World Cup Skateboarding

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Bondi Bowl a Rama 2009

bar__aus_art09.jpgAustralia is famous for their miles of beautiful coastline. Bondi Beach is one of the most amazing spots in Australia, sitting just a few miles outside of Sydney, one of Australia's biggest and most lively cities. The 5th annual Vans Bowl-a-Rama held on the beach in Bondi was definitely the most exciting event this year, setting the standard of what a great skateboarding event should be. A World Class Pool on a World Class beach, with World Class skaters and a world class crowd and you are guaranteed one of the best weeks of your life.

'Heaven on Earth' was the feeling spreading throughout the skaters as the sessions and the parties got the week into full swing. On Wednesday the Love and Guts art show kickoff party at our host hotel the Beach Road, was a blast! Pat Ngoho, Caballero, Senn, Rune, Greek, Wade Burkitt, Sasha, and many more artist's work were on display. Also local Skater/ photographer Dean Tirkot had 5 years of Bondi skating and lifestyle. Good vibes and Free drinks got the crew on a roll that continued on at the Bondi hotel on the beach until 4am. This seemed to be the routine for the party crowd this week continuing  with the Slam Skater of the Year awards the next night. Congratulations to Andrew Brophy for winning the 2009 SOTY down under. The daily skate sessions at the pool were a great show for the local crowd who surrounded the bowl every day until dark. On Friday the FBeat productions crew arranged for a massive bleacher set up to give the big crowds a better view for the day of the comp.

winnersrockstar01f_copy.jpg After a week of sunny skies, the tropical summer storms were on and off all day on Saturday, but with mother nature on our side the big down pour was held off until the after the Masters awards ceremony that evening! Whew! We were so stoked to put another amazing day in the history books for the skate world. There were 3 heats of Masters and in the end it would be Steve Caballero in Classic form taking the win for the 2nd year in a row. Nicky Guererro was enjoying his first trip to Bondi, fresh off of a win the week before in Wellington NZ. His smooth style and classic moves earned him the #2 spot bumping local skater Michael Mulhall down to 3rd and Kevin Staab down to 4th this year. Pat Ngoho had stylish moves and lines finishing in 5th place beating out the big air man Lester Kasai who got 6th and semi-local Sasha Steinhorst, who had the place wired, ended up in 7th.

With a huge turnout for the Pro division it seemed as if every qualifying heat could have been the final. Each skater ripped so hard with there own style the judges had a tough time figuring out the top 10. It was so close we took 12 to the final in 2 heats of 6. In heat 1 were the riders who qualified 7-12. Benji Galloway was the #7 qualifier and after a big win the week before in NZ he was on a mission to turn it on and jump up the rankings, finishing in 5th place. It was the first time to Bondi for both Juergen Horvarth and Tim Johnson who both adapted quickly to the pool and made the finals. Juergen showed off his bowl skills with style  and finished a very respectable 7th. Tim blasted a huge stalefish frontside corner air among many other great moves (nollie hard flip roll-in the night before), and ended up in 8th. One of the highlights of heat 2 (the skaters who qualified 1st-6th) was Bob Burnquist (who just flew in the day before) pulled a first ever in history of competition big-spin frontside gay twist! His spontaneous crazy Brazilian style and tons of tricks (many were switch) put him into 6th. Australian Renton Millar got 4th last year and ripped his way into 4th again this year. A new surprise was local ruler Nathan 'Jimmy' Beck. His original lines and trick selection blew everyone away to put him in 3rd, making him the highest ranked Auzzie. The 2007 winner and the 2nd place finisher of 2008, Rune Glifberg, qualified in 5th and was amped up to turn it on in the finals, but after just a few runs and a slam, an old back/hip nerve injury acted up and he could not continue on. With Rune aside on the deck, Omar Hassan saw his chance to chase the #1 qualifier Bucky Lasek for the win. He pulled out everything from his big bag of tricks (including a heelflip f/s air and a 540) and threw them into unique and original lines to put on an amazing performance. In the end it was Bucky's day! On this day his back to back trick attack was unstoppable. Every thing he tried came together like magic. He was ON!! Mctwists, rodeo 540s, frontside boneless 540s, big clean airs, liptricks, switch tricks and difficult lines had him easily in the lead. At the end of the 15 minute Final jam with only seconds remaining Bucky snaked his way in for a final run...

As I counted down the final seconds, 5, 4, 3, 2, and exactly on cue, on One he landed the first ever McEgg in the Bondi Pool!! Bucky sealed the deal with his very own signature move, the very difficult eggplant 540!! 1st try!! The crowd went nuts!! What an exciting finish to a great day/ week! Just seconds after the awards were handed out poolside, mother nature, who had blessed us with good weather all day, came pouring down as the angels from the heavens above started crying with tears of joy! As planned we headed back to the Beach Road Hotel upstairs bar for a nighttime of celebrations and more awards with the prize $ envelopes handed out (Bucky took home $10,000), and heartfelt speeches from the passionate riders to the packed house of rowdy skate fans. And Celebrate we did!! Late into the night! Thanks to Chad Ford and his FBeat productions crew, The Beach Road hotel, Vans, Oakley, Mt Dew, SDS, and JEDS Foodstore! Also a special thanks to local photgraphers, Dean Tirkot, Dean Thompson and Ian Kasnoff for the photos and good times. If you love cool pools on hot beaches with great people, then Bondi should be part of your upcoming travel plans. See you all again in Bondi in 2010 for more guaranteed, fun filled, exciting action. Now, I am on my way to the traditional Sunday Bar-B-Que with the crew of international locals on the grassy knoll overlooking the beautiful Bondi Beach. Gotta go throw another shrimp on the Barby!

G'day mate, D.D.

Check out the results here

Bondi Bowl a Rama 2009 Gallery

Love & Guts Art show Bondi

Thanks to John Rintoul, Dean Tirkot and Bill Fonseca for the Pics....

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