A GROUP of downhill daredevils known as the Southern NSW Street Luge Racers recently competed at the Launch 2013 event at Linden in the Blue Mountains.
Of the 22 competitors, six came from the Far South Coast, specifically Batemans Bay, Narooma and Bermagui.
And one of them, Nic McKirdy now from Batemans Bay, is the reigning Australian street and classic luge champion, who travels the world to compete.
Joining him at the Launch event were Ken Jacobs from the Murrah, Bill Salmon and Chris Markwort from Bermagui and Jason and Ammon Beard from Narooma.
After a hard days racing, the locals did quite well with McKirdy finishing fourth, Salmon fifth, Markwort ninth, Jacobs 11th and Jason Beard 12th.
Ammon Beard, 12, finished third in the Junior Street Luge section, while in the Classic Street Luge section McKirdy finished second and Jacobs finished seventh.
The Southern NSW Street Luge Racers next plan to compete as a group in April at the Bomb the Snowies event on Mt Gladstone at Cooma, while the Peak Hill event at Parkes is also a possibility.
McKirdy meanwhile recently competed in Cape Town, South Africa finishing third.
Jacobs said the group hoped to approach local councils to look at the possibility of hosting a sanctioned event, as there were plenty of great hills to ride in the local area.
“It’s a great sport and it doesn’t matter if you’re number one or number 50, everyone jumps in and has a go,” he said.
He only started street luge last year but for a few years he had fun on dirt luge board launching himself down steep grass paddocks and forest tracks in the Murrah area, south of Bermagui.
Riders have taken to new compact digital video cameras making for great footage of their downhill runs.
Despite the extreme nature of the sport the local racers are all middle-aged guys, except for you 12-year-old Ammon Beard who races with his dad Jason.
Jason’s background is stand-up long boarding and the Australian Skateboard Racing Association governs both this more classical discipline and street luging, that rose to fame in the 1990s featuring on the X Games.
In classic luge, where street luge originated, all aspects of the wooden board are pretty much restricted, keeping costs down to around $300 and providing a more even playing field where the emphasis is on the rider as opposed to the equipment.
With street luge, most of the boards run six to eight wheels, they're usually made of metal and composites and range from $800 up to around $8000 and reach speeds of up to 85km/h.