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ReLive: YuPing Cup & Part 1 of the HLSS Tour

Few weeks back i was lucky enough to explore further into my own country that is China. Living in Hong Kong is very different to the rest of China. First of all because Hong Kong is its own independent region and secondly because the "Hong Kongese" or "Hong Kongers" people don't seem to like being associated with the mainland due to a number of reasons that would require lots of explanations so i'll save that for another time. Anyways, what I'm trying to get at here is that while i do live on the door step to the most populated country on the planet I had never actually been more than 50 km ( 31.06856 miles for all you freedom folk ) north into the mainland.

That's why when I heard that the first ever race was going down in Chengdu i jumped at the chance. So the crew was assembled and we were off. We landed in Chengdu during the small hours of the morning and decided to go exploring for some party. We found some.

Waking up in what we found out to be an "escort" hotel was surprisingly not as great as it sounds but never the less we then headed for the local skate shop to meet up with all the homies and catch the bus to the town where the race would be held.

Not your average shop entrance

In typical Hong Kong fashion we arrived 6 hours early so more exploring went on.

City lurking

Rob sending It in the streets

Found this park thing which was pretty dope

Bus was late :(

Once the exploring/city lurking was through and the buses arrived we settled in for a 3-hour night bus journey to the race site in Yu Ping. Arriving in the town of Yu Ping, which was situated at the bottom of the mountain, in the rain, at around 11pm we found another sketch hotel where we some how managed to buy out a whole floor for next to nothing. With more rain forecasted the frantic rain wheel making process began.

yes thats a rotary sander and yes that is an actual lunch tray

With the forecast staying true, the rain stayed until the early hours of the morning where we had to be up to the top of the mountain at stupid o'clock for rego and opening ceremony. This is when we got to see the hill for the first time. We were stoked as; loads of hairpins and a couple of big sweeping corners accompanied by two decently looking straightaways.

The race track was only a small section of the road to the top of the mountain where the main hotel and camp were. The hotel at the top had huge grounds with swimming pools, a lake, a restaurant and a massive main stage. This is when we found out that this whole event was government funded and they really pulled out all the stops and it was awesome.

Opening ceremony. This is the event organiser K, he gave us a free hotel room. Thanks K ! <3

Yates giving a translated speech

Yates giving a translated speech

Riders Meeting

The decision was to run the first few days, that were practice and quali, on a shortened course as the level of the riders present was unknown. It was also the best option to reduce the amount of people from getting bricked and to "separate the men from the boys".

FTW getting it

Stokin on the dry road for practice

After practice we headed back down to give some of the homies a lesson on partying on skate trips. As you do on the night before quali.

No questions please

Before

After, RIP Rob

The next day it was raining which meant quali was going to happen in the wet however the rain caused loads of people to back out so the number of riders shrunk from around 150 to around 50.

When you have to do quali in the rain.

Fortunately for the remaining rider this meant that there was not quali and everyone qualified automatically so we did freeride instead which everyone was stoked about !!

After lunch we were finally able to give the full hill a crack and it was what we had all been waiting for and the hill didn't disappoint, even though it was patchy as fuck it soon dried and we got 3 almost completely dry runs in before racing the next day.

Ahkin & Shing giving the dry track a thrashing

In the 2 years that i have been traveling to races I've been to quite a few events. At all of these events, never has the main party ever been on the night before the race, but I guess things are different in China. We went out having decided to take it easy and hit the hay early. That surprisingly wasn't what happened.

Not a lot of photos were taken but video went in so watch out for that coming out soon.

Waking up was difficult but fortunately for us the government allowed race day to be dry which made things a little better.

Interviews for Chinese TV were always fun

For many this was their first race

Making my way through the heats

Best finish line in the world without a doubt

I made it to finals and got 4th; pretty stoked about that.

 Rob sent it on absolutely fucking crazy wet short board run.

Yates got this rad peace offering plant that was an offspring from an original plant that was given from a military general to one of the locals in the area long, long ago as a symbol of building bridges and working together in the future.

I would just like to say thank you to all the people who helped run this event/trip; K, Yates, the course marshals, Team South China, and my SBDW Longboard Shop Family. Much love guys!! <3

If you're liked the look of this and want to be part of the fun this race is more than likely to be part of the IDF Asian Pacific Tour next around May 2016 so definitely come over to China and stop by Hong Kong on your way.

 

 

Next stop on the HLSS tour : Nansha, Guanzgou for the 1st SBDW Longboard CLINC

 

All Photos by Even Chan and yours truly.

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