California's James Kelly topped an all-American podium in the open category of Sunday's (June 26) inaugural Whistler Longboard Festival, which organizers couldn't have been much happier with.
More than 2,000 spectators came out to watch more than 100 competitors race down the Whistler Sliding Centre service road in the event's first year. With the victory, Kelly picked up a $1,000 cheque and said he was extremely impressed with the challenging, technical nature of the course.
"It's epic. It's definitely one of the best in North America," Kelly said shortly after the podium finishers were treated to a beer shower. "The turns come one after another. This course is technical, it's fast, it's everything a downhill skateboarder wants."
California's Louis Pilloni placed second, earning $500 for the runner-up finish, and Oregon's Alex Tongue was third.
Event organizer Lee Cation, who also took first place in the masters division, said he was thrilled with how the community responded to longboard racing.
"We had an amazing day. I think everything went off better than expected," said Cation. "I think the most positive sign was the response from Whistler — from residents, from the sliding centre, from Whistler Blackcomb, the resort municipality. Everybody's pretty stoked; it was great to see everybody out supporting the event."
Vernon's Brendan Davidson won the junior category and Emilie Hebert was the women's winner.
Look for a full wrap in Thursday's (June 30) issue of The Question.