Lagoa Azul first day report

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Got to Lisbon airport on Thursday night, nice and warm. As I was waiting for my luggage, someone called my name! I turned around waiting to see a gang of fans, but it was only Oriol, the Catalan Viking.

We got my bags and waited for his skateboard to come out of the special luggage conveyor belt. A board came out, but it wasn’t his. We ran over to investigate. It was an Isis with pink randals, and we started playing “guess who”.
The board obviously belonged to a girl, and it smelt Finnish, because Finnish girls either ride the Isis or the Bracket. It could have belonged to Kaisa or a girl we didn’t know. We flipped it over and it had some “early skateboards” sticker on it. Then it became obvious that it was a board with Australian connections. I guessed rightly that it belonged to Julia aka Mrs Daniel Hawes. Oriol was about to sticker bomb it when she showed up. We said hi and all left together.

In Arrivals, we were met by the most famous skater in all of Europe, Portugal’s  bearded princess aka Helio, holding up a sign for us. The plan for the first night was to cruise through Lisbon, everyone was waiting for us. We drove into to city and past a bunch of folks, and Sonso was standing there! I had no idea she was coming and I was totally surprised and really REALLY happy, she ran over and screamed like a little girl (that was definitely her and not me). Deen was there as well as were AllAroundBros – Axel and Agro. Together we formed the gang of foreigners.
The cruise showed off some really nice hills in the city, and really really crazy drivers. I hope I never see someone get so near to almost being killed by a speeding taxi. We met up with the main gang, the lovely Suzie and the rest of the rest of the Portuguese gang.
It was past midnight on a Thursday night and the city was ALIVE, I thought we would be skating through empty streets but it seemed like we had walked into a party. The cruise was pretty short, we ended up stopping for beers somewhere in the city centre and I had a chat with lots of new people. PS: my helmet disappeared that night, if your happen to find it, give it a good home!
Before arriving in Portugal, I had written about my disappointment in there not being any Vikings. On the cruise I saw a guy with a “Kings Hill Freeride” sticker on his board, so my assumptions were wrong. Turns out there were 3 lads from Gothenburg in attendance. Party on. It turns out that only the boys from Stockholm play ninja at races so don’t expect any pictures of that sort off craziness.
Yesterday was freeride day. The plan was for the riders to have as many runs as possible to get used to the track and have some fun. The mountain road is really stunning, you can see the sea from the top. Lots of fast turns and a long schuss to finish off.
The organisation managed to organise 3 runs before a very long lunch break and 3 after. There was a general air of discontent and disappointment at the limited number of runs. The people were stoked on the few they had though. There weren’t many spectacular crashes, the few that were blew all the tyres away when they hit them, so that was a bit fun to see.
Today is the first day of racing. There is more freeride today before lunch and after its the race to qualify. There is no timing system here so hopefully that should translate into less standing around and more fun runs for all.
Stay tuned.

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