Reporting on skateboard competitions is never easy. There’s a feeling that you ought to be writing about the skating, because it’s a competition, when so often the stuff going on around the event seems more interesting. I suspect we were always happier about trying to share the experience, rather than list the tricks and dish out name-checks.
More refugees from the team event were Team Team members Fred, Nassa, and Chris Lonnergan. They knew what was going on and were aiming for the final. Fred proceeded with speed as did Nassa: he was racing around the ramp throwing in the fast 50/50s. Chris Lonnergan’s rides had many difficult tricks as well as some speed, but somehow he ended up a bit lost in the expanse of the ramp.
Steve McAuslan was skating well all weekend, skating with aggression as well as a good grasp of the difficult mini-ramp tricks. Mad Snoz turned up from Leeds and entered into the weekend’s spirit with fervour, doing some difficult stuff in all the events although a final place would not be for him. Rocker turned up on the Saturday and a lot of people reckoned the result was cut and dried — he’s got such a large trick repertoire. But his skating didn’t contain the elements the judges were looking for, and he didn’t make the final.
UNDER 16 MINI-RAMP
The judges for this event had changed slightly. The format was a preliminary round followed quickly by the final. A lot of different areas were represented. There was more of that localised rivalry and therefore the results could have had a bit more relevance to the actual skating, tricks and so forth. That’s how it seems with hindsight based on the difficulties the competitors had in grasping the final positions.
There were a lot of entrants, many skating in their first competition. Snod made his mark even though he didn’t make the top three. He was noticed because he had what Deeter would say was a good (sic) gimmick: although Sunday he abandoned the sleeping bag he’d skated in on the day before. Other members of the Boils’n’Warts Team made strong attacks on the ramp, along with younger members of Team Omelette. Individuals from the Factory Sensibles team also made their a mark. Not to be out done, Angel Lights team members Simon Maule, Colin McKerrell, Alan Placenta, and Steven Jones all put in a good performance. Ending up in third place was Danny Smith. Second place was taken by the ever grinning Timmy, staying on in situations others would flail in. First place was well deserved Ian Masson.
OVER 16 MINI-RAMP
By the time this final started the small amount of controversy over the preliminary round judging had subsided. The ten finalists expected to skate in the standard 2 runs, X seconds, Y rebates format, but this was refreshingly different… The finalists were Aljo, Madonna, Russ Spencely, Chimp, Davie, Milly, Paul Cheyne, Stanners, Jamie and Dodds. They were to be joined in the finals by Lee Ralph skating to help the proceedings.
Gooey announced over the mike that the format for the final be a 15 minute jam, from which the winner would be picked. But if the jam had got under way along normal lines then it was obvious a snake session with impromptu doubles would have developed. So instead Gooey announced that this was to be an Anarchy jam and explained, like some later day Johnny Rotten, that every one should go crazy and skate at the same time. Now this is fair enough, but as it proceeded he got a little worried and tried to mellow out the session. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the jam got even more gnarly, with Billy Davidson somehow in there and Bob floating around too at times.
The skating was heading for the extreme limits of insanity. Just like the evening before the skating was intense. Aljo, Chimp, Davie and Lee Ralph, made up the main speed freaks — just going as fast as possible, chasing each other round the ramp, narrowly missing people, severely slamming, whatever. In amongst all this were people like Madonna, Jamie, Billy, Russ and Milly: they tried to get on with it amongst the chaos, throwing in what tricks they could. Paul Cheyne and Dodds were slightly more cautious, looking for space whenever possible to do their trick to trick runs. Luckily Cheyne did manage to pull his air through the channel off the extension transition, landing on the spine transition on the other side. Other insane ‘tricks’ were Stanners rolling out on the high extension and acid dropping into the spine ramp and Russ jumping off the high extension platform, putting the board under his feet and landing to fakie. Gradually people dropped out as they got hurt or were too tired to continue. Time was called and a little while later the results were announced: 4th Aljo, 3rd Russ Spencely, 2nd Dodds, and 1st Chimp.
INDIVIDUAL STREET COMP
The under 16 street elimination took place in the morning but the time the over 16 was due everything had changed. There were so few entrants in the over 16s that they decided not to have two separate events. So the under 16 preliminary results were ignored and a large jam featuring both over and under 16s skating together was staged instead.
Mad Snoz was skating in this event as well as the ramp. He was ripping on the different obstacles in his own quiet but aggressive manner. Other notables were Jeff, Smod again, Jonney Jack from Edinburgh, Team Omelette members as well as a fair amount of nameless Aberdeen and Edinburgh skaters.
Eventually the street finished, fairly late into the evening. The winners were announced: Steve Park won the under 16 street, and Tatty won the over 16. Prizes were handed out to as many people as possible, but who those were exactly got a little lost in the even more extreme chaos which was beginning to take hold.
That weekend a lot of people got to skate, and just about everyone enjoyed themselves. The idea of having a competition (sic) and its structure to attract people had proved a good one, especially when the ramp was as good as this was. The judging of the under 16 ramp competition should have been more relevant, but other than that it was a fun weekend of ground-breaking skating. Barclay and Craig, who organised it, the sponsors who provided the prizes and the guy who donated the ply had all contributed to an event which might change the course of British skating. So had everyone who took part, and so, of course, had the empty factory building itself.