The Henley Report:
Lambert wins North American Downhill Championship
By Mark Henley
The North American Downhill championship race was held on 11/19/2006, under blistering hot skies in San Dimas, CA under the auspices of the IGSA (International Gravity Sports Association http://www.gravity-sports.com ). Temps soaring into the 90's had racers and course workers scrambling for cover from the heat.
Gravity racers in Inline Downhill, Gravity Bikes, Downhill skateboarders, Streetlugers and Classic buttboard came together and braved the heat to challenge the awesome 50+ mph hill and the newly named "Seismic Corner of Death".
Inline skaters suffered no crashes throughout the race, but other disciplines were not so fortunate. For more stories on other disciplines visit http://www.silverfishlongboarding.com for pictures and results. Radar results from Silverfish record speeds of up to 51 mph for the Inline class, and up to 53 mph for Gravity bikes.
#5 world ranked David Lambert, a United Airlines Avionics Engineer, from Castro Valley, California, won both his heats to become the North American Champion.
Lambert, employing great skating form and strategy fought off #1 ranked Scott Peer, #4 ranked George Merkert and #2 ranked Warren Focke in the final heat to claim the gold and title.
in the final heat, Lambert and Focke leaped from the line as Peer and Merkert held back a bit. As the four raced down the hill Lambert and Focke, in their approach to the corner, started braking early, enabling the fast Merkert-Peer train to close the gap. As the racers rounded out the corner, the trains broke up, with Lambert maintaining his cornering speed better. Merkert, in a mad dash to gain some ground with a hand over Lambert for the win, failed but placed 2nd, with Peer taking the bronze and Focke placing fourth.
Qualifying on Saturday, the order broke down to:
#4 George Merkert 1:04.980
#2 Warren Focke 1:07.725
#5 David Lambert 1:08.717
#1 Scott Peer 1:09:001
#7 Craig Ellis 1:09.372
#3 Mark Henley 1:10.814
#6 Keri Tishner 1:25:453
The racing broke down to brackets determined by qualifing order.
Heat #1 with Merkert, Peer, and Ellis with Peer and Merkert advancing.
Heat #2 with Lambert, Focke, Henley, and Tishner with Lambert and Focke advancing.
The next race in the IGSA will be the final 2006 race in the California Downhill series, and the 2nd race of the 2007 season, on December 2nd. All info related to racing under the IGSA can be found at their website.
Special thanks and appreciation to Marcus Rietema and Bob Ozman and Art Sanchez for their loyal efforts and dedication to Gravity Racing and for holding this 2 day event.
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