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Slackline Champs 2011
September 13, 2011
Maverick Slacklines – UK Slackline Champs 2011
Well it finally happened; Maverick Slacklines hosted the first national UK Slacklining Championships. What a crazy weekend! So many new faces, hundreds of spectators, great weather and a truly amazing demonstration of Slacklining – UK Slacklining has come of age!
The main event kicked off Saturday afternoon after a morning of warm-up and practice. We had 16 of the best UK slackers involved, the comp RAGED from the word go. Each slackliner brought their own unique style to the competition, laying down their best tricks as they fought hard to make it past the first round. Stand out heats go to Ryan for going massive from the off and putting everything on the line and to Harry and Chill for such a highly contested round. After over an hour of heats, the first round was done and we were down to the last eight.
Things were serious now, and in the same fashion as the previous round, Ryan went in hard. Despite Paul’s best efforts, Ryan cruised through to the quarter finals. The next round was the best of the day so far, with underdog Ben Skelton really holding his own against Mr Maverick, Ian Jennings. The round went all the way to the wire, with Ben being super consistent and really fluid – a real pleasure to watch. In the end, the slackliners voted Ian through with a bigger selection of tricks and his trademark fearless style.
Next up was Jake White versus Harry aka Mr Cloudfoot. Jake had made it through the first round against the up and coming local slackliner Andy Walker, and in similar way proved too much for Harry, this time with some of the most consistent moves of the comp, executed in his super smooth style.
The final round of the quarters was contested by Jake HH and Ben Gingold, representing the North East. No one realised how good Ben was until now and Jake had to throw his best moves to progress to the next round.
So it came down to Ryan, Ian, Jake White and Jake HH to battle it out for a place in the final.
The first semi-final wasIan versus Ryan – both good friends and slackline compadres. On the day either rider had the potential to take this round, both were up for a fight. It was the most brutal battle of the comp with both riders exceeding their allotted times because Geordie (MC) and the crowd kept willingthem on to make those final bangers! Spectators were even treated to a flipsession while the slackliners made a group decision on who should progress to the final. It was so closely fought and almost impossible to call, but on this occasion Ryan had got the better of Ian and had one hand on the trophy.
The second semi was Jake White and Jake HH. Jake White came out guns blazing and laid down the gauntlet, it was only Jake HH’s last run that tipped the balance with the longest combo of the comp so far. Jake HH had pulled an ace in the dying seconds; he would face Ryan in the final. Jake later confessed that it was this matchup that most concerned him – big up to Mr White!
So here we were witnessing the first final and arguably the two best slackliners in the UK at present, ready to go all out and claim the UK crown. It was Jake HH – super technical with impossibly long combos versus Ryan – big, extreme with stuck tricks that no one else could do.
Ryan made possibly the best trick thrown all weekend with a super smooth flip to butt bounce and laid his claim to the crown. The slackliners and the crowd thought this was his for the taking. Jake had been making everything during the heats and the final was no different. If it had been a best trick comp then Ryan really would have won hands down. However, consistency won through with the slackliners voting for Jake as the man to take the title. Jake claimed his title to rapturous applause, and after spraying the fellow Slackliners with champagne, took his trophy and made his mark in UK Slacklining history.
It was a truly remarkable weekend and really demonstrated how far UK Slacklining has come in the last 12 months. Stay tuned for the EDIT!
Maverick would like to say a massive thank you to all the competitors involved – you guys really made it happen!
Ryan Bastin, David Thexton, Paul Corner, Phil Davies, Ian Jennings, Mark Hart, Ben Skelton, James McCambridge, Jake White, Andy Walker, Chill Bers, Harry Cloudfoot, Jacob Hirsch-Holland, Jamie Collyer, Ben Gingold and Matt Brown
A special thanks to Geordie, our legendary MC and our main music man Fergie for all the amazing music without whom this event would not have been the same.
Here’s looking forward to 2012 and next year’s comp, it going to be RAGING, so keep slacking!
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