|Date: may 23-24, 1992.
Place: Hastings, UK.
Mark Noble, Invert july 1992: A year ago, Stuart Dawkins ran a ramp jam down in his hometown of Hastings - it was actually quite the raging event. Tons of riders came along and rode both the midi and the vert, and the ramp riding was top notch - but you've all read our July 1991 issue so I don't need to write another contest report here right now. 1992 was different in so many ways. First off, this was a two-day weekend bash. Second, a dirt jumping section was added. Third, Stuart paid for some guest riders to come along and ride. Fourth, the weather was perfect. Fifth, there were about ten times as many people this year compared to last year. Sixth... not sure. I'll come to that later.
The prologue. About three weeks, maybe a month, before the contest Stuart was getting everything ready. He was organising the BFA to take care of the competition details, informed everyone possible, and also bought plane tickets for two American riders - none other than prime Stuntman Dennis McCoy and superior Dirtman Tim Hall- to come out and ride at the contests. He also started to dig a monster new jump down at Bexhill track with the local BMX club people. Everything was coming together. And then things started to collapse: the Hastings Council decided that the ramps were the root of all evil and the gateway to hell itself. They associated problems with people vandalising the bowling green over the road with the people using the ramps and decided to destroy the big vert ramp using the excuse that it was unsafe. They bulldozed and removed the ramp in one morning - ten days before the contest [they couldn't touch the 8ft midi 'cause Stuart had paid for it out of Backyard's pocket]. The local newspaper got ahold of the story and made this cock up front page news: the council were pretty embarrassed to say the least and came up with a compromise to save their youth vote. Plans are afoot to build a mini ramp on the site, and they agreed to pay towards hire of a vert ramp for the weekend. Their amount of cash was only sufficient to pay for the Invert ramp to be put inside the removal lorry. Extra money was needed to get the ramp from Dorchester to Hastings, so we had a ring round the industry for sponsorship: Vans shoes came up with a cheque, Rare Unit ramps helped out, and Invert mag came up with the rest to get the ramp there. Eventually Stuart had a ramp to ride. The dirt jump was finished thanks to the local riders, and it looked immense. So, things were back on course for a great weekend.
1992 Backyard jam video.
|Mark Noble, Invert july 1992: Saturday. We made our way in our vehicle and arrived at the venue for Saturday's dirt jumping orgy, Bexhill Track, at around twenty past nine on Saturday morning. A very sportsman-like time of arrival. Various people were present, and a surprising amount of people were already riding around the track - mostly local riders, mostly younger dudes, and mostly riding some very rootsy material indeed. Spotted hacking round the track was a Jag Pro frame, a Quadangle complete with camoflage SE Racing padset, and a Patterson frame amongst other old stuff. The scene at Bexhill looked strong already. Time passed on and more people showed up. Before we knew what was going on, the car parking area was pretty full and the track was busier than a bee hive during Summer. Bexhill Club officials came along and opened up the club hut and switched on a decently loud PA system to provide tunes and commentary for the day's contest. Things were cooking.
Entrants signed up and eventually once all the riding order were sorted out the contest began. The coolest thing was that the BFA were working together with EBA people to run the contest. The funny thing about this was that one organisation thought that the other knew how to run the jam: Mr.Duly Snr [EBA] turned to Roy Winfield [BFA] and said something like "Right, let's start. How does it go?", to which Roy replied "I don't know, thought you knew how to run these things!" Not a problem - after a little consultation the contest format was based around the EBA's King Of Dirt series with BFA-type groups, and a loose jam was organised, with riders entering into either of three groups: Squirt Of Dirt [young riders], with B group and A group for older riders. Squirt Of Dirt riders had five shots at the tabletop, and B and A groupers had about five goes at the tabletop and three or so at the camels down the second straight and as many attempts at jumping the brand new chasm as they like. The PA system was in full effect, and music was blasted out of the speakers [something which the EBA doesn't have but the BFA does]. It was all a cross between an EBA contest and a BFA contest, it was all very loose and cool, and really it couldn't be better.
Squirt Of Dirts kicked off first, these were riders all aged under twelve, and there were some really talented and loony riders in there. We're talking about riders who were all doing stylish moves over the lippy table - flatties, x-ups, one footers, and there was even one guy who tried a 360 at full speed, and there was also this other rider named Jeffery Hall who was busting out with all sorts of sicko stuff: no footer one handers, can cans, no foot can cans, and more. He also had a dustbin sized peg on his back wheel, and he probably even did a few rocket jumps that day - and he was about ten years old. He was very rad - and I even think he won. Have a look at the results page for more details.
