I LOVE QUALS! There, I said it! Yes the race weekend is great because of all it brings but for a single day then I would pick Quals every time. If you haven't got to the track at 8am with the FiJi mob and stuck it out until dusk then I recommend you do so! The simple pleasure and pain that is involved is like few other events. Every year throws up little plots and subplots that are a joy to behold because to each team they have huge importance even if they seem minor to the viewer. From the joy of qualification for ZBT to the horror of dropping off the board following the last run of the day (especially when, as in the case of the Asian Cultural Centre, they posted their time at 8am), Quals day has it all!
The aspirational differences between competitors are as great as you will find across the sporting experience. You couldn't get much more of a difference than between Eric Young crashing in turn 3 because he was going too fast to SDT literally taking 4minutes for their qualifying run (because two other teams had failed a 3rd attempt).
My favourite moments in memory come on the negative end of things.... Brandon Hurey raising the yellow flag to eliminate ATO from Quals the year after winning the race and the Gamma Phi Beta girl, who, on her 3rd attempt, after seemingly completing the 3rd exchange, amazingly lost control and rolled into the gutter....and out of the race!
Therefore between today and saturday morning it'll be great if people could share their favourite Quals memories in the comments section! I'll be jealous of you all on Saturday!
1 week ago