Wow, another great Backyard Jam has come to a close.
The team all flew in last Thursday (Poor Heaton got very delayed and arrived in the middle of the night as his initial flight got cancelled!!) but were not able to try out the course until Friday morning in open practice as Nate Wessell and his team were still working in to the small hours to finish the bad-ass etnies Backyard Jam 2006 course. There is a course design attached here but it doesn’t really do the course justice.
As Friday was mainly dedicated to the Experts the team caught up on some sleep and explored the surroundings near ICE Sheffield. Everyone came back to watch the Highest Bunny Hop contest though and Morgan, Danny, Ruben and Aaron all took part. See last Friday’s post for the Highest Bunny Hop results!
Morgan was roped in to do some “wow-factor” riding for the local BBC News (He loves it really!) and Aaron did a sofa interview for the other main TV station, ITV Calendar.
Friday night was pretty mellow. That evening the entire etnies crew went for dinner at this noodle bar where Aaron tried his first Asian style noodles (Didn’t particularly like it but felt proud he tried it!), before some headed back to the arena to try to get some more riding in and others (mainly A4 staff) took to the dance floor!
Saturday was the pro qualifiers. All the etnies riders took part and Jamie Bestwick also showed up for a days riding to the crowds delight. With the course predominantly featuring ramps and jumps it wasn’t catering too well for the more street riders within the camp, but 6 etnies riders (out of 9!) qualified to the Sunday final. The top of the qualifiers pretty much set the scene for the finals the next day with Gary Young qualifying 1st followed by Morgan and Danny.
The etnies Highest Air followed with Morgan just killing it again at 15.5 feet!!
Sunday rolls around and everyone got a wake up call with the Long Jump contest. It got pretty ridiculous after the wedged landing ramp was pulled past the 30 feet marking. Taj was doing really well pushing 32 feet, but it ended up being a power game between Morgan and Chris Doyle, with only Chris clearing 34 feet – that’s like a bus length to you and me!!
Pro finals were as exciting as always. It sure had the crowd nailed to their seats making noise of appreciation with their etnies clappers. etnies team riders in the finals included Luke Marchant, Taj, Danny, Morgan and Sergio. Just a few highlights included Luke’s wallride transfer to fakie, Taj’s down whip over the hip, Danny’s display of riding both ways with either feet forward, and Morgan’s ridiculous pocket transfer no hander. Gary Young, Danny Hickerson and Morgan Wade went 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the finals. Congrats!
After watching the attempts by the last group in the final, us mere mortals watching from the course sideline was wondering what possibly could be left for the best trick comp. With it being an open session it got seriously hectic on the course. Again, the more street focused riders did not have much space or obstacles to play with. It seemed that the vert walls and quarters dominated most attempts, apart form Brian Hunt who tried to gap the step up to wall ride round the curved wall in “The Thing”. He was soooo close. Morgan also did a back flip appearance as the mystery ghost rider to ad to the confusion.
After the prizes were handed out and good byes were said, I think all riders, and spectators for that matter, felt pretty tired but very very happy. We all look forward to more shenanigans next year!
All photos: Hman @EBYJ 2006