The last two weeks has been rad for Australian BMX. BMX in general in fact. It's great to see Vans work to create such an amazing, legit contest here in Australia. Not only did Vans invite a whole bunch of international rippers to come over, but they also gave the opportunity for non-invited Australian shredders (and Ryan Nyquist - who spun a 900 in finals!) to shred together, with the top 12 to qualify for the invitational.
It's good to have local legends and underground rippers mix in with the likes of Dennis Enarson and Nyquist, as much as it's sick to have those top dogs here, so they can get a taste of the awesome scene we have in Australia.
The scene has been hyped up, I know we are at least! It makes the approaching ACT jam even more exciting in our books. To see the amount of riders making the trip to Manly to watch or take part is a good reminder of BMX is about. Riders getting together to have a good time and make some memories.
As for the actual run down of the comp, it was plagued by rain for a lot of it, in both the qualifying round, semi finals and finals. But the perseverance of the riders and staff made it happen. The bowl was dried in record time after every rain, it was impressive to see everyone put in work to make it happen. Normally a bowl getting that wet would mean the session is done for the day.. Not in Manly. On the day of the finals, it rained three times pretty badly, but with 15 people on brooms, squeegees, towels and leaf blowers, the bowl was dry twenty minutes after. Gets you inspired to put more work in at the parks to make sessions happen in general.
Dani Lightningbolt in the deep before the sky opened up seconds after. Tyson photo.
It was rad and just flat out badass to watch the girls shred the park in the rain. Unfortunately due to time constraints the girls weren't able to ride while it was dry, but it didn't seem to phase them. I couldn't believe how hard they were shredding with the bowl being wet and puddles on the deck. Hats off to them!
Tyrone on telly! Tyson photo.
Back Bone Royal Rat, Cosmic Rumbler and Weston Creek local Tyrone Edwards made it to the invite rounds with his smooth style and blastability. It was so sick to see him tear up the bowl with the best of them, he had unique lines and made riding look real good. Awesome to watch, hell yeah Tyrone!
Hyrone blasting the seldom ridden quarter in the bowl. Tyson photo.
Standouts in the final, there was no denying that those who were blasting and smooth were the eye catchers. Dylan Lewis, approaching legend status - never has someone aired 10ft out of something so effortlessly. Never mind both ways. Dylan & Tyrone were both a part of the 'make riding look good' club.
Dylan Lewis! Opposite air lookback, up and up and up. Tyson photo.
Corey Walsh opened up the park in a big way, hammered out transfers all over the joint, the only dude I saw jump the step down off the spine all the way to the corner where the vert wall sat.
Tommy Dugan ripped the bowl apart, after jumping the step down off the spine he would be jazzing towards the hip love seat on the edge of the deep bowl and do the wildest 270 lookbacks into the deep end. He was traveling so far into the bowl because of his speed, it was incredible to watch him hold onto it.
Tommy Dugan floated in the deep. Tyson photo.
Dennis Enarson is a beast. It was sick to watch him pedal flat out across the top of the bowl gritting his teeth, before dropping in to blast the biggest tailwhip transfer across half the park. He also chucked a straight double barrie off the spine, stepping down into the quarter below. No catches in between, it was crazy.
Dennis Enarson with that tailwhip transfer, taking off from the black quarter (right from where the red coping ends) to the vert wall. Tyson photo.
Larry Edgar rode like he was trying to split the earth! I don't know how the bowl is still standing, Larry must have wound up springs in his legs that allow him to pump the quarters at a superhuman rate or something. He must have jumped over the spine at somewhere around the 14ft mark, from quarter to quarter. It was ridiculous. He did a no hander to table over it and it won him best trick.
Lucky they didn't put a roof on the bowl, Larry Edgar would've blown the roof off it. Tyson photo.
Sergio Layos took out the win and it made sense. He rode the entire bowl and looked flawless the entire time! He just kept going too, it's hard to imagine having that kind of stamina to maintain such a high level of riding for a run. He also fired the same insane tailwhip transfer as Dennis, but downside. The amount of speed to come at that transfer, which was essentially a 30 foot set back air, opposite, and launch a downside whip over it, was straight up badass.
The riding over the last few weeks has been next level and it's a motivator for sure. Not just to ride hard, but to ride new places, to meet new riders and most of all, have a damn good time riding BMX. Hope that Vans bring the bowl back for next year and thanks to Jerry Badders, Dennis McCoy, Andrew Mapstone, Vans and everyone else there for the good times!
Judges panel. Joe Rich, Rusty Brindley, Hank Cleworth and Big Island. Stacked!