You could easily spend a day watching people get drunk and rock on. By the end of the day most Brits had a sunburn and by the end of the weekend those who camped out weren't exactly reaking FA Fresh. Who cares, it's a festival, a reason to go wild.
The Snickers Bowl event is a comp where the skateboarders and BMX-ers do get along nicely. BMX-ers watch the skateboarding and the other way around showing respect to both worlds. Tony Alva and Christian Hosoi both made it over and gave a speach or two. One more fitting than the other, especially at a metal festival. Diaz, Patch, Horrwarth, Galloway, Ueda, Lasek, 909 Hassan, Hendrix all made for a good show but I figure you are waiting to hear what happened on the BMX side.
The 9 people who qualified for the finals on Sunday were: Dennis McCoy (Vans/Brigade), Tom Stober (GT Bikes), Zach Shaw (Vans/Oakley), Matt Fairbairn (Mongoose), Bas Keep (Hoffman Bikes), Koji Kraft (Oakley/Cardboard Lords), Simon Tabron (Mongoose), Joe Rich (Terrible One) and Jimmy Walker (SCRAP). A jam format session on order was the system for the competition. This made for as many runs for everyone and was still clear for the crowd and the judges to see what was going on.
At 39 years old Dennis McCoy hasn't lost one bit of his competitiveness and blasted big airs right from the first drop in. His 540-s and flairs were pulled at pretty much the same height and if you're a DMC fan, you'll be happy to hear he pulled a couple of lip tricks too. Some with a bitch crank or two but that's exactly how we like to see it from "D".
Tom Stober rode really well on Sunday and blasted clean double whips, superman seatgrabs, alley-oop no-handers over the elbow and one-footed seatgrab barspins that looked pretty trick. It was a bit up and down for a bowl contest but the runs were clean, the height was there and the variations as well. Yup, he did flairs too, almost forgot.
Matt Fairbairn deserves the tough as nails award over the weekend. In fact, Koji Kraft was up there too but for Koji that's just another weekend on the ramp. Matt ate it bad with big hang-ups over the elbow. It's just a different style of riding and adjusting to it over just one weekend is pretty tough. The Aussie blasted big inverts, did sweet suicide no-handers, 540-s with a barspin (!), x-up to barspin to x-up and double barspins. Throw a tailwhip or two in there and you've got yourself some BMX entertainment.
Grand daddy Zach Shaw needed a little warm up getting to his favorite height. Once there his inverts were held until he touched the ramp and his body jars are something else. Flairs too for Zach and the longer he kept riding, the more tricks came back including the no-footed cancan and no-footer to one-footed invert.
Watching Bas Keep ride is a treat. He makes things look easy while he blasts big airs from left to right and from right to left. He's definitely got the height and style and his tricks include tailwhips, no-handers, opposite lookbacks and opposite one-handed one-footers. His 12 foot inverts are my favorite though. So stylish.
Koji Kraft is entertainment. Koji Kraft is every air to switch hander. Koji Kraft is crashing big time. Koji Kraft is getting back up for more. Koji Kraft is 20 pound piece of cardboard. The tricks that Koji fires off when he drops in are insane. He needs the height for all the tricks he throws in there at the same time. It's a bit of Chad Harrington on vert but going over the moves he just did you realize that it was hard shit. Take the stretched no-hander to switch-hander for example. Many would be stoked on the no-hander alone but Koji adds a switch hander to it on the way down. So scary. Also frightening was his double barspin attempt. He totally missed his bars on his way in but somehow rolled out of it with his bars backwards. Almost shit my pants. Turndown flairs: check. Opposite 540: check. Double tailwhips: check. He's got the big tricks too.
Simon Tabron just put together a new RAF bike that he had painted black and all the brake lugs were removed. You see, Si rides brakeless and doesn't need all the Gyro tabs and stuff on his bike. Simon did straight up inverts in the pockets and also 540-d the corners of the bowl. His cancans are truely Hoffman style and the flow he's got is nice to watch. Even if he's riding brakeless and with no pegs, he's got full bike control. No-hand to turndown 540-s and no-hand to no footed 540-s were both pulled but the extension on the no-footer could use a bit of foampit practice. Wait a minute, Si is foampit-free so he'll have to find a local metal ramp, concrete ramp or wooden set-up to work on it.
It is pretty safe to say that the finals had one real bowl rider in it. It was Joe Rich. The T-1 rider doesn't ride much up and down vert and it showed. He was one with the bowl and was riding it all weekend long as much as possible. He used the corners to get speed and didn't seem to get lost carving around the ramp. Joe carved over the extension, did pocket airs and still blasted 7 feet turndowns and lookbacks. He had some problems in the final and couldn't fully get it together. The ramp had become a bit dusty (slippery) which seemed to be okay for the other riders who went up and down but with Joe's cornering speed it was actually getting hard for him to stay straight up.
Jimmy Walker definitely impressed me with his riding. He's got a similar ramp set-up at home (Scrap skatepark) and I believe Jimmy was the person having the least problems adjusting to the Snickers Bowl. Jimmy fired out no-handed flairs and also turndown flairs among other tricks such has x-ups, toboggans, no-handers to turndown, no-footed seatgrabs, smooth opposite lookback airs and came close to winning this gig.
When the comp was over there was a hard trick contest with money for top 5. Prize money was ridiculously good which is nice. Thanks Snickers.
Chris Mahoney pulled an alley-oop flair in the elbow section of the bowl for a couple hundred bucks. DMC did a barspin 720 tire tap (to fakie) for fourth. Third went to Fairbairn who was already feeling really sore from all the crashed he had suffered but gave it one more shot and pulled a double barspin to x-up for 3rd place. He then continued in the 20 minute best trick session and crashed a barspin 540 super hard. His girlfriend had told him not to ride best trick but the $ 1000,= USD for third place will get her a new bag and a pair of shoes so both are happy. In the last 5 minutes of the jam Simon Tabron fired out a rad no-handed to turndown 540 and added another 900 to his list. The crowd went nuts but it was Koji Kraft who got the biggest check. His double tailwhip to full x-up won the $ 2250,= USD cardboard check. Sweet.
Thanks to the HSA, IMG and Snickers for the good weekend. Rock on.
Main Competition Results:
1 Simon Tabron
2 Jimmy Walker
3 Tom Stober
4 Koji Kraft
5 Sebastian Keep
6 Joe Rich
7 Matt Fairbairn
8 Dennis McCoy
9 Zach Shaw
10 Chris Mahoney
11 Jon Taylor
12 Owain Clegg
13 Ruben Alcantara
BMX Best Trick Results
1 Koji Kraft Double Tail whip to X-up
2 Simon Tabron 900
3 Matt Fairbairn X-up to double bar spin
4 Dennis McCoy Barspin 720 tire tap to fakie
5 Chris Mahoney Alley oop flair through the elbow
BMX Competition Snickers Bowl, Donington Sunday 11 June, 2006
BMX Annual Manual Results
1 Ruben Alcantara
2 Jon Taylor 28m
3 Joe Rich 26.5m
4 Dennis McCoy 21.4m
5 Matt Fairbairn 9.3m
6 Simon Tabron 1.2m
UK Friday Friday 9 June, 2006 Snickers Bowl, Donington EVENT RESULTS:
1. Chris Mahoney
2. Ben Wallace
3. Toby Gresswell