The Festival of Sugar and Love 9
Downhill Skateboarders from all over the Hawaiian island’s gathered on February 25th and 26th for the third and final event of the 2016 – 2017 Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series season. As always, closing it off with a bang was the Festival of Sugar and Love 9. Can you believe it’s our 9th year?! Time flies when the vibes are good and the crew your working with is even better!
This festival followed the same format as we have been running it the past few years, a race on one day with a day long freeride on the next.
On Saturday morning we all gathered at the loop, which is our freeride venue and campsite crammed into one epic mountain top park. We did some mellow skating and some hardcore cruising as we waited for all of our racers to show up and get signed up.
At just about 11am, everyone was signed up so we drew heats and headed for the race hill… THE SCORCHER.
If you’ve never herd of The Scorcher, it’s probably the gnarliest race course we’ve ever had on the series circuit. Under a mile long, 3 back to back hairpin turns completed with some of the worse/best pavement around… cracks, grass, huge holes you can’t roll over and some w concave in the road. But every year we race this hill the skill level ups itself again and again making these factors look minor.
When arriving to the race hill, I pulled out a broom for racers to clean what they wished to clean, then practice runs began. From the very first run on the hill all skaters were looking fast and confident for how nervous they sounded to be skating the hill. Though runs were clean, everyone kept fairly spread out. Round 1 will be a whole new game when both riders want to be down the hill first.
After about 5 practice runs everyone was looking too comfy which means it’s race time!
We refreshed everyone’s memories on who’s in their heat and we started up the hill. In true Scorcher tradition we let each heat choose when they want to go, what their start method would be and if there would be any special side rules. Once everyone was geared up and ready to go, round 1 was ON.
It seemed like the Scorcher veterans were the ones anxious to get on the hill and get it over with while the first timers waited till the last possible chance to go.
Round 1 was pretty intense! Close racing, multiple passes within each run with hardly any crashes.
After back to back demonstrations of insane skateboard racing and a handful of racers eliminated, we were down to our final 6 racers.
Past series champion Zach Newman vs 2 time Scorcher champ Dante Alston, Big Islands Brian McOuat vs Scorcher first timer Justin Marriot, and another past series champion Dakota Camp vs another Scorcher first timer Kawai Marks.
To make things a little more exciting, Maui’s Zach Newman and Dakota Camp are currently tied for first with a 1st and a 2nd under their belts after the first two events…AND Brian McOuat is closely following in 3rd. SO, if Zach and Dakota both make their heats, our final will determine the series champion. If Zach and Dakota both loose and Brian makes his heat, he will be the champion. If they all loose we will have a side race for the overall title.
This round is going to be good!
First up was Brian vs Justin.
Both riders had solid starts, Brian getting in front going into the first hairpin. Both riders grip right through it and start into the steep straight. Brian held his tuck straight into a big frontside drift, Justin was closely behind sliding backside. Brian felt the pressure and tried to link up, but the Scorcher pavement just wouldn’t let him causing him to slide out on the exit of the turn, BUT Justin couldn’t hold on either crashing into him. They both quickly get up and grab their boards, Justin getting his feet back on his board first. Brian jumps on right in back of him going into the last turn, but couldn’t make it back in front. Justin takes the win.
Next up is Dakota vs Kawai.
Again another clean start to both riders gripping through the first corner, coming into the steep straight in front is Scorcher first timer Kawai. Both regular footers tuck hard into big, fast backside drifts. Kawai cleanly links to the inside, then so does Dakota. Back into their best tucks going into the last left. Both riders throw tiny predrifts into the corner and rail right through the bumps, cracks and grass. Holding the lead till the end was Kawai.
Now its Zach vs Dante.
Clean, fast starts. Riders are within a foot of each other in the first left. Dante gets the lead going into the steep straight, but Zach s right in his bubble. Both regular footers hit one hand backside drifts, Dante links clean to the inside but Zach struggles to link causing him to go a little wide and loose speed. Dante kept clean through the last corner coming out on top.
Our top 3 for the final round is now 2 time winner Dante Alston along with the two Scorcher virgins Justin Marriot and Kawai Marks. All Oahu shredders.
This also means Brian is set for the overall series 3rd place title, AND we still have a tie for the over all series champion. Zach and Dakota will be going head on head to see who takes the title.
We gave racers a quick break and let the final three decide if they wanted one, 3 man heat or multiple heats, round robin style.
In true Scorcher fashion, the final 3 racers wanted to keep things interesting with a 3 man final.
Now we have our Scorcher finalist as well as our top two series point’s racers at the top of the hill.
First down the hill will be our Scorcher 3 man final.
