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22nd Attack of Danger Bay launches a full return

After years of a stripped back event in Pender Harbour, event found Bricin Striker Lyons welcomed a full comeback. And the winner is...

The long awaited full return of the longest running downhill skateboard race made a roaring comeback on the May Day long weekend. 

As the Attack of Danger Bay returned to Pender Harbour for its 22nd year, defending Danger Bay champ Dane Hanna (also known as Danger Dane) was hot off successfully defending another championship title at the World Championships in Argentina. By the end of the weekend, Pender Habour’s Hanna pulled it off again — earning his third consecutive Attack of Danger Bay.

And the winner is…

On the men’s podium, Hanna was joined by Alberta’s Alex Hannigan in second place and Egmont’s Luke Roose in third. “We had two Penders on the podium, so it was almost a podium sweep,” event founder and organizer Bricin Striker Lyons told Coast Reporter

Hanna told Coast Reporter the track was rougher this year, so he had to deviate from his usual course, but that everyone was excited for the return of Attack of Danger Bay. “It was 1,000 times better,” he said.

A highlight for Hanna — besides taking the win, of course — was leading the May Day parade as a two-time world champ. This year, many young kids asked for his autograph. 

“It made me feel a little bit like a rockstar,” Hanna said. 

He hopes it will also inspire local youth to get into the sport and know “they can grow up and be a world champion or whatever. There’s lots of potential with the hills in Pender Harbour.” 

British Columbians took the women's podium as Kat Hill claimed the top spot, followed by Elycia Finch and Tessa Campbell. 

The competition sprawled into a multi-day event, with changing race tracks and the return of freeride opportunities. Plus a slide competition, skate hockey tourney, a private racers’ camp and the eight-kilometre push race in Egmont that ends in a literal splash. The finish line “Pacific Ocean Big Air” launches into the ocean, and is judged by height and distance. In the water, scuba divers waited to help the skaters-turned-swimmers and retrieve sinking longboards. 

For three years, the pandemic forced the event to be stripped down and moved to October. But both racers and spectators were back in full force. Lyons was happy to see around 90 racers from around the world come to Pender Harbour. 

“Sponsors save events,” Lyons said, as he shared that one of the event’s challenges is sourcing funds — more challenging since the pandemic began — and waiting for permits to be approved. The biggest sponsor, CF Contracting of Pender Harbour, helped ease the pressure, Lyons added. 

These days, Lyons lives 8,000 kilometres away from Pender Harbour, in Cape Breton, where he owns a hostel and is creating a downhill skateboard museum inside a restored church. He hopes to start a downhill competition on the East Coast as well. But for the Attack of Danger Bay, Lyons closes down the family business for a month to dedicate his efforts to the event. During the pandemic, Lyons funded the Attack himself.

“I'm doing it because I used to fight so hard to get it to happen,” Lyons said. “I can't just give up.” 

Lyons told Coast Reporter he hopes to see the event into its 25th year. 

“I’ve been saying, ‘We’ve got three years left.’” said the founder.

As for Danger Dane, he’s heading to the Knox Mountain Downhill for one of the Team Canada qualifying rounds to secure a shot at another World Downhill Skateboarding Championship in 2024. Then in Kimberley, he hopes to defend his title at the Sullivan Challenge Longboard Race.