(June 28, 2013) The Dew Tour Beach Championships competitions were action-packed last weekend, as world-class athletes battled it out in a variety of events over four days, June 20-23, in downtown Ocean City.
–Surf Shop Showdown:
The first competition of the weekend took place Thursday evening in the ocean near the pier.
The inaugural Surf Shop Showdown presented by Ron Jon showcased the top local surfers representing area surf shops. The event consisted of two sessions with four surfers in each. The judges looked for high airs, rotations and grabs, as well as solid turns in the beach break. The top two surfers–Brad Flora, competing for Atlantic Shoals and Sam Deeley for K-Coast Surf Shop, moved on to the finals.
Deeley’s air reverse earned him top honors.
“It’s incredible,” Deeley stated in a press release. “I was so blessed to have the opportunity to surf in this contest. I’m speechless.”
Deeley said all of the competitors are friends and they “love to surf in our hometown on our home break.”
The BMX Vert finals got under way on Friday evening, but after the 12 competitors each took their first 30-second runs, the competition was postponed to Saturday afternoon because moisture on the vertical ramp was causing an unsafe situation for riders. After three runs, the six athletes with the highest scores advanced to the “Super Final,” where they took three more 30-second runs.
Jamie Bestwick of Nottingham, Great Britain, had the top scored going into the third and final run. He was the last to ride and had already secured the trophy, but Bestwick didn’t hold back. He combined massive amplitude with tricks including a downside tailwhip flair, knack knack seat grab 540 and a front flip flair. Spectators and fellow riders roared with cheers after his run.
“I was pumped. Over the moon,” Bestwick said about his final run. “I had it planned for that for the ‘Super Final’. I thought I would pull it first-go, but I’m glad that I saved it for my ‘so-called glory run.’ That wasn’t a glory run, that run was for me. I just wanted to do something for myself and really just go non-stop and it panned out.”
In the Dew Tour’s nine-year history, Bestwick has been the only BMX athlete to hold the BMX Vert title.
Bestwick’s son joined him on the podium sporting a T-shirt with the word “undefeatable” on it. When asked if that’s how he sees himself, the 41-year-old said “No. I’m not that cocky, but I do feel like I’ve got a special talent for riding.”
“It’s great (to win a ninth title) but the final run, that’s the trophy. I’ll walk out of here with that last run in my head for a long, long time,” he said.
Vince Byron of Brisbane, Australia finished in second place and Steven McCann of Melbourne took third.
–BMX Street Session:
The “Battle at the Beach” BMX Street Session debuted in the center of the Dew Tour Experience on Saturday afternoon. The best street riders participated and it was Dan Lacey who topped the group in the 30-minute jam format contest, landing a backward grind to over toothpick on the rail.
“A rail jam on the beach, you can’t argue with that,” Lacey stated in a press release. “The crowd loved it, the riders loved it, and I can’t wait for next year.”
He not only won the contest, but also received the “Best Trick” award for his backward grind to over toothpick down the rail.
The top 10 skaters from Thursday’s semifinal advanced to the finals on Saturday, which consisted of two heats of five skaters taking four 30-second runs. The five skaters with the best scores competed in a “Super Final,” with four 30-second runs.
Baltimore native Bucky Lasek had the crowd on its feet following his second run, smiling and jokingly brushing his shoulders off after. His run included a drop-in to switch 360, nollie flip stalefish and boneless rodeo.
“That was my run that I planned to do. That was the best of the best right now for me,” said Lasek, who grew up skating in Ocean City. “The competition was at an all-time high. Everyone really stepped it up. Sandro [Dias] almost pulled the carpet out from under my feet on that last run, almost making the 900.”
Canadian Pierre-Luc Gagnon and Dias of Brazil finished in second and third place respectively.
“It was amazing to see Bucky Lasek win the Dew Cup,” said Jessica Waters, communications manager for the Town of Ocean City. “He one of Maryland’s ‘hometown heros’ and his Maryland and Ocean City pride was evident by his enthusiasm and wardrobe (he wore socks with the Maryland flag on them during his events). That was a really wonderful moment.”
Donna Abbott, Ocean City’s tourism and marketing director, presented Lasek with the “Local Award,” a photograph of an ocean wave with the “Dew Tour Beach Championships 2013” logo custom printed on wood by Plak That, owned by Ocean City native Wyatt Harrison. Each event winner received one.
“It was an honor, and I was thrilled to see him win on his ‘home beach,’” Abbott said.
“Being able to produce some pieces for guys that I grew up looking up to through my various BMX and skateboarding phases was absolutely an honor,” Harrison said.
–Skate Legends Bowl:
Nine skateboarding legends were invited to participate in the event based on their status as true “pioneers” of bowl skating.
The skaters, who ranged in age from late 40s to early 50s, each took four, 35-second runs to show off their skills.
Chris Miller of Upland, Calif., who designed the portable concrete structure, won the Dew cup for the third consecutive year.