3, 2, 1… the 3 riders are off falling into a single file line during the first turn. Dante in front, followed closely by Kawai and Justin not far behind. Coming down the straight Dante held his tuck into his drift while the following two racers stood up to manage some speed. Dante links his drift clean giving him a nice lead coming out of the corner. Kawai links in pursuit of Dante while Justin slid out. Dante keeps clean going into the next turn, BUT Kawai looses it on one of the many features of the hill and jumps off his board. He got back on quickly but Dante was gone!
Dante takes the win at the Scorcher for his 3rd time!
Scorcher newcomers Kawai and Justin get 2nd and 3rd.
Now its time for the Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series Championship title race.
Two Maui boys.
Zach Newman vs Dakota Camp.
Boom. Heat has started and both of these guys want the win, but Zach gets the font position going through the first left. Coming down the straight both riders are committed, not moving a muscle until both of them throw their long, one handed backside drifts. Zach goes to link, but his wheels continue to sugar a little while Dakota links to the inside. On the exit of the right Zach is going pretty wide, giving Dakota a chance to pull up side by side going into the last left. All the spectators could hear at this point is Zach and Dakota laughing having the time of their life… and not to mention the heat of the season! As they start to drop into the last left, Zach takes a little wider line but stays in font, while Dakota dips to the inside right behind Zach. The finish line is in sight and the racers are within a foot apart of each other in the corner when Zach hits a crack with some grass growing out of it! Dakota responds quick and dips even more inside to avoid him and crosses the finish line in 1st making him our 2016 – 2017 Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series champion.
His partner in crime Zach Newman in 2nd and Big Island’s Brian McOuat in 3rd.
Following the race we got in a little more freeride time on the racecourse then headed back to the loop for a night of skating, camping and good times.
The following morning we took our time to wake up, we know skaters aren’t good in the mornings… especially after a night of partying, plus we are already on the freeride hill!
Coffee was consumed, breakfast was scarfed and wheels were beginning to turn for the second day of the Festival of Sugar and Love.
This year instead of doing a set 1 hour judge jam session in the past, I threw together a checklist of things to get done through 4 hour period. This made things a lot more mellow, yet a lot more fun!
The checklist consisted of 5 point, 10 point, 15 point and 20 point tasks to get checked off.
5 pointers were easy things like do a slide, skate a dirt line, do a slappy, find a lilikoi and such. The 10 pointers got a little harder… fs&bs 360 shuv it slides, pick up a chicken, skate off the wall into the turn and a bunch of others. Then the 15 pointers started getting challenging with things like switch body varial no comply slide, fs 360 no comply slide, crail blunt slide, and pick up a pig. And finally the 20 pointers had things like hike the whole look, best filmed trick, longest slide and most importantly not getting in trouble all day.
Once the checklists were passed out, the jam was on!
Lots of riders got straight to checking off points, while others took their time.
There was nothing but good vibes in the air.
As time passed some skaters were banging out every easy thing they knew they could do on the list, while others challenged themselves to go for the harder things on the list. Though the format made things relaxed, there was still a lot of strategy involved in what things you chose to do.
As the skate time started coming to an end, everyone was putting in work to pump out what they could.
“1 minute left!”
“ 30 seconds!”
And its finished!
Riders calculated their points, compared the clips they stacked and turned in their checklists.
After getting a little rest time in and pulling out all the schwag for the skaters, it was award time.
Taking home the win with 370 points was multiple time FOSAL winner KJ Nakanelua. In 2nd with 230 points was Billy E and rounding off the top 3 was Big Islands Brian McOuat with 225 points.
Thanks to our AWESOME supporters all race winners, freeride winners and series winners got decked out with a whole lotta gear and a little bit of cash.
Not only did the winners take home gear but also every skater in the event took home a prize or two.
BIG MAHALO to all of the skaters and supporters who helped us complete another successful Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series. You guys are keeping the vibes alive on the islands, I cant thank you enough.
You better believe that we will be back as always next year, and it’s a big year for us. The event that was the first of the series that led to all of this, The Festival of Sugar and Love will be having its 10 anniversary!
You won’t want to miss out.
We will see everyone next winter for another Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series!
The Scorcher 7 Results
1st – Dante Alston
2nd – Kawai Marks
3rd - Justin Marriot
The Festival of Sugar and Love Freeride Results
1st - KJ Nakanelua
2nd - Billy E.
3rd – Brian McOuat
2016 – 2017 Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series Overall Results
1st – Dakota Camp
2nd – Zach Newman
3rd – Brian McOuat
2010 – 2011 Series Champion – Mackenzie Yoshida
2011 – 2012 Series Champion – Mackenzie Yoshida
2012 – 2013 Series Champion – Nikko Kamanuwai
2013 – 2014 Series Champion – Dakota Camp
2014 – 2015 Series Champion – Zach Newman
2015 – 2016 Series Champion – Dakota Camp
2016 – 2017 Series Champion – Dakota Camp