Photos by Andrew Vost.
Last year Ben Raemers stole the show in front of Britain’s very best and this year the bar was raised by yet another notch. The final consisted of seriously amazing skating that just got crazier by the run from start to finish with Aaron Sweeney taking the invite to the finals in Malmo at the end of the day.
The final six picked itself on merit and with that the finals supplied an energy that seemed to be a catalyst for the next session, it just got faster and gnarlier every run fueled by Slayer’s Reign in Blood.
Sweeney and Benson both took the comp to the next level and Benson had just landed in London at 8am that morning from a transatlantic flight from the US so god knows what would have happened if he had turned up fresh.
Sweeney had the longest lines full of tricks that included smiths, backlips, corner airs, reverts on the wall, backlips, blunt fakie, crails and grinds around the cradle, boneless ones, fs 5-0-reverts on the wall, a fs 5-0 hop from the wall into the deep, tweaked airs back lip revert on the wall and all served up in lengthy and seriously fun filled runs. There’s no doubt about it, the kid’s on fire and left the park with a fs 270 over the gap for the finishing touch and 1st place.
Benson jumped in though and ripped the place apart in a different way. The Scottish have a history of providing bowl riders and Benson here has the lot on lock. Every wall, every corner gets hit with his massive bag of tricks. His first corner air effort was the perfect foil for what was to come. Every time he hit the extension he threw melons and frontside grabs round those corners that looked effortless. This was followed by a kickflip indy over the hip, fs blunt slide 180 in on the wall, long tail slides, a massive ollie grab from the deep over the loveseat plus cradle chaos and went home in second.
Kevin McKeon steamrollered the park as usual and added his new way of dropping in via the leccy box before smashing the gap with fat frontsides and a monster beanplant fakie in the deep. Others who rode the finals were just not in the same level as these 3 rippers but overall it was amazing to say the least. Let’s just hope there’s a wildcard for Benson as he deserves to fly to Malmo for the finals.
1. Aaron Sweeney
3. Kevin McKeon
4. Marek Maneggs
5. Sam Beckett
6. Nick ‘Park Shark’ Sharatt
Big shout out also to Bob Sanderson who rocked the mic on the day. I will leave you with his final words on the event itself: ‘there’s something going right in the world seeing ‘hood kids’ carving corners at full speed & learning to snake!…if we for instance notice the frogs are dying off mankind’s truly stuffed,the same goes for skateboarding..if transition gets neglected & suffers,then my dear friends listen out for the death knell of true flow and spirit in our beloved passion!…….donnie dorito & maneggs = skateboarding!’keep carving ya bastards!!…x