Melbourne, Australia's éS Game of SKATE Grand Finals went down on Saturday, July 22, 2006 under a mixture of overcast and clear skies at the city’s Riverside Park. The enthusiastic crowd was strong, with competitors and spectators alike spilling over into each of the three courts to catch a glimpse of the games going down.
Sydney’s éS Game of SKATE winner, Pete Dalmer, and New Zealand’s winner, Umberto Skinner (who’s actually a Scotsman living in NZ), both made the trek to Melbourne on Saturday to compete in the Finals and hopefully win the Grand Prize trip to San Diego, California to compete in the éS Game of SKATE Amateur World Championships this coming September.
The afternoon’s competition was intense, with approximately 50 entrants and two highly amazing Semi-Finals between last year's Melbourne winner Jack Crook skating against Barry Mansfield, and Nugget skating against Pedro Day.
Jack Crook busts the elusive nollie tré.
Crook and Nugget both advanced to the Melbourne Finals, with Crook beating his rival and eventually landing himself a position in the Grand Finals, which consisted of Crook, Dalmer and Skinner. Unfortunately, Dalmer was knocked out early, leaving Crook and Skinner to battle it out in near darkness.
The Finals lasted all of 15 minutes, with both riders throwing down whilst keeping up with each other. Aussie Crook, who hadn't skated much recently due to illness, amazingly didn’t let Kiwi Skinner get the better of him too often, and proceeded to bust out a variety of full Cab flips and bigspin flips, plus nollie and switch tre flips.
Clockwise from top left: Crowd. The winner, Jack Crook. Holding court. Where's Waldo?
In the final three minutes, Crook took the lead from Skinner, landing each trick so smoothly and precisely under the dwindling light, that his amazing consistency proved too much for the Scottish Kiwi.
Crook reigned supreme once again, winning on nothing more than a Varial heelflip, with only the letters S and K wracked up against his name. (Skinner got Crook on a switch hardflip and nollie hardflip.) A massive congratulations to Jack Crook on beating the competition two years in a row. Well done, champ!
A huge thanks goes out to the judges Sally Clarke, Nick Buskins and Dale Van Ersal, and also Ryan Harbottle at the Riverside YMCA, Nic Burton (Melbourne bitter all the way, bro!), photographer Pete Daly and the ever-creative Darren Kirby on the mic. Also, let's give a shout out to our partners for the event, PSC Skateshops and Slam magazine.
See you all next year, when Australian states will compete for a chance in the Melbourne éS Game Of SKATE Grand Finals. She is gonna be huge!--Brock Carpenter