David Dean, president of the International Downhill Racing Association (IDRA), said "fast and furious fun" should be expected at the Akron Rubber City Gravity Games. And after looking at the schedule of events, I'd say he's correct.
The International Gravity Sports Association, the world sanctioning body for extreme gravity sports racing, will be sanctioning a "NorAm" stop in their series for this year with the Rubber City Gravity Games. The games will take place in front of thousands on Sept. 22 - 23 at Derby Downs in Akron. More than 150 athletes, ages 8 and up, are expected to compete in three main racing classes, Street Luge, Downhill Skateboarding and Slalom Skateboarding.
"The IGSA World Cup and NorAm (North American) series take place at various locations once event organizers have established a race that meets IGSA guidelines," Deans explained. "I have organized several IGSA World Cup events before coming on board with the IDRA in Akron, and with that long history as an organizer, I was able to approach the IGSA to gain NorAm sanctioning for our first Akron event."
Top downhill athletes from around the world will compete for a chance at a NorAm championship, along with world ranking points. The NorAm series is the North American leg of the IGSA World Cup Series. IGSA World Cup events for 2012 will take place on 5 different continents and in 17 countries across the globe.
Dean said, while the IGSA is the world-wide sanctioning body for the sport, the IDRA is the nonprofit organization that has set up a grassroots program in Akron, with the support of the City and the All American Soap Box Derby, to grow the sport through education, safety and a consistent safe place for athletes to ride.
"For the IDRA, this is our signature event in a 9 event series centered around Derby Downs which include open hill days and "learn to luge/ start to skate" days," Dean said. "As far as Akron and the community, this event is beneficial in many ways. The formation of the IDRA initially started as a way to bring new events and interest to the All American Soap Box Derby and the world-famous Derby Downs hill. I'm thrilled to say that we have already started to see a cross over in interest between both spectators as well as participants between the two organizations."
The public can expect the top downhill skateboard and street luge athletes from around the world racing head to head at over 50 mph. There will be crashes, close racing and amazing wins. Food and drink concession, while music and industry vendors will be available to the public. The public can also participate in raffles and giveaways, and everyone in attendance will be able to see and talk to these athletes up close as well.
According to the press releas, while the downhill and luge racing will take place on a downhill road course leading through the Derby Down facilities, the slalom portion of the weekends' events will take place on the famous Akron Soap Box Derby hill itself.
"The city and community, as a whole, have the benefit of an amazing new annual event coming to the city for people to attend and enjoy," Dean said. "Whether you're a downhill racing fan or someone completely unfamiliar with the event, there is nothing more exciting than watching one of the fastest and most dangerous sports in the world, up close and in person."