Onewheel Racing League (ORL) hosted its Eastern Regional Qualifier on July 30 and 31, 2022 at Kanuga bike park, Hendersonville, NC. This was the second of two qualifying events for this year’s Race for the Rail to be held on August 20 and 21, 2022. The top four men and top four women from each qualifier will proceed to Race for the Rail, in addition to last year’s champions and selected contenders from the official ORL rankings list.
The ORL Eastern Qualifier race course was front-loaded with a series of steep tabletop rollers and finished on a patch of loose gravel. The entire course was just over a quarter of a mile long, making each heat quick and exciting. Racers jockeyed for position in a single lane, with a definite advantage going to anyone who could snag a lead between the starting gate and the first roller–but, with so many features and variables spread over the next quarter mile, it was still anyone’s heat right up until the very finish. More than once, racers finished so close together that footage had to be reviewed in slow motion to determine who would continue to the next bracket.
Winners of this season’s pre-qualifying events seeded directly into the final bracket. The other slots were determined by time trials on Saturday, July 30, an event which attracted more than 70 hopeful Onewheel riders.
Sunday’s finals were commentated by community icon Bart Miller, whose inside perspective on the racers and racing experience brought valuable insight to the ORL livestream. Watch the replay below!
Watch: ORL Eastern Qualifier
On the men’s side, newcomer Brandon Peavy (Tallahassee, FL) edged out top seed Austen Silva for the win in a shocking upset in the final bracket, where Silva stepped off his board in the tabletop section. Rounding out third and fourth place were Branden Lacour and Finn Holcomb. All of these racers stamped their tickets to Race for the Rail.
On the women’s side, reigning champion Merceded Silva continued to dominate, besting Gabi Soto in the final bracket. East Coast favorite Racheal Cecil wiped out on the tabletops in the second-to-last heat and was not able to make up for lost time. She and Austen Silva both experienced one of the major disadvantages of such a short race course, where a single mistake almost always spells defeat. Kristy Miller rounded out the women’s top 4.
Other competitors were added to the bracket based on time trials on Saturday, July 30. These included Luke Austin, Jeff Adair, Brenden Schurmeier, and Kyle Klausing in the men’s bracket, and Janet Thorne, Emily Bell, Hannah Wells, and Kay Love in the women’s bracket.
Though only one could win the Eastern Qualifier, many of these faces will be back for Race for the Rail and a shot at redemption… not to mention $10,000 for each of the winners.
About Race for the Rail
On August 20-21, 2021, 16 men and 12 women will be duking it out for the title of fastest Onewheel rider alive. Competitors will include the top four men and top four women from each of the qualifying races, with six slots in the men’s bracket and two slots in the women’s bracket to be filled by at-large bids. At-large bids will be awarded to racers who placed well in this season’s sanctioned Onewheel races: DirtSurferz, Wheel Scorcher, and Shredfest.
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