|An Instagram from www.pirate-movie-production.com|
perhaps Gulmarg will show up in their next Film!
|Local shredders waiting for their shot at the course|
Day two: BLUEBIRD(-ish). A wee test run for me, just to make sure nobody had spoiled the course in yesterday’s white-out. Not one to hold back and my first real run at the course, which I’d poured a week of my life into, I didn’t really hold back. That’s possibly why Andy got a radio call, from me, shortly after asking him to advise all riders the course was a damn site faster than yesterday and that we had to reset the safety fence on the ‘Super-Pooper’! Nothing to do with the fact I came in too fast and lost it, wrapping myself in the orange webbing, which left me floundering like a net-caught fish. I was just thankful the first time I ever put up a safety net, it actually worked well enough to hold me. With the gates set, safety fences back in place and the timing equipment ready for a test, I got the honour of a second run, just to make sure the timing equipment was working, mind. Absolutely nothing to do with redemption and the need to see how I’d place if I was competing.
|The finish line and a bunch of rowdy competitors|
The format was changed slightly due to yesterday’s bad weather and the fact we still had 40+ competitors racing. Therefore, an executive call was made so that it was one run for everyone; fastest run wins. Miss a gate and get disqualified, you better show up next year because there were no second chances. (That luxury was only afforded to me!) Ladies next and they sure as hell went hard. The course was quick and so were they. Some of them hadn’t even managed a practice run the day before! The camaraderie at the finish line was awesome. Every time someone came into view there was a whoop and holler like it was their surprise party. All that was missing was cake and bubbly. A real celebration of the sport was happening right here in the Himalaya.
Last but not least the open men’s final was upon us. Everyone was amped and the day was turning out to be epic. The men certainly gave it their all. Some surprise DQs and some impressive times. The immense task of building and helping organize the event was paying off. It was a tasty wee number that everyone enjoyed. The men’s title was scooped by a Russian, so even out of Sochi they were still at the forefront of snowboard firsts! Of all the riders I watched come through the ‘Super-Pooper’ he had the best line, which was evident in his time. Faster even than the pros from the day before! Race over; it was time for a beer and a bit of prize giving. Being Kashmir, where they love a good award ceremony, the ceremony was more silver service, fine dining than the truck stop hoe-down we had envisaged. But hey that’s the way the cookie crumbles. (I promise I only have one more cheesy food/cooking reference to go!)
Never the less, we didn’t hurt anyone, the competition ran
smoothly and everyone had a good time. We successfully held the first ever
Himalayan Banked Slalom. BOOM! With the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department rather
happy with all our efforts and a smattering of international press coverage; it’s
all systems go for 2015. Stay tuned for a bigger, more exciting and, we’d like
it to be, a snowboard company sponsored event, next winter. Guess that means it’s
out of the frying pan and into the fire for us!
|The hardest corner of the whole course. |
This is where the winners were decided
(I whole heartedly apologise for all the crappy food jokes in these past blogs. I thought it would be a good thing; write a recipe on how to cook up a blah, blah, blah. But it turned out to be a cringey joke fest interspersed with a story of the event. I learnt my lesson. Thanks for reading though x)
We would like to thank all those that helped us turn this crazy idea into an awesome reality. Especially these two men;
Omar Hajam, for his untiring pursuit of the people in positions of power in Gulmarg. His efforts really made this happen.
Tariq Bhat, thanks for helping fine tune the logistical side of things and helping get some sponsorship.
The Meadows Hotel in Gulmarg, this great new hotel came onboard with sponsorship and helped us get gates printed and donated the lunches for all competitors.