Worlds 2023 - Recap

Salem, Oregon, Sept 29 - Oct 1

Moderators: Jani Soderhall, Hans Koraeus, Maria Carrasco

Post Reply
Jani Soderhall
ISSA President 2011-2024
ISSA President 2011-2024
Posts: 4603
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 2:00 am
Location: Sweden, lives in France
Contact:

Worlds 2023 - Recap

Post by Jani Soderhall » Sun Oct 08, 2023 10:20 pm

World Skate Slalom Skateboarding World Championships 2023
Words/photos by: Maria Carrasco

Image
Pro Men’s Overall Podium - (Pictured L to R) - Gustavs Gailitis (LAT) - Second Place Overall; Janis Kuzmins (LAT) - First Place Overall and Petr Matouš (CZE) - Third Place Overall

Image
Pro Women’s Overall Podium - (Pictured L to R) - Karolina Vojtova (CZE) - Second Place Overall; Lynn Kramer (USA) - First Place Overall and Endija Līga Rūja (LAT) - Third Place Overall

The World Skate Slalom Skateboarding World Championships 2023 have came to a close. This was a truly amazing event and one that will go down in the history books.

The three days of racing were set with the lush green backdrop of Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem, the State Capital of Oregon (USA). This legendary soap box derby hill became the host to the slalom skateboarding world - 86 competitors from eleven countries - came to battle it out. The stage was set for the best of the best in slalom skateboarding - who were in attendance - to compete for the ultimate title of World Champion!

The audience on site for the live event were treated to the colorful and insightful commentary of Skateboard Hall of Fame racer, Henry Hester, the official MC. Those at home were able to see livestream coverage each day on Facebook, YouTube, and worldskate.tv hosted by Richy Carrasco, Joe McLaren and yours truly.

The first day of racing (Friday) was set for the Giant Slalom event but the weather had other plans and racers awoke to a rainy Salem morning and a soaked stretch of black top. The race organizing crew and volunteers were out with propane-powered flame throwers to dry the road as quickly as possible after the rain stopped. Early afternoon finally brought clear skies and a dry tarmac so it was on! The single-lane course was set to fit the terrain - with a good mixture of fast driving turns along with tricky technical cones that would test the best racers in the world. The wider-set cone spacing required a delicate balance of managing speed and staying clean - with the slightest mistake resulting in either a steep cone penalty (.20 seconds per hit cone) or lost speed from scrubbing to make the turn. All racers were allowed two runs on the course with their best time determining their final placing.

The World Champions for Giant Slalom are as follows:

Pro Men: Janis Kuzmins (LAT)
Pro Women: Lynn Kramer (USA)
Masters: Michal Subrt (CZE)
Grand Masters: Gary Cross (USA)
Amateur Men: Matěj Štefka (CZE)
Amateur Women: Sarah Byrd Compton (USA)
Junior Men: Lukáš Martinů (CZE)
Junior Women: Emily Martinů (CZE)

Day two, Saturday, ushered in blue skies and sunshine that would hold for the rest of the weekend. Hybrid Slalom was the name of the game now with a challenging dual-lane ramp start course - including a mix of wider offsets with sections of tighter set stingers - carrying a time penalty of .10 second per cone hit. The morning was reserved for qualifying rounds to cut the field and seed the racers in each division for elimination matches, concluding with the finals. Speed management and running clean were again important elements of success - with the top racers vying to break the 19 second run-time barrier - and Latvia’s Arturs Liskovs was the first of the day to accomplish that, however cone penalties edged him off of the podium for a 4th place finish. Latvia’s Gustavs Gailitis grabbed the gold with USA’s Orion Lehrmann and CZE’s Petr Matous in second and third - knocking both Kuzmins and McLaren off the podium in the Pro finals. Czechia’s Michal Subrt led the Masters class and former USA World Champ Gary Cross led the Grand Masters class - each claiming their second gold medal and world title for the weekend in the Hybrid Slalom finals. Also noteworthy was USA’s Sarah Byrd Compton who finished in similar fashion - two for two - gold medals and world titles in the Women’s Am class! Those double gold stats pushed Subrt and Compton into the top spot on the Overall podium in their respective classes.

