The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen

Silva, Mahdzan claim first wins, Corrigall makes it two in a row at Festival of Speed


Andrew Christiansen

FINAL PASS: Douglas Silva retakes the lead from Patrick Switzer (right) as the pair lead the pack to the final turn at Maryhill. Silva led most of the way down the 2.2 mile course, giving up the lead briefly in the hairpin corner just prior to the photo.

There was a world cup event in Brazil over the weekend, but at least 10 Brazilians spent their time at a World Cup event at the Maryhill Loops, watching fellow countryman, Douglas (Dalua) Silva win the IDF open class event for skateboards.

The eighth running of the Maryhill Festival of Speed was held seven miles south of Goldendale on the famous Maryhill Loops from last Wednesday through Sunday. Two-hundred and sixty athletes from 24 countries competed in the event.

Silva took advantage of his size and strong starts to emerge from the final field of 96 riders for the win. He led the final race from the start with defending champion and three time winner, Patrick Switzer chasing him. Switzer made his move in the hairpin Cowzer corner and took a brief lead. "I probably made the move at the wrong time," said Switzer, after the race.

He tried to pass on the inside through the final turn, but Silva powered on through to the finish. The stocky Silva credited his set up, weight, body type and bearings for the win. Silva was a runner-up to Switzer in 2009 when the Canadian won his first of three Festival of Speed World Cup races.

Another Canadian, Elena Corrigall dominated the week to win the event in back to back years. She was fast qualifier at 3:14.372 on the 2.2 mile course, about three seconds quicker than the second fastest woman, Tamara Prader. Last year Corrigall won easily, but that was due to a wreck that took out the front runners and gave her the win. This time she was much quicker from start to finish in each qualifying heat and in the finals.

The fastest races of the week were the street luge races where Abdil Mahdzan, of Malaysia, beat defending champion, Mikel Echegaray Diez, of Spain. Mahdzan, who works in oil exploration for a Malaysian company, was runner up to Diez last year and he called Diez "My bar to overcome."

Mahdzan wasted no time getting to the front, passing David Dean on the first right hand turn and used the tail wind to get by Diez a short time later. Mahdzan says he just races street luge to focus on the one event and it also reduces the equipment he has to pack on the world tour. He competed in Australia, British Columbia, Czech Republic, Italy, France and Brazil in addition to Maryhill in 2013, finishing the year as the overall points leader in IDF.

Diez was able to repeat as the champion of the classic luge, the more basic version of the luge, looking more like a long skate board.

Andrew Christiansen

OVER THE BAR: Abdil Mahdzan enjoys his win, defeating the man who beat him last year, Mikel Echegaray Diez, whom Mahdzan called "the bar I had to clear."

The Micro Grom (ages 8-13) division was won by Charlie McMillan, of Canada. The junior division (14-17) was won by Connor Ferguson, of Australia.

Many of the athletes run the world-wide circuit and are considered professionals, supported by the many companies who make boards, wheels, bearings, trucks, bushings and everything else that goes with it. Most have another profession with some smaller level of sponsorship.

Chris Hicks is a racer who made it to another level. Hicks, who works for Atelier 4, a New York company that transports art around the world, bought a company that makes skateboard wheels about three years ago. Hicks put his own touch into the product and now owns a company called CHiX.

The overall purse was $10,000, according to promoter, John Ozman. Ozman said the event had a lot of good reviews from the athletes. He expects the event to return around the same time next year.


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