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« Prev - Etnies Presents Carhartt European Skateboard Championships--3rd Edition | Gravity Games Am Series Finals Contest - Next »

Backyard Jam #2--Coventry Wrap-Up

Aug 8 2003 / Friday


Coventry Skydome
August 2-3, 2003

This weekend, the sun might have been warping the train tracks around the country, but inside Coventrys Skydome, the etnies Backyard Jam was on ice...literally! This time, the venue was an ice rink, which not only provided excellent views and comfortable seating, but also kept the temperature chilled as the riding heated-up. The ramp crew put in another late night, and after the protective flooring had been laid on top of the ice, the construction began.

As a continual push to further the interest and excitement of the riders and the crowd, the course was improved yet again. This time, they built an extended curved wall ride, which had already proved a popular addition to the Bournemouth Backyard Jam. Hastings local and Federal team rider Ben Dukes was not only the first person to venture around the 180 degree, ten-foot tall structure (which sat on top of a six foot bank), but was also the first and one of the very few to venture around it in the opposite direction, too.

The spine was spiced-up, as well, with a new hip extension based on the ever-so-popular Metro Jam set-up. Throw in a whole lot more rails, a new slanted wall-ride extension, the welcome return of the hip wall-ride, the chain link fence section, some of the best judges in BMX, Paul Roberts on mic duties, coat the whole course in a rather fetching baby blue, and you have the perfect ingredients for a weekend of high-level BMX and maximum crowd satisfaction.

The line between amateur and pro continued to blur with the level of riding in SaturdayҒs amateur comp, which far exceeded everyones expectations. Sabourin Antoine, Rick Tribble and Bonfil Maxime were firm favourites to take the win after placing in the top three of qualifying, but Garath Wilson stepped up the level of his riding and moved up from 6th place in qualifiers to the number one spot in the finals. Thirteen points were all that separated the 1st and 12th place rider--a good indication of how close it was.

An intense pro jam followed the amateur comp, with some of EuropeҒs and North Americas finest working out lines and putting some last-minute practice to good use. Everyone left the arena on Saturday night buzzing with excitement as to what Sunday would hold. The buzz carried on through Saturday night as the masses descended on the Jail House bar in town for two premieres of MacNeilҒs much anticipated video. The MacNeil team did not disappoint and Stew Johnson did an amazing job in showcasing their talents.

Sunday started bright and early for many of the riders and for the crowd, who queued around the building patiently waiting to make their way through the doors. Forty-seven pros took to the course in two alphabetically arranged qualifying heats. After everyone had had their qualifying runs, it seemed like it would be hard to top, but, of course, the qualifiers were just a taster for what was to follow.

Etnies riders were out in full-force with MacNeils Ruben Alcantara, John Heaton and Dave Freimuth, T1Ғs Joe Rich and Taj Mihelich, Federals Sandy Carson, We The PeopleҒs Brian Terada, Fly Bikes Sergio Layos, along with UK Etnies riders Robin Fenlon, Ben Hennon and Amos Burke. All of our riders put in strong displays of skill and guts, but the riding level was so high that the top five positions werenҒt going to be given up without a hard fight.

The top five looked like this: Kinks Jim Cielencki wowed the crowd with his famous array of highly technical tricks (how about flairs both ways?). WTPҒs Will Jackson looked like he rode with invisible brakes and consistently nailed trick after trick. Fit Bikes Van Homan astounded everyone by never giving up until the impossible hip wallride alley-oop footplant was made possible. Fly BikesҒ Sergio Layos showed that hes going to be a force to be reckoned with for a long time to come by pushing the boundaries of style. Dirt Bros / UGP rider Gary Young took 1st place by using the high speed / high-difficulty trick method.

Once the dust had settled on the ice and the pros had shared the $9000 purse, the Coventry Backyard Jam instantly became a good memory that will remain with everyone who was lucky enough to witness it for a long time to come. Two down, one to go. Can it keep getting better and better?


Pro Street

1. Gary Young (USA)
2. Sergio Layos (Spain) Etnies
3. Van Homan (USA)
4. Will Jackson
5. Jim Cielencki (USA)
6. Baz Keep
7. Brian Terada (USA) Etnies
8. Ruben Alcantara (Spain) Etnies
9. Ryan Barrett (USA)
10. Scott Foster (USA)
11. Dave Freimuth (USA) Etnies
12. John Heaton (Canada) Etnies
13. Northern John
14. Taj Mihelich (USA) Etnies
15. Ben Hennon Etnies

Amateur Street
1. Garath Wilson
2. Miles Davies
3. Adam Drinkwater
4. Bonfil Maxime
5. Sabourin Antoine
6. Daniel McGeary
7. Mitchell Yates
8. Rick Tribble
9. Ben Walker
10. Jason Judge
11. Stuart King
12. Tom James

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