The Squirts all finished, and it was time for the B groupers to take to the track. It was here that Dennis Wingham took his first victory for the weekend - the Pool Man wailed some big variations over the tabletop. Paul Brown proved his jumping skill with some high and smooth launches - classic style. Rich Bollington and Mike O'Connell took 3rd and 4th.
When the B's finished the A's all lined up on the second berm in order to get a decent shot at the table. This was going to prove to be the most intense dirt jumping session ever seen in the UK: Scott Timmins not only wore a Glue tee shirt, but also had some sicko rocket jumps dialled in - he jumped high too. Jamie Bestwick doesn't just need smooth plywood surface to get rad, the dirt of Bexhill saw to that: clicked turndowns [like, 270], tailwhip jumps, and other manly variations on his 2nd bike impressed the heck out of many people present. Local Dave Bishop had the track dialled and built most of the jumps, hence he had his styles down. Another local, Keith Duly, was looking really good: actually, he looked just like Fuzzy. He had some weird stuff going on, like one handed step thru to step thru x-up, as well as turndowns and nac nacs. Mike Canning was on fire -his jumps were so high and powerful that he was almost clearing to whole tabletop [downside included] on all his variations, like no footed toboggans, insane nac nacs, and huge 360's. Dennis McCoy was also on a roll -he had jumps like barspin to no foot, nothings, and no footed 360's. The real Fuzzy, aka Tim Hall, was jumping as smooth and stylish as you like. Seat grab nac nacs stretched to the point where all your tendons start snapping was just one jump the Fuzz-ball had up his sleeve.
And then, then, not content with the A's just using the tabletop, everything moved over to the camel jump. The camel jump was down the back straight, and it's pretty large. People just adapted their styles over this jump, but since the jump was bigger the variations were gnarlier. DMC really got into this one with some serious 360 variation attempts - like bus driver [barspin] 360's. Fuzzy [the real Fuzzy that is] was in his element here - big monstrous tabletops [if Andy Ruffell was on site, they would be named 'overflat']. The biggest trickstar of them all, Clive Gosling was about as stoked as Michael Douglas was when asked to co-star in Basic Instinct when he pulled a silky big 360 over the camel. Mike Canning defines the word 'rad' -he has everything you could ever want in a rider: guts, style, height, power. Jim Dirt also took his Solution to new limits with some more stretched stuff. Yes yes.
And that wasn't that. Then, everything moved over to the new chasm jump. This thing was a monster. The launch lip was about eight feet up, built hard as a rock and shaped like a huge mini ramp with a nice curvacious transition. The landing pad was about twenty feet away [or so], and between them lay a real chasm, full of rocks and all sorts of rubbish. Clear it or die. First to jump the chasm was Fuzzy the night before - he cleared it smooth. On this day, everyone [with balls] went for it, but few actually made the downside of the landing pad and pulled it smoothly. Kevin Martin from Trend/Shaft/Homeless was there shooting for Homeless 4 video, and he was stoked - he had the slam section filmed in one go, with no need to edit it at all. People who made the jump with variations to boot included Canning, Duly, Bishop, and of course Fuzzy. After the short outbreak of insanity, things calmed down to hear out the results. As it turned out, Fuzzy tied with Canning for first place, and a one-jump run-off would decide the actual victor. This was a tad hard on Mike, cause he had just caned his bike on a harsh landing over the chasm, and had to borrow another. Fuzzy started cranking around the berm and then hard down the back straight, and then launched into a smooth massive 360 over the chasm. Mike settled for a large 360 over the camel on the borrowed bike. In the end, Fuzzy took home the win.
Fuzzy seatgrab nacnac on the cover of Invert july 1992.
DIRT A GROUP 1.Tim Fuzzy Hall 2.Mike Canning 3.Keith Duly 4.Dave Bishop 5.Jamie Bestwick 6.Scott Timmins
DIRT B GROUP 1.Dennis Wingham 2.Paul Brown 3.Ricki Bollington 4.Mike O'Connell 5.Paul Offord 6.Steve grace 7.Dan Price
|Mark Noble, Invert july 1992: Sunday morning came round with the usual post-party sound of the hoover. Anyways, it was about ten when we all arose, had breakfast, and sorted out lifts to the site of Sunday's riding festival, the Hastings Oval. The sun was out, the sky was blue, there wasn't a cloud to spoil the view. The Invert ramp was built and ready: unfortunately it had to be built on grass which acted like a huge mattress, which meant the ramp was moving when people rode it. Otherwise, the whole scene couldn't have been more perfect. Practice was taking place during the morning, at times the decks were looking pretty stuffed with the amount of riders entered. Pretty soon, after the practice session, the C groupers took to the ramp for their contest. C group vert went like this: local Jeff Skinner threw in some fairly neat tricks - he was most bummed about losing the Hastings vert ramp. Jeff Hall, the little dude with all the jumps in the Squirt Of Dirt, pulled off axle stalls, no foot one handers, and no footed can cans. And he's really young too. The winner was Mike Mullen - he did well, and he's got a pretty smooth riding style too.
