The day kicked off early, at 9 am, with a mandatory riders meeting. The athletes convened to hear about the competition format and the judging criteria from judges Alexander James Lewis-Hughes, Eric Rienstra, and Alex Maes as well as comp organizer Blaine Baker. The theme was execution, and the athletes were reminded that tricks performed with amplitude and style beat sloppily executed but more technical moves.
Round one consisted of two heats. Each heat rotated through the park, one feature at a time, starting with the Cabrinha fun box, then moving to the Slingshot kicker, then the Session kicker, and finishing with the Duotone rail. It was a turned-based comp, and the riders were given three hits per feature. Each rider’s best score on each feature counted toward their overall heat score. Jack Rieder and Lucas Muzio led heat one, finishing first and second, and qualified straight to the final. Jack and Lucas impressed the crowd and the judges by riding with power and speed. From heat two, Tom Seager and Tim Walsh notched some impressive and technical hits and qualified straight to the final.
Next up was a second chance for riders to qualify for the final. The remaining riders battled it out for two spots. In round two, the riders hit the Slingshot kicker and the Duotone rail. The pressure was on. With only two features in play, athletes needed big numbers on both. In the end, Shaymus Finlay and Vetea Boersma finished on top of the heat and qualified for the final.
For the final, the wind stayed in the 10-25 knot range, and athletes were on 10-13 meter kites. The riders, again, hit both kickers and both rails. Kicker highlights from the final include Jack’s toe-back-7 off the Slingshot kicker, Lucas’ big melon front 3 off the Session kicker, Shaymus’ tantrums off the Slingshot kicker and Vetea’s heel front 5 off the Session kicker. Tom and Tim led the charge on the rails, looking stylish and putting down quality hits. The winners will be announced on Sunday night.
After the day’s Junior Jam event, the Kite Park League held the Hood Jam Open, a jam format competition that gave riders of all ages a chance to earn an invite to the Hood Jam presented by Wind Voyager Authentic Apparel. Next up, conditions permitting, Junior Jam action returns with the freestyle portion of the comp.