2014 NIKE X SBA AM TITLES – NORTHERN TERRITORY

Nike x SbA Am Titles Stop #6
Leanyer, Northern Territory
June 21st 2014
Photos: Matty Hooker (except where noted)
Video: Tony Woodward and Leo Townsend
Words: Morgan Campbell (guest captions by Leo Townsend).

Darwin was the final frontier. We have hit all the other capitals for several years back-to-back. But not once has an Am stop of this calibre been held in the NT. As we flew in it was clear we had not only skipped across to a new zone with light blue crystal waters and tropical plants but we were in a new season. It was 30+ degrees on the first day of arrival; winter was nowhere to be seen. 

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Rainbird takes to the bleachers with a nosegrind exiting just before the end. (Morey)

On top of it all of this event was be held on Go Skateboarding Day, which only added to the ampage. Skateboarding aside, the trip was action packed: Tony Woodward saved a bat who had suffered a sonar malfunction, we saw a kid wearing a live snake as a head band and saved a car from sinking into the local river. No one got bitten or rolled by a croc, but something tells me if we had spent another day there it might have happened. 

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This snake was saved from entrapment by this legend on the Friday arvo (Woodward).

We drove over to the Leanyer Skatepark shortly after arrival. It should actually be called Leanyer Skateparks. There were three of them in total. The quirky, kinky, steep and short obstacles on the “street course” were going to be a challenge yet, bring out the best in crew. Aside from the park you see here, there was also a bigger old X-Games style course and a mogul run! These were all just a short skate from each other and they were placed next to a free water park and rec centre! The SbA Am Title crew was garnished with a couple of ripping guest judges: pro skater Bjorn Johnston and WA State Manager Ben Bowring. A bunch of interstate talent had come into town for the stop giving Darwin a session they were not going to forget in a hurry. 

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Judges Jim Dandy, Ben Bowring and Bjorn Johnston.

JUNIORS (14 & UNDER)

Even though the Juniors were up relatively early (in skateboard-land terms anyways) it was already sweltering by the time that they’d taken to the course. The Roberts brothers were across from WA and put together some great lines. Local ripper Arne Orstavik 50/50’d the hubba and popped out of switch nose grind like a boss. 

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“Get in the Chopper” – Arne Orstavik – 50/50

With Jack O’Grady being taken out the night prior with a broken ankle it was pretty clear who was going to win the Juniors. The polite, smiley and generally well-composed Charles Robertson (who you may remember from Belco last year) was linking it up like a mini magician with long lines punctuated with icy back tails and well-dipped back smiths. He had kickflip back lips down on the flat bar and gapped to both lip boardslide over the mini fun box. 

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Charles Robertson bringing a youthful glow to a back boardy.

It is going to not only rule to see what Charles throws down at the final but the level he will progress to over coming years is unfathomable.    

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 JUNIOR RESULTS (all qualify for The Grand Final)


1st Charles Robertson – 14 – Haberfield, NSW (2014 NT Junior Am Champ) (middle) 
2nd Arne Orstavik – 14 – Milner, NT (left)
3rd Liam Roberts – 12 – East Vic Park, WA (right)
4th Callum Roberts – 10 – East Vic Park, WA

OPENS (15 & OVER) 

Due to last month’s rain out in Canberra the remaining stops have one extra Junior Qualification spot and two Open Qualification spots. What this essentially means is that if you make the final at one of The Qualifiers you are going straight through to the The Grand Final in October. 

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Red and N8m8 living large and stoked with proximity of the water slide.

Local shredder Lewis Chick had some smooth flat bar manouvres including front board shoves and fake big spin boards. NT’s Josh Solomon charged all day with kickflip front deckers and gaps to lip over the funbox. Earth Phothong had a really powerful pop, so much so that his tricks were seemingly unharnessable at times. His nollie inward heels were massive! Can’t wait to see this guy in Melbourne for the Grand Final. 

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Lance Cope ripped the entire day, seriously. A washed switch front blunt.

Fifth-placer Lance Cope came across from Mount Isa for the comp. He performed switch front blunts on the small side of the table ledge, switch flipped over the baby kink rail a bunch of times and crooked grinded to nollie flip on the flatbar. He even managed a nollie crook nollie flip – albeit a bit sketchy. 

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Darwin locals enjoying the spectacle.

Jason Rainbird charged his way into fourth with a courageous flow that took him all over the joint. His two-kilometre long nose grind pop out was easily one of the best things of the day. He also staunched dope looking ollie smith smacks on the quarter pipe and 50/50 back 180’s in the middle of the ledge. 

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NJ balances a sweet fakie 5-0 on the baby out ledge (Morey).

Rainbird’s teammate Nathan Jackson made podium time with an all out assault on the baby out ledge and even 50/50’d up a Hubba to finish his jam. To celebrate the closure of the sweaty six-minutes Nathan promptly cleared the way, and kickflipped the six stair into the carpark. What a rad dismount. 

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Not a bad graffitti piece, needs a bit of Red though. There you have it… sorted.

It is always fun to watch someone skate when are having an utter ball. A bit of spontaneity, style and power doesn’t go astray either. Jesse Noonan ticked all the boxes. I guess the best thing about watching Jesse’s lines how he would stop by the vert ramp for a couple of cheeky airs or an invert in the midst of his street run. He styled boardslides up across and down the fun box rail and even managed to get the wall back by landing the same frontside wallride that had taken out O’Grady the night prior. 

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Mikey Mendoza is truly newschool. Biggerflip over the steep hip. (click to animate)

Mikey Mendoza was on fire all day, but it really wasn’t until he threw a hurricane on the vert ramp that we realized he could well take this one out. Hey also glided through bump-to-bump tres and backside flips, switch tre’d on the bank and boned kickflips over the steep hip. He even bigger spin flipped over this hip, one that most would have struggled to ollie. He was so on point that he took it out the Opens. I thought they said nice guys finished last? Congrats mate! See you all at Nerang at the end of August.  

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OPEN RESULTS (all qualify for The Grand Final)
1st Mikey Mendoza – 16 – Gold Coast, QLD – $1000 (2014 NT Am Champ) (middle)
2nd Jesse Noonan – 23 – Labrador, QLD – $500 (left)
3rd Nathan Jackson – 25 – St Kilda East, VIC – $200 (right)
4th Jason Rainbird – 17 – Hallam, VIC – $100
5th Lance Cope – 19 – Mt Isa, QLD – $100
6th Earth Phothong – 18 – Durack, NT – $100
7th Joshua Solomon – 28 – Palmerston, NT – $100
8th Lewis Chick – 17 – Leanyer, NT – $100

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Australian Sports Commission
Northern Territory Government
City of Darwin

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