By Jennifer Gibbs, Special to the Independent
A handful of Laguna Beach teens traveled to Goldendale, Wash., to compete in the Maryhill Festival of Speed, a world-renowned downhill skateboarding and street luge competition, held June 29-July 3.
Local skaters Nohlan Campbell and Roger Jones, took the podium for first and second respectively, dominating the Junior 1 division (13 and under). Chance Gaul, Hunter Schwirtz, Jake Fast, and Wyatt Gibbs competed in the Junior 2 division (14 to 17 years old) and all advanced to the semi-finals. Also competing was Bryn Jones, racing in the Open class (18 years and older).
Attended by more than 200 top gravity-sports athletes from around the globe, Maryhill is the kickoff event to the International Gravity Sports Association’s World Cup race series.
The Maryhill course is more than two-miles long and features challenging hairpin corners and high-speed straight-aways near the dramatic Columbia River Gorge. “The course is similar to GMR,” says Gibbs, referring to Glendora Mountain Road, a popular training ground for racers in the San Gabriel Mountains. “It’s not as technical as Laguna skating, but it’s really fun.”
Long dominated by Canadian and European riders, as downhill skateboarding has gained traction in the U.S., California–based racers often are among the top ranked.
Jennifer Gibbs is the mother of Wyatt Gibbs.