|United Kingdom King Of Vert||
Simon Tabron, 540 one foot.
Jamie Bestwick turndown cheerokee.
Rob Seward, barspin air.
Date: june 17, 1990
|Hild, Go december 1990: It was Sunday the 17th of June; the sky was blue, the grass was green, and the fish were singing. We were at the Mountbat ten Centre in a seaside town called Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, for the first ever UK. King Of Vert. There are a few subtile differences between our competitions and your American 2-Hip affairs. Ours are organized by a company called Moore and Noble (they own a couple of bike/ skate magazines over here), not by Ronnie Wilkerson. They are also bike and skateboard contests-not soley bike contests like 2Hip. The contest was run using the ever popular jam format and featured A and B groups for both mediums, but since this is a bit of a "no Go" for skating (such wit!), I'll concentrate on the Bandits...
The morning saw a lot of riders trying to get used to the Series ramp. It was long, grey, and had no vert and not sticky-out'eyenough coping. But at least it was very pretty and it even came complete with a new high-tech rocking transition on one side. State of the art, man.
Bikes were quite busy with a handsome sum of stunters in both A and B groups. There was also a very noticeable difference in the intensity of the riding level in the qualifiers at this particular sharrabang compared to most other English contests. Almost everyone was taking it kind of, well, "easy" really and generally nobody went for anything mental. This was probably because there was actually something worthwhile to compete for at this contest (money) and it would be sensible not to injure one's body pre-final jam, catch my drift? But then again, one rider messed up his chance of reaching the finals by going for a trick that would win him nothing more than respect from the crowd. Who could this foolish lad be? Who would sacfice money just for applause? Basically, who is "bloody well mad"? Who else but Mad Jon Taylor. The trick? A Gymnast plant (if you don't know what that is then ask a skating friend and then THINK about it). The guy is gaga.
After dining with the insane skating commentator Gooey ("Are those your chips, love?") and then playing stunt skateboards for awhile, it was time for the bicycle acrobatics finals to get underway. Hold on tight, 'cause here we go. O.K. then, in the blue and yellow corner, riding for GT, we have young Mark Atkins. See how he pulls those back-to-back tailwhips with ease. Startle at those aerial turns. Look how he flicks his legs around into no-footed can-cans. Watch those hands let go of the grips and spread straight out into the air like a Golden Eagle. This daredevil can beat anyone who tries to out-ride him. Which, coming back to the real world, is very true. Mark came first in the B group finals. Rob Seward is one of the official roadies on the soonto-happen Swatch half-pipe tour, and seeing as the K.O.V, ramp is the Swatch half-pipe, Rob has obviously had the chance to get the ramp sussed. Monstrously high airs, respectable bar-spinners, and gnarly 540's gained him saucy second, just edging out Darren Gascoine who landed third. Fourth place went to Zach Shaw, who wasn't Zach. Let me explain ... the Zach we are used to over here is a crazy insane wilderbeast in heat who rides completely thrashed bikes and has no real regard for dress sense. On this particular day, he was clad in all black, was riding a brand new shiny BMX Black (not quite as good as Chrome), and was pulling off good, solid routines which included the highest disasters of the day and also a somersault dismount to finish. The final four riders were as close as father and son on a fishing trip. All, that is, except Gerry Galley who, after successfully qualifying, didn't realize he had done so and went home before the final eight were announced. Oh, in case you were wondering, Jason Hewitt twisted for fifth, Mike Seward (brother of Rob and fellow Swatch roadie) managed sixth, and John Maybourn got the lucky seven.
Now on to the Pro pilots. The A group was a sheer battle to say the least with each rider providing the manic spectators quite a show to give event promoter Pete Noble a warm feeling of accomplishment inside. At the end of the day, Vision wizard James Hudson just clinched the big number one spot and most importantly took home the prize money. James's routines consisted of the exact amount of clicked airs and original lip tricks such as 270 air to Smith stop, regular and alley-oop peg grinds, grinding to ice picks, etc., which when added to the raddest tailwhips of the day and his natural showmanship, made him the obvious choice in the judges's eyes. Second was Scott Carrol who disappointed none with his cherokees, lookbacks, and can-cans all verging on double digit height, "normal" abubacas as well as "to 180", grinding hurricanes, and even decade drop-ins. Scott also suffered the slam of the day on a disasterous 900 attempt. Be thankful you are not his nose.
Third place was a tie between Life's a Beach rider Jason Davies and Bully boy Simon Tabron, two riders with very differing styles. Jason, sporting a coaster brake, has a much harsher style and lofted the most tweaked can-can variations, X-up one footers, a tailwhip attempt, and some nasty (if not painful) candybars. He also has the foul habit of knocking off tricks on one continuous flow, twisting variations on both walls of the half-pipe-not one regular aerial in any of his runs. Simon, being the smoother of the two, went higher than I've ever seen him go. Running spokes instead of his usual Tuffs, Simon pulled one-footed 540's, candybars, turndowns, and some good no handed fakies. He was also very close to pulling a 900. Was it not for his grip slipping completely off his bars on landing, it might just have been the first successful 900 ever pulled by a Brit.
Whee doggie. Jamie Bestwick is a rider renowned for his immense airs, both variation and height-wise. One example of his craziness is the turndown cherokee (seeing is believing). Combine that with some sassy lip tricks and successful tailwhips and there you have fifth place. Also, being the respectable young adult that he is, Jamie is co-sponsored by (get this) his local pub. Are we talking free beer here? Visiting French rider Regis Gaudrot chucks his arms and legs about like nobody's business: No-hand to no-foot, no-footed can-can combos, one-hander no footers, plus a few aggro 540's earned Regis sixth place and a bucket full of English respect. Mick Hudson, Vision teammate of elder brother James, may be young but packs a mean punch when it comes to half pipe riding. Mick laid claim to the longest bacon rinds-sorry, make that rear peg grinds of the day and was also witnessed pulling rock'n'roll to axle stall. When he gets a little bit older, he's going to be a force to be reckoned with. Mental Mickey scored seventh place while Factory Invert boy and series instigator Ollie Mathews had to settle for eighth.
Well, that was the first ever K.O.V. to be pulled off in the UK., and it was definitely a success. There's a few more to be run this year, the next in September when some American named Pat Huffman (?) or something like that is to come over and show us how it's done. You never know, though. Our riders are progressing so fast, it might be that Matt picks up some hints on ramp riding himself. Who can tell these days?
Bicross and skate magazine:
A GROUP: James Hudson une fois ses quelques aerials finis, attaque la plateforme et rentre 270° air to smith et smith grind.
Scott Caroll, bar hop air, swing legs (no foot into jambes croisées into no foot) et surtout une tentative de 900° qui aboutit à un écrasement facial sur le sol.
B GROUP: Mark Atkins rentre tailwhip air et de très bons lip tricks.
Rob Seward rentre barspin air ! et des turndown très hauts.
A group results: 1-James Hudson 2-Scott Caroll 3-Jason Davies (tie) 3-Simon Tabron (tie) 5-Jamie Bestwick 6-Regis Gaudrot 7-Mik Hudson 8-Ollie Matthews
B group results: 1-Mark Atkins 2-Rob Seward 3-Darren Gasoyne 4-Zach Shaw 5-Jason Hewit 6-Mike Seward 7-John Maybon 8-Jerry Galley