Red Bull Crashed Ice held it's signature event for the first time in Niagara Falls on December 1st, 2012. This event did not dissappoint. The event was spectacular, the competitors were so talented and charming and the backdrop, was of course Niagara Falls!
The Red Bull Crashed Ice track had epic features and proportions. Running 460 metres (1,509 feet) in length, an average width of 4.5 metres (15 feet), the Red Bull Crashed Ice course unfurled into a massive total of 2,500 square metres (26,910 square feet) of ice! The race started under the gaze of the world’s famous 775-feet tall Skylon Tower and concludee by one of the seven natural wonders of the world – Niagara Falls. The start gates are the first and last chance the skaters had to enjoy the spectacular view of Niagara Falls as they’ll quickly be storming down Murray Street to the cheers of thousands of screaming fans.
The course started with a bang, as the 30-degree drop launched competitors to intense speeds of over 50 km/h before hitting a steep turn and a step up bridge in the IMAX theatre parking lot. Then, ice cross downhill mavericks sprinted in a series of waves, pushing them up and down on the inclined hill. The action continued as skaters battled for first place on a course that heralded obstacles, including jumps, bumps, and gaps, draining competitors down to Murray Street for the straight that gave them the chance to battle for position. With glory and the magnificent Niagara Falls again in sight, the skaters will sprinted down, making a sharp turn next to the Edgewaters Tap & Grill and hit the finish in the park.
A crew of hundreds spent four weeks constructing this discipline-twisting course, spreading over 50 boxes (4ft x 4ft x 4ft, 1700 pounds each) of—you guessed it, crashed ice—across the streets of Niagara Falls. To ensure a smooth ice surface, a cooling system featuring chiller machines helped produce the right temperature throughout the build of the course. Polymer boards are used to keep competitors on the track and fans from harm’s way. But with an amped Saturday night crowd, they’ll also serve as the rhythm board for the thousands of fans cheering the next heat of racers. Combined, crashed ice and boards alone are not enough to hold the course up to the pounding from fans and skaters alike. Hundred sadjustable steel legs and a couple thousand large wood screws provide foundational support to the infrastructure.
ARKELLS LIVE IN NIAGARA FALLS
The Arkells played to thousands of fans the night before on November 30th.
O CANADA, IT’S BEEN A BANNER YEAR
Kyle Croxall became the first Canadian to win the overall title in this electrifying sport that has captivated the heart and soul of Canadians. The sport’s popularity surged in the United States, the Netherlands, and Sweden with a nail-biting championship battle between Croxall and Pihlainen that came down to an intense fight to the finish of the last few metres of the final race of the season.
While Pihlainen won the race in Quebec City, Kyle Croxall finished a close second, which was just enough to win the towering Canadian firefighter the world championship by the slimmest of margins ever. Croxall finished with 3,000 points, just 40 points ahead of Pihlainen (2,960), prevailing in the most thrilling finale in the 11-year history of the sport. “I’ll have a lot of weight on my shoulders to try to keep hold of the title and repeat the outcome of last season,” said Kyle Croxall, who has been training hard in the off-season.
But a hard-charging pack of ever-improving rivals will be attempting to knock Croxall of his throne. Pihlainen expects to be back after off-season surgery on an injured knee while Scott Croxall (Mississauga, ON), who finished third last season, is more determined than ever to vie for the title. Kyle Croxall’s biggest threat may come from his younger brother: “I hope to be the world champion,” said Scott Croxall. “There will be challenging tracks along the way, and that’s pushed me to train hard in the off season.” Canadians dominated in 2012, taking three of the top four places, including Adam Horst of Fort St. John, BC (fourth overall) behind Scott Croxall (third).
LET'S DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR!
We LOVED the Red Bull Crashed Ice event, let's hope they decide to come back to Niagara Falls next year!