The World Champions for Hybrid Slalom are as follows:
Pro Men: Gustavs Gailitis (LAT)
Pro Women: Lynn Kramer (USA)
Masters: Michal Subrt (CZE)
Grand Masters: Gary Cross (USA)
Amateur Men: Petr Martinů (CZE)
Amateur Women: Sarah Byrd Compton (USA)
Junior Men: Lukáš Martinů (CZE)
Junior Women: Emily Martinů (CZE)

Sunday, the final day of the competition, brought Tight Slalom to the mix with the second day of head to head racing. The highly technical course featured the tightest cone spacing of the weekend with 6-foot centers throughout and carried a .10 second cone penalty. The Men’s Pro division was once again dominated by the Latvians - with Janis Kuzmins claming the gold medal and clinching his overall win for the weekend and countrymen Gailitis and Liskovs finishing 2nd and 3rd. Pro Women - Lynn Kramer (USA) and Karolina Vojtova (CZE) had been neck and neck the first two days with Karolina finally rising to the top of the podium and her first Pro World Championship title win - with the 2022 Women’s European Champ, Endija Līga Rūja (LAT) finishing second. Women’s Am, Imi McMillan, claimed the Tight Slalom World Championship for Australia - a first in slalom history! The Czech National Team dominated the Am Men, Junior Men and Junior Women’s divisions for the third day with only a couple of USA and LAT team breakthroughs making it to the podium over the course of the weekend. In fact, the Martinů family from Czechia - claimed the top spots on the overall podium in their respective divisions - taking home plenty of bling and top honors representing their country!

The World Champions for Tight Slalom are as follows:
Pro Men: Janis Kuzmins (LAT)
Pro Women: Karolina Vojtova (CZE)
Masters: Daniel Syrovy Sr (CZE)
Grand Masters: Paul Howard (USA)
Amateur Men: Dan Syrovy Jr (CZE)
Amateur Women: Imi McMillan (AUS)
Junior Men: Lukáš Martinů (CZE)
Junior Women: Tereza Dvorakova (CZE)

The event was well-attended especially by the national teams from Latvia, Czech Republic and USA - as well as representatives from Canada, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden. There were several familiar faces from the Argentina World Skate Games 2022 but the ranks were definitely upped with rising talent like Czechia Pros - Petr Matous and Karolina Vojtova (Women’s European Champion 2023) along with the appearance of 8x Pro World Champ Joe McLaren from USA. McLaren, who was absent from Worlds in Argentina last year, unfortunately had to withdraw on the final day due to injury, after placing 3rd and 5th - taking him out of the running for Overall. Latvia was again a force to be reckoned with and reigning World Champ Janis Kuzmins claimed the top honor of Overall Mens Pro World Champion for the fourth consecutive year! Lynn Kramer from USA was eager to defend her Overall title from Argentina in 2022 - and did just that - upping her impressive Overall win record to 17x at this 2023 World Championships! The level of racing is continuing to rise - with young talent busting into the top level of the Pro ranks in both the men’s and women’s divisions. On top of all the excellent racing action, it was great to see so many smiling faces, positive stoke, good sportsmanship and camaraderie among the racers. The competition will definitely be fierce at the 2024 World Skate Games - Slalom World Championships in Rome Italy. See you there!

The World Skate Slalom Skateboarding World Championships 2023 Overall Podium positions are as follows:

Pro Men Overall:
1. Janis Kuzmins (LAT)
2. Gustavs Gailitis (LAT)
3. Petr Matouš (CZE)

Pro Women Overall:
1. Lynn Kramer (USA)
2. Karolina Vojtova (CZE)
3. Endija Līga Rūja (LAT)

Am Men Overall:
1. Petr Martinů (CZE)
2. Matěj Štefka (CZE)
3. Dan Syrovy Jr (CZE)

Am Women Overall:
1. Sarah Byrd Compton (USA)
2. Imi McMillan (AUS)
3. Dominika Ozolina (LAT)

Masters Overall:
1. Michal Subrt (CZE)
2. Jonathan Harms (USA)
3. Daniel Syrovy Sr (CZE)

Grand Masters Overall:
1. Tay Hunt (USA)
2. Paul Howard (USA)
3. Pete Ingraham (USA)

Junior Men Overall:
1. Lukáš Martinů (CZE)
2. Jindra Voves (CZE)

Junior Women Overall:
1. Emily Martinů (CZE)
2. Tereza Dvorakova (CZE)
3. Magdalena Harrison (USA)

Jani Soderhall
ISSA President 2011-2024
ISSA President 2011-2024
Posts: 4603
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 2:00 am
Location: Sweden, lives in France
Contact:

Re: Worlds 2023 - Recap

Post by Jani Soderhall » Sat Oct 14, 2023 8:59 pm

World Skate article here:
https://www.worldskate.org/skateboardin ... recap.html
(posted October 13, 2023)

Post Reply