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Longboard Festival kicks into high gear

Downhill skateboard festival expands to include more events, including freestyle contests

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World Cup Downhill — July 4 to 6

Thursday, July 4 is a training day, but the course — and beer garden with Whistler Brewing — will be available on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for qualifying. The race takes place on Saturday, July 6, starting with the elimination rounds at 10 a.m. The semi-finals and finals run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

There are a number of strong Canadians to watch for in the competition, including Elena Corrigall in the women's race, West Vancouver's Kevin Reimer, Andrew Chapman, Patrick Switzer and others. Top juniors include Charlie Daigneault and Quin Finocchio. The complete rider list should be available next week.

Enduro and Skate X Shoot Biathlon — July 7

This is the second year for these fun, family-friendly longboard events, taking place at Whistler Olympic Park. The day starts with a 20km Enduro race that's open to everyone, and takes place on rolling roads and paved trails at the Whistler Olympic Park. There's also a team relay component. Events get underway at 9 a.m.

Next up is the 10km Skate X Shoot Biathlon event, where riders make two laps of a 5km course and stop at the Olympic biathlon range twice to shoot targets. For each target missed the competitors have to race an extra 150-metre penalty lap. There will be two starts, one at 10:30 a.m. and a second round at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome.

Skate Bowl Jam — July 5

The festival Skate Bowl jam will take place at the Whistler Skate Park from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Sk8 Cave in Function Junction, which is also hosting an indoor ramp jam on July 4, is hosting the event and handling registrations.

Anyone can enter by dropping by the store, or by contacting the store by phone or email. They also have a Facebook page.

Big Air and Freestyle Jam — July 5 and 6

The big air contest and a freestyle showcase will be hosted on July 5 at Whistler Olympic Plaza, with 10 riders seeing how far they can fly onto an airbag. Kevin Harris, a Vancouver skateboard legend, and his team are providing the entertainment. On July 6 the fun moves to Mountain Square with a freestyle showcase.

For more information on other events, including the movie premiere, or registration for the Enduro/Skate X Shoot, visit www.whistlerlongboard.com.