Monday, June 22, 2015

Go Pro Games Wrap Up - Crashes Galore

Go Pro Games freestyle finals

After an epic start to Go Pro Games freestyle competition with a 700 and 800 point ride (in prelims) things didn't go as well for my semi finals and finals round. Determined to stick to my routine of big moves that had worked so well in prelims, rather than switching and playing it safe with more conventional smaller safer trick ride. 

Flying high with another massive McNasty
(photo by Phillip Robert)

Landing a massive loop
(photo by Phillip Robert)

I almost made it during my second ride in finals hitting two huge Mcnastys and a huge loop but it turned out that I had thrown both Mcnastys the same direction. Meaning big cheers from the crowds but a pretty low score.Luckily the other girls managed to put on a good show. Emily laid down some awesome rides with non stop complex and well executed tricks including Mcnastys, phoenix monkeys and tricky woos. Nikki Beeby got some huge space godzillas and loops and Junior world champ Rowan Stuart made the step up to the senior podium keeping her calm under pressure. I never quite got into my flow and for the first time in a long time didn't make the podium finishing fourth overall. I guess I can't win every time  

Emily loads up to finish a Phoenix Monkey
(photo by Phillip Robert)

The 2015 Go Pro Games Womens Podium (plus Tucker)

In the men's as always the standard was insane. Dane flew high ride after ride putting down accurate precise sequences of big tricks. Matthieu went full speed with combos and links but it was Junior World Champion Hunter Katich who opened up each ride with a massive roar from the other athletes, judges and the crowd as he Sequenced a massive entry move to Mcnasty to Phoenix monkey combo every ride. Giving him a massive score in just the first 5 seconds of his ride. But the young ripper just couldn't keep up the pace through the rest of his routine and in the end it was Dane Jackson who once again took the title. Winning his second Golden Gerber axe of the event after already taking home the win in the step creek race.

Hunter Katich leads into his crazy entry combo
(photo by Phillip Robert)

Mathieu cleans a massive Air Loop
(photo by Phillip Robert)

Dane Jackson making it all look to easy
(photo by Phillip Robert)
8 Ball time...

Next up was the 8 ball and what an event. A high impact full contact boater cross race. Round after round athletes entered the gauntlet, several at a time, in a battle to be first paddlers to pass under the main Vail bridge to secure their place in the next round. Unlike most boater X races, the 8 ball has a hidden challenge 8 ballers. Highly skilled paddlers in big boats situated the whole way along the race course waiting ready to take out, block and stop the racers paddling down towards the finish line. 

One of the best spectator paddle sport events
(Photo by Phillip Robert)

A combination of lots of racers, 8 ballers and a powered up hole meant there was carnage galore. Most racers wearing full face helmets and body armour to protect themselves. I made the finals and after an epic wipeout carnage session in the hole, with fellow paddlers Nouria Neuman (1st place) and Myr (3rd), was happy to cross the finish line in 2nd place. In the men's Greg Parker took the win. Beating some epic big name boaters including Dane Jackson and Rafa Ortiz. In this game being a big name doesn't always help as you will often be targeted by the super hyped up 8 balls, excited to make 'the' big hit on the Pro. It also often doesn't help to be the fastest either as if your out in front you tend to get hit first and hard. 

Dane takes a big hit from behind
(photo by Phillip Robert)

Ultimately it comes down to a bit of skill and a lot of luck. It's all about surviving the gauntlet and making it through first to the finish line.

Sometimes the finish line feels so far away.

I'm in the green boat with the red full face helmet

 racing against May who's in the red boat and green helmet 
with her hand on my boat and Nouria who's also in the hole
 in the Red boat and Red Bull helmet!!! 

Ultimate 8 Ball Carnage

(Photo by Shane Faulkner)
Check out the last 15 seconds of this video in this link below to see the incredible 8 ball finals carnage. I'm in the green JK Zen with the red full face sweet helmet.

Over the weekend The Go Pro Mountain Games number one fan and 2015 Ultimate Mountain Kid Campbell Faulkner sat in prime position down on the water edge for the whole event cheering us all on and capturing some epic photos of the hits and crashes. Check out his photo below.

Another look at the epic carnage in the Womens 8 ball final
(photo by Campbell Faulkner)