Sat 28th July was a wild, wild day in the Source park. This event was the final selection process for the Qualifier team at this year's Battle of Hastings, with Mark Burnett and Mike Guth already making the cut through events at Florideah Swampfest and the Undiscovered jam respectively.
Two team places spoken for, two more places up for grabs.
This meant that the heavy list of riders in the Source Park were going to give it their all for a shot at being in the team. We had the likes of Isaac Lesser, Pitu, Tom Russell, Brad McNicol, Jordan Okane, Miguel Cuesta and Joe Embrey along with legends like Owain Clegg and Benny L... but in the end it was Paul Ryan and Stuart Chisholm who took the top two spots, securing their place in this year's Battle of Hastings, 6-9 Sept 2018.
Forgetting the main Battle of Hastings event, this contest was a huge thing in its own right! 65 riders had signed up for the qualifiers – but they weren't riding until several categories of youth riders had had their own jam too. The kids did themselves proud, riding with skills beyond their years. Definitely a few lads to watch out for in the future...
The afternoon and early evening was full of heavy riding from the main dudes.
Isaac Lesser put some impressive runs together, consistently sending that wild alley oop 360 transfer from the street area to the main bowl. No idea how he has that line on lock!
Tom Russell and Brad McNicol showcased classic transition riding, with big airs and clicked tricks that got riders and spectators stoked. Unfortunately Brad's bike didn't make it to the final – one of his older parts failed on him and there wasn't time to get a replacement installed. Mark Ducat probably went the fastest out of the lineup – super high speed bowl lines and wallride transfers in both directions, plus some really nicely styled flairs.
The move of the day for me (and everyone else) was Owain Clegg's peg stall to fakie on the vert wall. Even after two ludicrously stacked Battle of Hastings contests rinsing every line in the bowl, Owain managed to come up with something fresh. What a guy!