Skate the Cape: Rob's Rad Recap
5th annual Skate the Cape Shred Festival was our best yet! The weather was perfect, the stoke was high and the riders were pushing their progression in every event. We had an awesome lineup of vendors Stark Energy, Spacey Cloud, WhaDaFunk, Category Collections, Blendlife and of course Faceplant that made this event feel like a shred festival. There were no shortage of prizes to give away thanks to our sponsors Bethesda Boards, Liquid Boardshop, Shred Threads, HogWash, Shady Tree, Sector 9, Original, Bustin, Muirskate, Otang, Loaded, WheelRZ and Faceplant Boardriders.
We started off Saturday with our most popular event, the Downhill Race with heats of 3 riders, top 2 advanced. In the Junior division, Ohio native and WheelRZ team rider Troy Dycus led the pack all day and finished 1st in the finals followed by PA rider Nathan Yagar and MD rider William Macleod. The Open division was stacked with talented riders. Local Delaware riders Jeremy Woolsey and Aaron Gordy used there Cape knowledge to navigate their way through the difficult heats to the podium. Virginia Beach powerhouse Jarrid Lopez snuck right between the locals to take 2nd place in the Open DH Finals.
1st Jeremy Woolsey
2nd Jarrid Lopez
3rd Aaron Gordy
1st Troy Dycus
2nd Nathan Yager
3rd William Macleod
photo by Ricky Wheeler - Jarrid Lopez leading the pack
Next was the Small Wheelbase Downhill Race where riders had to use smaller skateboards with a wheelbase of 22" or less. This smaller board and wheelbase makes it more difficult at high speeds and made racing more intense. The final race was super tight going into the turn with Jarrid Lopez leading the pack. As they rounded the corner Jarrid could not hang on to the high speed line and allowed DE Local Jesse Wipf to take the win with myself and NC rider Josh Fuentes right behind him for a photo finish.
Small Wheelbase Race
1st Jesse Wipf
2nd Rob Wheeler
3rd Josh Fuentes
After that we set up the two lines of cones for some old school slalom racing. Local OG rider Scott Thompson took the gnarliest Faceplant of the day right on the finish line as his board loss traction and slipped out from underneath of him. Luckily he was all smiles after that and still competed! Dave Bangson wowed the crowd on his weird no binding roller blades called freelines. The top 3 riders were all from Delaware!
1st Jesse Wipf
2nd Jeremy Woolsey
3rd Dave Bangson
photo by Troy Draine - Dave Bangson leading the slalom on his Freelines
The last event of the day was the 2.9 mile Enduro Push Race which has downhill sections, pine needles, sand traps, cracks, 90 degree turns and an uphill finish. This was one of the craziest push races we had with a huge pile up right from the start as everyone mobbed into the narrow path. Animal and Jarrid Lopez were leading for the first half until the tricky 90 degree right turn took them both out and allowed myself and Matt McCoy to push our way to the front. Jarrid Lopez training paid off as he quickly made his way back to the front of the pack. I was drafting behind Jarrid for the last half mile of the race thinking I could push past him on the final uphill but his determination and slight lead took him to a well deserved 1st place.
Enduro Push Race
1st Jarrid Lopez
2nd Rob Wheeler
3rd Matt McCoy
Saturday evening we couldn't stop our competitive drive and played a big game of kickball before sundown. Right at dark we opened up Blendlife Food Truck for dinner, ran some lights out to the picnic tables and started a community fire to set the mood for the rest of the night. Everyone enjoyed having our own Skate the Cape campsite this year with plenty of room to spread out and camp next to your friends.
photo by Ricky Wheeler - Saturday night bonfire
Day two at Skate the Cape started with our Boardercross Time Trial Race where riders had to navigate through a challenging coned course making hard turns they had to slide to check speed, air over the ramp and zig-zag through the slalom section. Each rider had 3 runs to clock in there best time to make it to podium. Zach Longacre was charging the course every run and came so close to the best time of the day. I was stoked to win 1st at this event against some of my favorite riders and good friends.
Boarder Cross Time Trial Race
1st Rob Wheeler 23.56
2nd Zach Longacre 23.82
3rd Jarrid Lopez 24.89
photo by Troy Draine - Sk8 Cape Host holding that toeside line in BX
photo by Troy Draine - Zach Longacre charging the kicker with a straight ollie
After that we took a lunch break thanks to Blendlife, opened up the hill for slide jam practice and setup for the Hippie Jump contest. Many riders tried the high jump but yet again Aaron Gordy dominated this event with style and maxed out our hippie jump at 52"
Aaron Gordy - 4 feet 4 inches
photo by James Ficklin - Aaron Gordy doing some mid air yoga
The Skate the Cape finale was the Junior and Open Slide Jam which would decide who our Faceplant Freestyle Cup (longboard series) winners would be. The Juniors division was led by new-comer Sam Crandall from Virginia Beach who was laying down solid runs all day. The entire Junior division was a tight matchup every heat. In the finals, Faceplant Freestyle Cup leaders Troy Dycus and Benny Clark laid down there brand of slide style to make there way to the podium. Junior Slide Jam
1st Sam Crandall
2nd Troy Dycus
3rd Benny Clark
Juniors Faceplant Freestyle Cup Series
1st - Troy Dycus 37.5 points
2nd - Benny Clark 33 points
3rd - Rian Singleton & Nathan Yager 20 points
photo by Troy Draine - our Junior's Faceplant Freestyle Cup winner Troy Dycus gettin' steezy
photo by Ricky Wheeler - Junior Faceplant Freestyle Cup Podium
All eyes were on Faceplant Freestye Cup leaders Zach Longacre and Mark Nicolaus in the Open Slide Jam. Zach dominated the opening heat but could not put it together in the semi final heat to make it to the finals. Aaron Gordy fought his way into the finals and landed an incredible technical run to bump him into 3rd place for some very valuable Faceplant Freestyle Cup points. NY rider Cody Baker was the standout of the jam putting together laser sharp runs all day long. Mark Nicolaus continued to heat up as he made his way to the finals and landed a 9.5 and 9 on his final runs to win his first Faceplant Slide Jam of the year and win of the First Faceplant Freestyle Cup!
Open Slide Jam
1st Mark Nicolaus
2nd Cody Baker
3rd Aaron Gordy
Open Faceplant Freestyle Cup Series
1st - Mark Nicolaus 33 points
2nd - Zach Longacre 25.5 points
3rd - Kardon Allard & Aaron Gordy 23 points
photo by Troy Draine - Zach Longacre opening up for a tail blunt 180
photo by James Ficklin - Jarrid Lopez with a steezy nose toeside blunt
photo by Ricky Wheeler - Open Faceplant Freestyle Cup Podium
We always end Skate the Cape with the Big Air competition where riders launch off the kicker to see who can travel the farthest distance. Kardon Allard broke a board going for the big air. Josh Fuentes was the record holder last year and pushed it to try to beat that. He took some gnarly falls but continued to walk back up the hill and try again. Cody Baker had his technique down as he soared 15 feet! Animal wowed the crowd with his longboard binding setup getting the highest out of all the riders and tied Cody at 15 feet for an epic closing to this awesome weekend.
Cody Baker & Brandon "Animal" Cassel - 15 feet
Thank you so much for coming out to this event! Mark your calendars now for 6th annual Skate the Cape on November 4th & 5th 2017.