Words: William Royce
St Lucia Party Island Race
St Lucia is a Volcanic island in the south Caribbean chain, directly above Venezuela. To the north is Martinique as well as Dominica and to the south is St. Vincent and the Grenadines. St Lucia island is a classic vacation destination, complete with palm trees, coconuts and pale skinned tourists. Many of them, fresh off the cruise ship and searching for their next purchase.
One of the famous attractions in St Lucia is the “drive up volcano” featuring sulfur water pits to bathe in for potential health benefits.
Since it’s a volcanic island, that means everything is a hill or a mountain. Some of the island even has perfect hairpin roads that wind down directly into the city of Castries.
This was the very first race in St Lucia so we didn’t know what to expect. We were lucky enough to race down one of the most perfect sections of road I had seen on the island.
Race day was laid back. We all waited at the bottom turn for the track to be closed as people from the city started to gather on the curves. We took the first practice run and then it rained and we took a wet practice run.
Our next descent was the first round of the race and the road had already dried enough by then.
We did nine races to determine standing for the 16 man final. They started at two person rounds then four and then eight. If you won every race, you had the best starting position for the final.
The final was completely soaked because of the tropical storm that happened the run before.
Almost every single skater in the 16 man heat crashed in the first turn. I made the first turn but hit a pot hole in the next curve and flew into a ditch.
After managing to crawl out intact I was back on the road and trying to avoid the chaos behind. I took the safe route and foot braked the last turn. People were falling everywhere, trying to make a pass for podium in the physical cacophony.
Best event of the year! The first skate event at any place is the best since there are usually less rules and it’s more fun. Once the locals figured out that we are all skaters looking for a good time and not serious “athletes” you get less focus on rules and restrictions and more focus on just fun.
10 out of 10 for St Lucia. Also shout out to Striker and Jody who had the idea to give away the prize money to help build the island’s FIRST skate park! Johnny Yardwaist, Raggie and I all donated our prize money to the local community skatepark fund. Hope to come back next year and skate a brand new park!