I once again had the opportunity to leave the cold of Boston's frigid climate in the middle of February and board a plane to Chile for the Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo. This was my 3rd time attending, and the 11th year for the race, and it get's bigger and more crazy every year. The VCA is hands down my favorite event to go shoot, despite how compacted and crazy the race-day shooting ends up being. Snaking a course through the city streets or literally on top of families doorsteps means the VCA team has to do a lot of ramp prep off-site and can't actually start to put things into place until Saturday afternoon, with many of the workers welding some features late into the night. Come race day, they will have to setup, prep, and fine tune the course & features within hours, which is no easy feat when you have 6000 ft of metal riot fencing to install through busy streets and neighborhoods. Not to mention they completely shut down one of the busiest plazas in Valparaiso for the finish line! With the addition of Red Bull as the title sponsor, I knew that crowds would be even larger, which was great to see, but for shooting it meant squeezing my way through tight openings, herds of people, and scaling the occasional 6' riot fence with 2 cameras and a huge bag...not an easy task.
The heroes of this race are Victor and his amazing team of over 150 workers who work for many days straight getting this race together in time. They have a tough logistical task to make this race run smoothly but they always deliver a great show for the 15k+ fans that show up! Thanks again to everyone in Valpo for once again giving me the opportunity to experience the South American hospitality and the most insane race action.
Special thanks to the following for additional footage:
Filip Polc Marcelo Gutierrez Chris Van Dine The VCA media team Channel 7 News Perth Drones of Prey