Words and pics: Jenna Selby
Pioneer skatepark again hosted the annual Girl Skate Jam UK at the weekend. It was the 13th event and the first time so many younger girls had turned up to watch, so an impromptu under 8â€™s groms section was quickly organised. Laura Go, winner of the very first Girl Skate Jam back in 2002 had brought her 2-year-old daughter Rosie down from Telford – she was as keen as anything to get on a board and had a big smile plastered across her face the whole day. Jono and daughter alone had traveled over from Swansea, and family Scott had brought their daughter Georgia down from Leeds. Those and several other little â€˜uns were given 5 minutes on their own to roll around the park.
This was followed straight after by the under 18â€™s comp. It was Lucy Adamsâ€™ protÃ©gÃ©e 15-year-old Josie Millardâ€™s first outing to the event and she didnâ€™t disappoint. Her run included a clean flip (ninja style) up the step up, a backside flip on the bank, a flip and 3-shuv over the driveway. 15 year old Londoner Savannah also had a good run with a boardslide down the large rail and a flip on the driveway.
Next up was the over 18â€™s. There was such a mixture of styles that it made it difficult for the judges to decide. MKâ€™s Zeta Rush was pulling out her no comply trickery all over the place, Danni Gallacher landed front feebles and front rocks, not forgetting Brummie Zoe King who was just solid on the blocks. Fran Stroud took one of the slams of the day overshooting a 50-50 on the ledge and face-planting the floor. Rewarded with a hefty black eye, she will have had some explaining to do back at work on Monday. Aimy Brady, not to be out done, slipped out of a quarter and almost knocked herself out, but being the sturdy northerner she is she got straight back on and in her run landed solid blunt to fakies on the large quarter and tre flips out of the driveway (footballers you should really take note!). Spaniard Carla Calero got a clean boardslide on the rail and a no comply on the bank. Howvere it was Italian legend Anita Arvelo Almonte who took the title. A trick that had defeated her earlier in the week was to be the opener to her run. A transfer from quarter to bank across the vert wall (youâ€™re looking at a good 4 feet) saw the crowd go pretty wild and it was first time landed! After that she was away with 50-50â€™s down the hubba and flips on the bank.
The weather had looked ominous all day but as it was holding out so everyone quickly made their way outdoors for the miniramp contest. Unfortunately the riders only got one run in before the heavens broke. Julia Brueckler pretty much nailed it with a run including 5-0 grinds to fakie, bs nosepick, fs feeble, switch fs feeble, switch blunt, fakie ollie to switch blunt…the list went on. Lucy Adams also had a clean non-broken run with back and front 5-0â€™s, backside tailstall revert and 50-50 fakies.
The sponsored comp came last and it just went off. Animal teammates Claire Thompson and Stef Nurding were the first up. Claire opened with her trademark double flip on the driveway and a clean bigspin flip. Stef opted for a fs feeble on the quarter and a bs flip on the bank. They were swiftly followed by the tech duo Rokeoâ€™s Camilla Mullins and Rogueâ€™s Dora Horvath. Camilla was throwing down some good lines including a lipslide to fakie on the big rail to 5-0 down the hubba; she also got a sweet crook on the ledge. Dora the Explorer spent her 4 minutes landing bolts on a nollie bigspin out of the driveway, tre flip transfer, a lipslide on the ledge and boardslide down the rail. Swedish rider Emma Fastesson just killed it staying on her board for pretty much the whole 4-minute runâ€¦tailslides, nose bonks, boardslides down the hubbaâ€¦it was relentless and great to watch! Helena whoâ€™s making her comeback from a knee injury landed a good inward heel over the driveway. Last up came UK legend Lucy Adams and Austrian Julia Brueckler – hot off her 7th ranking at the recent X-Games. You almost didnâ€™t know where to look. On one side Lucy would be lipsliding the rail whilst on the other Julia would be landing a front smith down the hubba. Lucy flipped over the big rail then Julia flipped from bank to floor. Every time one landed a trick the other would match it. The first round went to Lucy, tricks included flips up the step up, feeble on the rail and fakie 360 flip. The second round went to Julia. She landed a fs smith, bs nosegrind and fs lip on the rail, a flip 50-50 and bs nosegrind on the ledge, as well as a frontside smith and tre flip up the gap. Over all Julia landed the most tricks and was awarded first place.
To round the day off all we needed was a best trick section. It was a little chaotic with so many girls and ladies wanting to enter but some good tricks went down all the same: Zoe â€“ 50-50, 3 shuv out. Lucy â€“ flip over the rail, Anita â€“ transfer (apparently she had them on lock after landing the first one!). Dora was so close to getting flip front board but landed it just after the comp finished â€“ she still got a massive cheer anyway. The trick that won it though was Juliaâ€™s flip 50-50 shuv out.
A great day all in all and plans are already afoot for next yearâ€™s event!
Big massive thanks to the sponsors: Chocolate, Lakai, Death, Animal, Rogue, Nikita, Roam and Seek, Rubicon, Vans, Rokeo, Cooler and Storyâ€¦plus Andrew Selby for the hand crafted trophies.
Thank-you also to all the volunteers (Leigh, Kat, Charlie, Beckie, Matt, Wil, Ali, Glen, Ben, Marguerite and Geoff) and the Management Committee at Pioneer Skatepark for helping make it such a good day.
1st – Julia Brueckler
2nd – Lucy Adams
3rd – Emma Fastesson Lindgren
1st – Anita Almonte
2nd – Charlotte Thatcher
3rd – Aimy Brady
1st â€“ Josie Millard
2nd â€“ Savannah Keenan
3rd â€“ Lucy Tomlin
1st â€“ Georgia Scott
2nd â€“ Emily Holt
3rd â€“ Tabitha Saunders
1st – Julia Brueckler
2nd – Lucy Adams
3rd – Aimy Brady