2015 - 2016 HawaiiWinterOutlawSeries Event 3- The Festival of Sugar and Love 8. Write Up, Photos and Video.

The Festival of Sugar and Love 8
Words by 
Mackenzie Yoshida
Photos by
 Jacob Lambert
Justin Lee
Mackenzie Yoshida

February in Hawaii is a good month for us. 
 The weather is beautiful for skateboarding, not too hot but nice and dry. Lots of traveling skaters seem to gravitate to the islands before the race season. The waves are pumping. OH! And its also the month that the final event of the Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series takes place on Oahu. 

We started the series in October over on the Big Island of Hawaii high up on the hills of Mauna Loa. Racers tucked hard and drafted strategically… taking home the win was Maui's Zach Newman. 

Next up in December was the Maui Challenge on the slopes of Haleakala. This course was a bight more tech and tight than event 1… and showing locals a thing or two, taking the win was California's Byron Essert. 

Finishing up the series this year, shredders from several different islands AND countries gathered for the 8th Annual Festival of Sugar and Love, weekend long skate fest! 

When day 1 arrived, anxious skateboarders from all over Hawaii, the mainland, Canada and Australia gathered at Oahu's famous S Turn at the Loop to kick off the festivities. If you haven't been to or have never seen the loop… its a one way downhill stretch of sugary pavement, with a bit of character, that winds through the trees along the top of the Ko'olaus. The jam corner, the S, is two back to back turs that drop several stores within the corner. So sliding your way through the corners is a must… but who will do it the steeziest? 
In the past years we held a few elimination rounds and worked our way down to a winner. This year was a bit different. Skaters were given several hours to cruise and skate… when the day was finished we chose the person who looked like they were having the most fun through out the WHOLE day. 
While skaters were jamming the hill we saw all kinds of approaches to the challenging corner. Fast race lines, slidey double kick dirt runs, beginners holding on for dear life, and even some of the top pros from the Landyachtz team were strutting their stuff.
After a long day of destroying wheels and littering the hill with urethane, we set up camp on the hill and got set for a night of lurkage, with a touch of partying. 

Once everyone was mellowed out from the day, F.O.S.A.L head official for the year Dalton Iwabuchi gathered everyone to announce the winner of day 1. No one was the least bit surprised to hear that taking home the win for the first day, shredding and standing out all day like always was Dante Alston. 
Following the awards the fun continued to roll on through the night. BBQ goods, some beers, rope swings and camp vibes… can't go wrong!

The next morning racers for up bright and early, packed up camp and shot out to the North Shore for the race portion of the event. 
Todays course… a LOT different from yesterday. From narrow, tech and drifty to wide, sweepy and FAST. Before we even started our way up the hill tons of truck tightens and wheel swaps were going down. 
When all the racers showed up we started our way up the hill to the race course. As soon as we got the sign ups and bracketing out of the way we sent everyone up for their first practice run. 
Though people sounded nervous about the course, everyone was flying down it in packs, full tucked… hitting speeds above 50mph at the fastest dip of the course. 
One practice run down, one to go before starting the first round ANDDDD of course… Hawaii weather decides to pull a quick one and go from sunny to raining in no time. As we've learned in the past, this is NOT a hill to be raced in the rain. 
So, we gathered all racers and discussed what possibilities we had to make the event happen. We came up with a vote to either drive across the island to another GNARLY race course with no weather report at all OR head to a closer, mellower path which would be dry… and if it decides to rain in that area the path is a safer race option. 
After taking a vote we decided to head to the path for some head to head racing.
Once again upon arrival the setups started to get tweaked again. Now the course is a narrow sidewalk with a dip and 7 back to back corners, about 25mph or so... everything gripable.

We got in a couple quick practice runs and it was game on!
With Hawaii's top shredders, like past series winners Zach Newman, Dakota Camp and Mackenzie Yoshida along with world tour racers such as Billy Bones Meiners, Troy Grenier and Dillon Stephens… this first head to head round was STACKED from the start. 
The reggae horn sounded off to start round one and we flew through the race from there. A few visitors seemed to sneak through the rounds, but as we got to the final rounds there was still a heavy local presence. We even still had our current overall points 1st and 2nd place racers still in the event battling to win the series title. 
When it came down to the finals, it was Dante Alston vs Maui's title contender Zach Newman. The consi's were Canada's Dillon Stephens vs Maui's other series title contender Dakota Camp… not only was the F.O.S.A.L title on the line, but this would also decide the over all series title. 

First up was the Consi's.
Dakota had to ensure he got as many points as he could if he wanted to lock down another overall title win and he did just that.  The Maui local was able to fight off visiting Canadian Dillon Stephens to take 3rd place.
Now its the Finals.
Maui's Zach Newman vs. Oahu's Dante Alston…Who already took home one win this weekend, would he win both the slide jam and the race?!
As soon as the head started Dante ran out in front full sprint with a SOLID throw down getting him in front from the start. Zach wouldn't let him get a gap and held nice and close coming into the turns. As they zig zagged through the bends Dante held a solid line not leaving any room for Zach to get by. They lean hard into the last right bend of the course and Zach couldn't squeeze through… Dante takes the WIN.

Following the event we tallied up the overall series points, got prizes ready and the awards were on. Everyone was stoked to cheer on local favorite Dante Alston as he went up to claim his second first place of the weekend, making him the Festival of Sugar and Love king.

Now it was time for the overall series points. Everyone knew how close the top 4 racers were in points and were trying to add it up before i even could! The stoke was high and everyone wanted to know who their 15' - 16' Series champion is.
Finally we announce the new champ… and taking the win by just a few points is Dakota Camp, making this is his second overall series 1st place title! Zach Newman was just behind in 2nd, but these two are the best of friends and couldn't be more stoked for each other. 3rd place this year making it a top 3 Maui sweep is Johnathan Valnezuela. Big Islands representative Brian McOuat nabbed 4th. Oahu's Mackenzie Yoshida in 5th and B.I's Dusty Owens rounding off the top 6.
All the skaters and event organizers of the Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series want to send a HUGE mahalo to all of the supporters who helped us make this happen!

To all the racers, MAHALO for continuing to come out and share the stoke… the Hawaiian downhill skateboarding scene is a very special family and without the crew we wouldn't be anything.

Keep an eye on WheelTurnerHawaii.com through the year for the latest in Hawaii downhill skateboarding. Also keep an eye out in September 2016 for info on the next Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series.


- The WheelTurnerHawaii.com Ambassadors.
Brian McOuat, Zach Newman, Dakota Camp and Mackenzie Yoshida


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