B group, and things were becoming hectic. Steve Grace is a nutcase - he has rockets and all sorts of crap going on. Darren Gascoigne rode a brand new Hoffman bike and did some really really weird lip tricks: can can toothpicks, one foot icepicks, and even almost doing icepick to toothpick just like doing tyretap to nosepick but on the pegs instead, think about it. Spencer Tomsett is a student of the Carlo Griggs School Of Vert Riding, and it shows. He's got the power style, and does some rad variations as well. Big 540's too. But the winner was Dennis Wingham - this was his second victory for the weekend [he doubled?] - and he was ripping. But nutty stuff, and he came the closest out of everyone to pulling a 900. Yes, Dennis.
And now, on to the A group. The biggest entry of A groupers ever - it was so rad. The decks were so crowded that the A group was split into two groups. Zack was on the vert tip - his indians are ruling. Howard Radcliffe also did some neat variations and pulled a good 540. Brian Wills was riding higher and smoother than ever, he deserved his place. Jon Taylor took a 7th place with some good airs and very rad lip tricks to boot: like framestand icepicks. 6th was Rob Seward, chalk up the sickest inverts ever, barspin airs, and more. 5th, Mike Canning. Mike took his 5th place on the strength of one run only since he suffered a blow-out on the first [and only] run. He had his usual bag of classic power styles had he ridden the full 3 runs he would have threatened top 3 positions easily. 4th was the height master himself, Ollie Matthews - Oliver was skying today with some high variations - turndowns, can cans and suchlike, and some ridiculous lip tricks like a perfect 540 tyretap. His tailwhips are getting out there too try head height for example. 3rd place went to Mark Atkins - he's also improved on vert recently, with stylish toothpicks and stuff, obviously did good tailwhips, and he's also getting his airs higher and smoother. The second place was shared by two people: Dennis McCoy and Simon Tabron. Dennis was under pressure, and was going off [literally]. So amped to impress the UK riders, but he crashed his first big trick in his first run and this obviously shook him a bit - he slammed a massive 540 variation. A de-tuned Dennis then made his way through a series of lip tricks and solid airs, and then he slammed in each of his runs - on a couple more 540 variations, and then in his final run DMC went for a backflip. He didn't make it, and ended up slamming on his side on the flat bottom - but he got up just like that. Like McGoo says, "He's too small to hurt himself." DMC was the man indeed - but we have seen better, and DMC would be the first to admit that he rode comparatively lame. In fact, right after the last run DMC got on the mic and apologised for his riding, "I just want to say that I'm no Hugo Gonzales, I rode bad, but I'll be back!" Dennis will be back. Simon Tabron, the guy DMC shared 2nd with, was stoked: new bike, new tricks, new haircut. His 540's were rad - head height and pulled to perfection. Combine this with all his back to back variations all way high, lip trickery and even a good 900 attempt, Simon was on top form. As the final icing on the cake, Simon pulled a front flip onto the deck just like Matt does. Yes, a ruler. And the winnah was - Jamie Bestwick. Jamie wanted to beat Dennis so badly you could see it in his riding - he was definitely pushing himself to new limits. You could also tell it from the music he rode to [AC/DC's I Wanna Walk All Over You]. Back to back tricks on both the coping and eight feet above it, back to back 540 variations too: invert 540 one side to fully tweaked lookback 540 the other. A tailwhip, peg grinds all ways alley oop and regular, and you could tell Jamie was riding so hard and fast - pure adrenalin was flowing through his veins. He won. No doubt about it.
VERT A GROUP 1.Jamie Bestwick 2.Simon Tabron (tie) 2.Dennis McCoy (tie) 4.Mark Atkins 5.Oliver Matthews 6.Mike Canning 7.Rob Seward 8.Jon Taylor 9.Brian Wills 10.Howard Radcliffe 11.Zak Shaw
VERT B GROUP 1.Dennis Wingham 2.Spencer Tomsett 3.Darren Gascoigne 4.Steve Grace 5.Dave Mousley 6.Tim Bone 7.Richard Brown 7.Paul Brown
VERT C GROUP 1.Mike Mullen 2.John Barnett 3.Jeff Skinner 4.Dave Webb 5.Jeff Hall 6.Matt Phillipot