As many may agree, rain has no acceptance in the skating world. It causes bruises, scuffs, tear and wear towards your body and mind (and understandably, setups.) but the spirit and determination remain unbroken and one.
We all skate, rain or shine. Such can be said for the last race we had here in Malaysia, Repave the Old Road Bukit Putus held in a 23 corners, 12 hairpin, 11 sweepers 3.6km course of gnarly broken roads and subsequent leg pains called Jalan Seremban, Kuala Pilah.
Jalan Seremban, Kuala Pilah was an old road connecting the East side of Negeri Sembilan, one of Malaysia’s 13 states, to the West side. However, a new highway was built to bypass Jalan Seremban and now. Hence, it is left in the mercy of trucks, lorries, occasional cars, car drifters and yes, downhill skaters. However, this road is very much unfavourable to the local riders.
This is due to the heavily damaged road of Jalan Seremban. The road, it is magnificence, contains many beautiful corners and thrillingly dangerous sharp turns enough to quench any racer’s thirst of a race course, making it a world class IGSA worthy race track. One catch, it has horrible pavement through most of the corners. Assumingly from the wear of constant barrage from heavy vehicles and road users, it has been a long dream to have the road repaved. Hence, an effort was started by Adlan Farazi, better known as Boy Ipoh, a veteran in the Malaysian skating scene, and Starfresh Agropark management to draw up a petition to submit to the government for a repavement plead.
For the past three months, signatures were collected from various events in various places, from Selangor all the way to Johor, a good amount of signatures were collected for the petition. The event, Repave the Old Road Bukit Putus, was held in conjunction to provide the petition with more signatures and achieve it we have.
I cannot comment on the success of the event that I have organized myself as my opinion would be biased, but I did see many happy faces and interactions throughout the event. As many as 42 participants hailing from South and East Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia travelled the countless distance to be with us at the event. Stoke were seen in the many faces that were there and some stoke over spilled onto the non-participants (My road and safety marshals who are not downhill skaters but are starting downhill soon).
A healthy number of new characters showed up for the Amateur Division as well. Faces that I have never seen before (Due to my lack of participation in gatherings) appeared, a pleasing surprise and sign that the downhill skating community is slowly growing and hopefully, more so.
To set out the course, I went there early, about 7:30 am to get a run or two for myself and mark out the dangerous parts of the course. Just as I hit the end, it rained. The rain started out as minute drizzles but soon turn to be heavy downpours. Registration processes started early, about 9 am. A few managed to squeeze in a solid run or two before the rain started and many were slightly worried of how gnarly the track is. You can visibly see the anxious faces of the racers who managed to get in a full course run down the track.
Alas, it rained. Heavily. For three solid hours, racers waited patiently and intently for the rain to halt. Yet, the skies were merciless, pouring more water over the track and ultimately, us.
But none is certain, even in the heavy downpour, skaters know how to have fun, with trike bikers. There is a slight slope beside Starfresh Agropark, the restaurant where the racers reside. Through the three hour period, we had a mini slide jam in the rain. Many decided it would be an ultimate pleasure to slide where slip and slide is most plausible and least painful, wetness, and many of these people decided to test out the drift trikes that were made available thanks to the trike gang that showed up.
When it was apparent that the rain was not going to subside, I took my marshals, briefed them, lookout for spots, shortened the race course for both the Open and Amateur division to 1.3km and 1km respectively and started drawing the heats thanks to Fairul, Abdil and Ching for the help in organizing and smoothing the process for me.
We decided to start the Open division first. Despite the shortened and simpler course, the race was simply intense and amazing. Due to the heavy rain, surviving the course itself becomes a difficult endeavor. Many of the Open Division racers had rough tumbles and bumps with each other and many lost control if not for the cat eyes and uneven road.
However, surprisingly skillful and lucky skaters managed to push themselves through and braced the final round. We had a representative of each of the three countries to join us in the final round. But finally, Indonesia rider, Andriy “Chece” won the heat and took his place as the first place winner of the race.
In the end, a surprising winner came to be. Zharif Danial dried the course out with his surprising win. It is great to watch him win as he participated in my previous Bukit Tunku event and he did train hard for this event as well.
Final Heat Battle
1st place: Andry “Chece” Permata
2nd place: Mohd Shafiqe
3rd place: Syed Muhammad Faiq
4th place: Asyraf Haris
5th place: Soulhan Mab
1st place: Zharif Danial
2nd place: Youri Hazard
3rd place: Fadel Ramadhan
4th place: Razi “Fakoi” Faizul
5th place: Dian Shazwan
The Malaysian Longboarding scene. Bonded by the sport that they love the most.
All in all it was an amazing event! Many new faces appeared and many old ones, some from the previous Bukit Tunku race reappeared and conquered the race. It was astonishing to see our Indonesian friends again, taking such an effort to join us physically here in the race. I would like to thank many who helped me manage the event, Starfresh Agropark for providing the venue, and to all the sponsors.