“We’ve been doing these events for a while, but not on national television and not in front of an audience like the Dew Tour,” he said. “It’s a real honor. This is one of the funnest projects I’ve ever had a chance to work on in my career.”
Miller was the last competitor to skate and his third run had already secured him the victory. Miller logged an even higher score on his fourth run. His run included a huge transfer from the shallow to the deep end, a frontside ollie transfer and a lipslide around the corner from the deep to shallow end.
Steve Caballero of Campbell, Ca. and Mike McGill of Encinitas, Ca. took second and third, respectively.
“A lot of these guys like Duane Peters, Eddie [Elguera] and Steve Alba, those are the guys that I grew up looking up to,” Miller said. “They were the pros when I was a little kid and actually in my career, I’ve never skated against them so to have a session like this; it is competition, but it’s really more of a get together. We just cheer each other on and it’s really fun.”
The Flatland BMX event kicked off Sunday afternoon. The format for the flatland consisted of three rounds with six riders going through the first round to decide the seeding. For the second round the fourth and third ranked riders went head-to-head, as did the fifth and second and the sixth and first with each rider allowed three, 60-second runs. The winning three riders from round two competed in the finals. Matthias Dandois of France was the victor, followed by Yohei “Ucchie” Uchino of Japan and Terry Adam of Louisiana.
Dandois’ trick list included a megaspin bar-to-bar, a double boomerang, and a steamroller barspin to tea kettle.
“It’s only the second year this is part of the Dew Tour and it’s getting better and better,” he said. “This year I was more creative that the last year so I’m psyched.”
–Skate “Battle at the Beach” Street Session:
The first-ever Skate “Battle at the Beach” Street Session took place in the middle of the Dew Tour Experience after the Flatland event. Several top street skaters displayed their best tricks in the street feature set up on the sand. It was Jordan Hoffart who stood out above the rest. Throughout the 30-minute jam, he landed a tailslide kickflip to fakie on the hubba and a big spin heelflip boardslide on the rail. Garrett Hill was awarded the “Best Trick title” for his 360 flip to 5-0 on the hubba.
“At first I was nervous, because I haven’t been skating a lot of stairs and rails lately, but everything went super well,” Hoffart stated in a press release. “This win was a big confidence boost for me. Now I’m just gunning for the Dew Tour stop in San Francisco. I can’t wait.”
The top 10 riders from Friday’s semifinal competed on Sunday in two heats. For the first heat, five riders took two runs, then, the five riders in the second heat took two runs. All 10 athletes then took a third and final run. Each rider received three, 45-second runs in total and were judged on overall impression with their best run counting toward their overall score.
With scores close, it all came down to the final runs, where Ryan Nyquist of San Jose, Ca. held on to the top spot. His final run was similar to his second, which put him in the No. 1 spot, but it included a 360 double barspin over one of the larger box jumps.
“Standing up there before last run I thought I could possibly just chill this run because my legs started feeling fatigue … but I thought how bummed would I be if I laid up and Drew [Bezanson] dropped in or Andy [Buckworth] or someone dropped in and just took me out,” Nyquist said. “The worst thing is living with regret, so I said, ‘alright, no regrets go out there and see what happens.’”
This is his first Dew Tour BMX Park win. Canadian Drew Bezanson placed second and Scotty Cranmer of Jackson, N.J. finished in the third spot.
“It’s amazing. This is a discipline I’ve done well with in the past, but at Dew Tour this is the first time I won the cup so it’s a big one for me,” Nyquist said. “Last year I came here and did well and just missed out on the podium so that was the goal, just get a podium spot, but the fact that I got the top spot is just icing on the cake.”
The Skate Bowl contest Sunday evening was the final event of the weekend and it didn’t disappoint as the athletes wowed the crowd with their tricks. The 10 skaters who advanced to the finals competed in two heats, with five riders in each. They all took four 35-second rides. The five with the highest scores advanced to the “Super Final.”
Brazilian Pedro Barros’ fast and aggressive skating also with tricks including an alley-oop indy over the hip, a huge 540 and a long Smith grind in the deep end earned him his third consecutive Dew Tour cup.
“I’m super happy. It’s always a pleasure to be out here in Ocean City with all the crowd cheering you on and having be able to skate this amazing contest and this amazing bowl with all the skaters,” Barros said. “The competition was amazing. The level was super high. We had a final with a lot of younger people with me, Kalani [David], and Tom [Schaar] and then Bucky’s still out there killing it. He won on the vert and he’s been winning all contests around this year…and if it wasn’t for his fall, he’d probably be in the first position.”
Lasek placed second. David of Oahu, Hi. took third.
“I would have liked more time in the bowl. I felt a little rushed. Another day of practice I would have been able to get into some of the scores Pedro was tapping into,” said Lasek, who not only competed in the bowl event but also the Skate Vert contest, which he won. “It was a great overall experience in Ocean City. I always have a great time here.”