Skateboarders Heading to West Jefferson for World Cup Qualifier at Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area

Published Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 4:28 pm

On August 25-26, skateboarders from across the country will gather in West Jefferson to compete in the state’s third annual sanctioned downhill skateboard race. The event will be held at the picturesque location of Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area.

Designed and organized by North Carolina Downhill (NCDH), in collaboration with North Carolina State Parks, Appalachian State University’s Human Powered Transportation Club, and the Ian Tilmann Foundation, the race course features two miles of pristine pavement with three hairpins, connected by blazing fast sweepers, smooth asphalt, with plenty of passing and drafting opportunities at speeds over 50 MPH, with all necessary steps taken to close the road.

Straw bales carefully placed along the length of the two-mile race course will serve as protective barriers on corners for the riders and spectators alike. Audience members will watch on and cheer as racers speed down the curvy mountain road competing for the top prize. To accommodate the spectators, the county and local businesses have come together to provide a shuttle bus that will transport people up and down the hill as necessary. There will also be bleachers in the main overlook turn for people to sit on as well as food vendors on site.

The first race brought 66 registered riders from around the world, including the event winner and three-time world champ Kevin Reimer, as well as over 400 spectators (despite torrential rain on race day).  The second year of the event brought 89 riders from across the world as far as China, Canada, Australia and California. Spectators totaled well over 1,000 over a two-day period, the most ever in the parks 50-year history.

Last year was the first time in downhill skating history a female has won an open division, with Emily Pross defeating the entire field. The 2018 event is participating as a world cup qualifier, bringing more international racers hoping to get points towards the world championship. The fourth annual Mount Jefferson Race will without a doubt be a race to remember!  

As always, spectating at the event is free, but if you would like to participate, the entry fee for this event will be set at $175 for all three days, $145 for practice and race day, and $75 for the free ride only, with registration a link available at internationaldownhillfederation.org

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