Kiko, Paulo, Arther and Jay were also very solid riders, they got the drafting styles down and figured out how to keep on advancing. But the big stand out was Sherwin. I met him the other night at some small skate jam, he was just chilling, having a good time, and then during the race i watch him smoke past Gerrard at the finish line in one of the heats. Where did that guy come from?! Was really cool to see him step it up and show the rest that he's another major player in the game. The stoke smeared across his face was just rad, he felt like he achieved something solid. He eventually made the finals and took 4th spot, so stoked to see him do well!



In the end it was me on the line with Gerrard, Paulo and Sherwin. Usually Gerrard kicks off like an animal, but in this heat he was playing games. I found myself in the lead from the start, right where i did not want to be. I knew there were 3 fast riders behind me sucking in my draft, so i had to think quick to shake them off. My game was to ride as close to the edge of the road i could. My wheels were nearly sticking in the gutter. This is a trick i learned from Fredrick Lindstrom while riding with him in Europe. He knew someone was behind him sucking in the draft, so the trick was to make them scared to be directly behind you, ride through the crap or get close to the edge of the road where it becomes scary to follow. This tactic worked well because when i got 3/4 down the track i took a little peep back and saw the other 3 far behind, fighting for 2nd place.



That night there was a big ceremony with a huge crowd and live music. I was awarded 20,000 pesos for first place, and with beer only 35 pesos each (less than 50cents) it was very easy to make sure that everyone had a beer in their hand at all times, all the way to sunrise. This was definitely an event to remember and will be back here next time to race and hang out again for sure.