Place: Huntington Beach, California.
Mike Carruth, BMX Plus! december 1985: If you could hand-pick a weekend to go to sunny Huntington Beach, when would it be? Well, if sharing the experience with a few hundred thousand people wouldn't bother you, the weekend chosen for round three of the AFA Masters Series would have been your hot ticket. Being a card carrying people watcher, I was in hog heaven. I hear Venice Beach is famous for that, but Huntington was my first experience at a full-scale population assault on a beach -after all, I've only been west of the Mississippi for a little over 30 days. Also taking place that weekend were the OP Pro Surfing Championships. In addition, there was a halfpipe set up on the beach for local skater types to terrorize. This all made for a sort of "Aggro Sport" melting pot, with surfers, skaters, and freestylers, not to mention a constant parade of bikini-clad babes (as I said, hog heaven!). All in all, the stage was set for a most exciting weekend. One interesting twist was the fact that a number of riders who were supposed to compete found themselves on the out-of-commission list for the weekend. Woody Itson was out with a bum ankle. Redline's R.L. Osborn was sidelined with a leg injury. Mike Buff spent the weekend on his back with appendicitis. Mike's CW teammate John "Dizz" Hicks was also a candidate for the out-ofcommission crew: Saturday morning he had a slight mishap with his stem and sliced his knee open. Twenty-two stitches later he was back at the contest site and ready to ride. He deserved a 99 for effort and commitment.
|Mike Carruth, BMX Plus! december 1985: All the flatland classes were run on Saturday. This included open, novice, expert, and pro. The ramp rippers would get their chance to entertain the massive H.B. crowd on Sunday. Flatland entries numbered around the 100 mark-a healthy turnout. The pro turnout was average-seven riders: Fred Blood (SE), Ron Wilkerson (Haro), Rick Allison (GT), Dave Nourie (Haro), Martin Aparijo (GT), David Ruz (GHP), and Oleg Konings (Skyway). The pro purse was $900 ($100 per rider plus $200 kicked in by AFA). In the pro class Martin really wowed the crowd with his five-minute routine. Rick Allison's routine was also a crowd pleaser. Martin scored a fair-sized win; Rick got second. Ron Wilkerson was my bid for third or fourth, but in a weird turn of events ended up in sixth. From third down, the order went Nourie, Blood, Konings, Wilkerson, and Ruz.
There was an impressive amount of talent in the amateur ranks too. In the 13 & Under Open class, Trevor Hernandez from Camarillo, California, jammed on Scotty Freeman with an energetic and innovative run. My prediction for the next hot pro (when he turns) is Missouri's Dennis McCoy. Dennis' routine was one of the most entertaining of the day. He claims he's not ready to make the jump just yet, but when he does, he'll be a serious threat to all pro freestylers.
Pro: 1.Martin Aparijo 2.Rick Allison 3.Dave Nourie 4.Fred Blood
17 and over expert: 1.Dennis McCoy 2.Rich Sigur 3.John "Dizz" Hicks
17 and over novice: 1.Mike Perkins 2.Norman Chuck 3.Dave Reddick
16 and under expert: 1.Jason Parks 2.Eddie Roman (tie) 2.Brent Hernandez (tie) 4.Mike Loveridge
16 and under novice: 1.Marc McKee 2.Tim Tracy 3.Scott Robinson
13 and under open: 1.Trevor Hernandez 2.Scott Freeman 3.Billy Swoope
|Mike Carruth, BMX Plus! december 1985: The ramp classes started around 11:00 am. and raged through the afternoon. Ramp sign-ups were considerably lower than flatland -only about 50 riders, but the bigger spectator attendance made up for it. The trick of the day was Hugo Gonzales' latest creation -a channel jump, or a ramp-to-ramp air. The move was sooo cool! Another popular aerial at the contest was the Can-Can, which was developed by Tony Murray. Speaking of Tony, he was going higher than anybody else there. He was getting about nine feet of air. He seemed a cinch to win; however, he didn't. This was largely due to the fact that a good portion of a rider's ramp score is based on the small ramp. Tony says he doesn't ride small ramp because he concentrates on big aerials on the quarterpipe. Also playing a role in Tony's upset was the fact that SE's Todd Anderson was red-hot. Todd's win proved he's capable of more than many people give him credit for. Tony ended up tying for second with Josh White in 17 & Over Expert in the most exciting battle of the day.
The Pro class was enjoyable, but many of the flatland specialists were only entered in ramps to have a shot at the overall win. Brian Blyther won the class and astounded the crowd with a complete routine, including his usual bio-air. Ron Wilkerson was still a little steamed about getting sixth in Pro Flatland, and was unleashing his complete bag of tricks. Ron ended up getting a well earned second place. As it turned out, Martin took fifth in the ramp class and scooped up the overall pro title as a bonus. Martin had killer small ramp routine and for a flatland fanatic was impressive.
Hopefully, by next contest the thrashed pros will have learned not to walk under ladders or break mirrors with their smilin' faces. Had Woody, Mike and R.L. ridden, this would have been the contest of all time. Well, maybe next time.
Pro ramps: 1.Brian Blyther 2.Ron Wilkerson 3.Hugo Gonzales 4.Dave Nourie
17 and over expert: 1.Todd Anderson 2.Tony Murray 3.Josh White 4.Dino DeLuca
17 and over novice: 1.Doug Randazzo 2.Tom Strada 3.Gary Gonzo
16 and under expert: 1.Jeff Latimer 2.Eddie Roman 3.Marc McGlynn
16 and under novice: 1.Mike Barlet 2.Eddie Marquez 3.Steve Luna
13 and under open: 1.Scott Freeman 2.Mike Golden 3.Trevor Hernandez