Tuesday Night Summer Racing Series
San Diego, CA - May 30 through Aug. 29, 2000     T   P   R   S  
San Diego Street Elite

SDSE's second Summer Racing Series at the San Diego Velodrome took place every other Tuesday night this year. The Velodrome has a 333m flat, level apron at the bottom of the banked cycling track where most of the skate races took place. Lights kept the racing action hot after sunset. Temperatures were consistently around 70 every night of the series.

This year European skaters in San Diego on extended visits gave the locals a real challenge. Most notable were Tomi Wuethrich (Salomon) and Damian Schudel of Switzerland and Kurt Kaelin (Roces) of Italy. Towards the end of the series, the battle for the top placements cam down to Tomi, Joe Prescott (SDSE), and Howard Yeh (SDSE).

Attendance at the last event on August 29, 2000 was marred by the threat of rain although the track stayed dry. The first skate race was a Hare & Hounds. Over the course of the series, the hares, a volunteer cyclist, have gotten smarter by changing speeds frequently to fool the chasing skaters. Two weeks prior, Tomi, Howard, and Joe were unable to pass the hare before the start/finish line, resulting in an extra lap of sprinting. Not to repeat that error this time, Howard sprinted past the hare in turn 4 with Tomi in close tow. Down to the finish, Howard barely held off Tomi for the win.

The second race that evening was a 2-Lap Scratch, but with a twist: Skaters must race on the banked cycling track. This was a real pleaser as spectators crowded the rails to watch. Taking the banked turns at full speed eliminated the need for crossovers. Tomi led Howard and Joe into the final turn. With some effective blocking in the steepest portion of the curve, he was able to keep Howard from passing to secure the victory.

Our last race was a 2-Lap Handicap. Skaters were handicapped based on performance in the previous events. Since this race was shorter, newcomer Jeremy Nance, a former short-track skater, took the win far ahead of the rest.

Howard earned the most points while attending every event in the series to secure first place overall. Tomi closed in fast, but settled for second place. Joe, who also attended every event, finished third. All three were awarded Explore wheels in addition to our traditional trophies.

Autumn Marsh may be new to racing, but not new to skating fast. She dominated the women's series by earning more than double the number of points of her closest competitor, Leondra Baker (SDSE). Congratulations! We hope to see you at future races.

Thanks to the Southern California Velodrome Association for producing and hosting the Summer Racing Series again this year. We have successfully shown that skate racing is as exciting as cycling, if not more! Look for our 2001 series next summer.

Howard Yeh

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