May 31st, 2011 by Tim Woodhead

All photos by Project Photography

The first stop of the Blackpool Wake Series got off to a windy start on Saturday, the wake park looked more like the North Sea for most of the day but the riders did themselves proud and powered through the rough conditions. Bearing in mind the weather, the turnout was top notch with 34 riders entering and a good mix of spectators too. The BBQ and cafe were firing on all cylinders and the vibe was super relaxed. The format was one of fun and getting people out on the water as much as possible. From 9am till 3pm it was freeriding and practice on the System 2.0 and people could just ride and have some fun. The winch park was open all day but unfortunately took the brunt of Mother Nature’s wind! After the practice sessions the contest started and each rider got 3 passes of the wake park, one pass being up and down the lake. Within the 3 passes you could fall as many times as you wanted and the riders were judged on overall impression.

The rookies hit the water first and it was amazing to see so many competitors who had only just started in the sport. Some of the riders had only been riding for 4 weeks and easily held their own! In the end it was Rik Baird who took the win showing off his cross over boardsport skills. Sam Gatt took a close second and if had nailed his backside 360 on the kicker maybe the crown would have been his. Tim Evision from the Manchester Uni crew took a well deserved third place and easily had the biggest crowd behind him.

The juniors followed next with Taylor Knight taking the win, Lewis Davies in second and Bella Thompson in third. It was the juniors who took the brunt of the bad weather with the occasional chop being almost waist height on poor Bella. This will be a good division for the future and certainly some riders to keep your eye on.
The ladies went next and 5 of them battled for the top spot. Unfortunately Mia Croston took a big crash on the kicker and ended up having to go to hospital with some possible ligament damage in her knee. We all wish Mia a speedy recovery. Had Mia completed her run she would have taken the win, sticking a great backside 360 along the box rail in her first pass. In the end, it was Sarah Hughes who won and also big props must go to Ali Davies in 3rd place who was the hitting the kicker switch for the first time that day.

The wakeskate division was a beauty and saw Si Powel and Callum Warren both laying down some bangers. Callum normally a boat rider showed he can still rip on the obstacles and flat water. Powel won quite easily in the end and showed some great consistency.

The open men was a really hard division to judge because there was so many different styles of riding going on, in the end the top two were Marcus Jackson and Toby Yeo and it was almost impossible to split them. They both had a high number of tricks landed including loads of technical rail tricks like switch 270’s on to the box and bank. They pressed everything and had some style on the kicker too. It was Marcus who grabbed the win with his 540 on the kicker just edging him past Toby. This division really showed that there are plenty of good riders in the area including James Hackney with his air tricks, Adam Oldfield from Windermere plus plenty more.

The comp was a blinding success and a good start to the series. The second stop is 13th August and let’s hope the wind stays away this time! Thanks to everyone at Blackpool Wake Park, the judges, the helpers and the great sponsors in Mystic, Hyperlite, Waterpsorts World and White No Sugar.

See you at the next stop.

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