Troy Brosnan and Tracey Hannah take first place in the Commencal Australian Open at Thredbo Cannonball Festival 2018! Words and photos by Nick Waygood.
Competitors awoke on the final day of Thredbo’s Cannonball Festival to overcast skies with the threat of thunderstorms by the late afternoon, resulting in race officials bringing the event forward an hour. The rain certainly didn’t deter competitors, with many looking forward to tacky conditions following on from 4 perfectly warm days in Thredbo’s sunshine!
Morning practice kicked off smoothly, with all competitors taking on the Cannonball Downhill course to perfect their lines one final time before the big one. With practice over at 10:30am, the first rain front rolled through and drizzled over the track by lunchtime. Many remained hopefully that conditions couldn’t get any better (or worse).
The sun then began shining its beautiful rays through the clouds as we kicked into U19 and Pro categories, with competitors heading up stoked and ready to tackle the 5-and-a-half minute course. The alpine skies are mostly deceiving though, for moments after Tracey Hannah crossed the line into first, the rain started falling, drenching the course for Pro Mens.
Sian A’hern went into the final event knowing she needed at least fourth to take Queen of Cannonball, and would take second place on the podium behind Tracey, only 5 seconds back from Tracey’s blistering fast time of 5:52.5! Tegan Molloy clocked in third, with a time of 6:01.
In U19’s, Ellie Smith would take the win in the race, and Queen of Cannonball for her category. Ethan Corney would take King of U19’s, but would fall short of a podium for the race, with Matt Carter taking top spot in the mens. Aaron ‘Rumble In The’ Gungl would take second, with Pat Butler trailing close behind.
The Pro Mens race would end up in confusion, with storms causing malfunctions to the timing system on dramatic levels. Dean Lucas would end up taking top spot as Brosnan crossed the line, until it was announced that the dramatic malfunction would result in Lucas falling back to 12th, with Troy Brosnan actually taking the win. Harry Bush took second, with Syndicate Frenchie Loris Vergier smashing the course into third!
We rounded off the week by seeing the first ever sibling King/Queen, with Sian A'hern taking the Pro Womens, and brother Kye A'hern taking the mens!
That wraps up an awesome week of racing! Keep an eye out for printed coverage in issue 173, out in February 2019.