IIDA/IGSA World Cup Barrett Junction California USA

Article from Scott Peer (USA)

Barrett Junction Inline Downhill Race, 10/25-26/2003, California

The weekend's racing in Barrett Junction was fun and exciting as expected,
plus strange at times. Some racers were there for Friday practice, which
sounds like it was quite good. I arrived Saturday morning, just in time
for one practice run followed by qualifying (also scored as the IIDA
race). In qualifying most of us used limited aero gear and not our best
wheel setups, so results had to be taken with a grain of salt. However,
Yvon Larbarthe (Switzerland) posted the fastest time, beating the next
fastest (Rob) by a huge 5 seconds (about 2:18 on this long course). We had
the afternoon to hang out, party, tweak gear, etc while the luge and
skateboard fields qualified. In the evening some went to Tecate, Mexico
for dinner, but most of the inliners went next door to the Barrett cafe to
quench our hunger more quickly.

In the dark wee hours of Sunday the wind really kicked up, raising a big
dust storm in the finish area. At dawn all of us camping there got up
early, and there was a lot of discussion about the safety of racing in the
high winds. But as start time approached the winds died to about 20 mph
(with some higher gusts), and so the race was on.

The first heat was Yvon, Scott, and George. At the top of the course, we
all skated fairly casually from the start through the 2 hard right
turns. George and I even braked a bit; with the tail wind, fairings, and
rubber suits we carried a lot more speed than the day before and had no
interest in blowing it with a crash. After that George and Scott started
drafting, and were catching Yvon rapidly. But the last big right turn,
which doesn't require braking but is way too tight for side by side racing,
was coming up, and so both George and Scott slowed up to time the pass
better. After the turn George didn't resume tucking as quickly as Scott,
and so the three of us were riding solo. Scott and George slingshotted
past Yvon one at a time, taking Yvon out of contention for the finals. In
the second heat, Rob crashed in the second hard turn, suffering a
concussion. Then Keri came up and couldn't avoid him, and hit his head
with her skate, causing her to crash, too. They were both out of racing
for the rest of the day, but we hope they'll be back in action soon!

In the finals, Scott jumped to a lead from the start, and George
followed. After the second hard right, George and I formed a drafting
train and extended the lead so that we couldn't even see Dave and Don. We
hit the last hard right with so much more speed than any other run that we
broke apart, and George scrubbed speed just to stay on the road. That
allowed Scott to tuck to the win, and George had plenty of speed left to
clinch second place. In the meantime, wildfires were roaring in the
distance and threatening to cancel the rest of the racing, but the wind
direction kept the fire at a distance, and all the races were completed.

Inline IIDA (timed) results 10/25/03:
1. Yvon Labarthe 30pts
2. Rob Wurgaft 29pts
3. Dave Lambert 28pts
4. Scott Peer 27pts
5. George Merkert 26pts
6. Don Orlando 25pts
7. Keri Tishner (women first place) 30pts

Inline IGSA (mass) results 10/26/03:
1. Scott Peer
2. George Merkert
3. Don Orlando
4. Dave Lambert
5. Yvon Labarthe
6. Rob Wurgaft
7. Keri Tishner