2014 NIKE X SbA AM TITLES – VICTORIA

Nike x SbA Am Titles Qualifiers Stop #1
Rosehill, Victoria.
February 1st 2014
Photos: Matty Hooker (click to enlarge)
Video: Tony Woodward and James James
Words: Morgan Campbell
Hashtag: #amtitles14

The recently revamped Rosehill Skatepark was the setting for Victoria’s Stop #1 of the Nike x SbA Am Titles. Revamp is an understatement: what was just a couple of metal ramps on some crusty ground is now an excellent locale for contemporary wizard planking. It is every Melbournite’s new favourite park, it has well-spaced mixed breeds of obstacles, a slick surface and bottom line: it has major flow. Despite vicious heat in the mid-thirties every single shredder killed it in their unique way all day.
 
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Former Pro/Am Tour member Jack Crook is now a part of the Am Titles. Hardflip steeze! 

The Am Titlesare basically a hybrid of previous year’s Am Series and the Pro/Am Tour. The result is a set of qualifiers that visit every state and territory with a good amount of money and opportunity at every single stop. The top three Junior and top six Open entrants go through to The Grand Final in October and the Open winner wins $10,000 and a trip to compete in the Holy Grail: Tampa Am.

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Jeremy Corea breaks out a rarely seen a fakie frontside hurricane <click to animate>

Unlike the Pro/Am Tour, The Am Titles are not invitational; they are in fact open to anyone who doesn’t have a pro board out. Once a skater has qualified they are entitled to keep entering other Am Titles Stops around the country. Though, once a person has a spot in The Grand Final if they place again they are able to keep prizes, but the qualification spot gets handed down to the next in line.

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We all know Dale Van Iersel has epic styles on board, but wait till you hear him on a mic!    

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Judges from left: Jim Dandy, Kurt Winter and Mike Martin had their work set out for them.

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Bangin a tre off the Euro into bank and then holding on for dear life? Nick Boserio rules!
 
JUNIORS  (14 & UNDER)
The 14 & Under Division has recently lost a bunch of top guys to the Open Division so it was a completely open slate for the Victorian Juniors. Everyone loved the focus and extended fifty-fifties of Felix Stroek who shredded his way into fourth. Third placer Jesse Abrahams turned heads with his fifties over the rainbow ledge and blitzed-out front boards on the bump to rail. Jun Foliente could easily be one of Melbourne’s best in years to come. He has the early signs of being a tech genius with a well-polished technique and great poise. He kickflipped the wedge to wedge and had both back and front bigspins on lock.

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2014 Vic Junior Champ Jacob De Leo feels the G’s with a backside grab 540 over the hip!

In at first was an old school committer called Jacob De Leo who opened his line with a backflip onto the platform! He went on to kickflip to rock ‘n’ roll, ollied up the three straight into blunt fakies on the quarter and ended it with an early backside grab 540 over the three-foot transitioned hip! Even though The Titles have a focus on street skating, Jacob linked it all up to go on to be crowned Junior Champ!
 
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JUNIOR RESULTS (top three qualify for The Grand Final)
1st – Jacob De Leo – 14 – Reservoir, VIC – Victorian 2014 Junior Am Champ
(middle)
2nd – Jun Foliente – 14 – Melbourne, VIC (right)
3rd – Jesse Abrahams – 14 – Torquay, VIC (left) 
4th – Felix Stroek – 13 Castlemaine, VIC 
 
OPENS (15 & OVER)  
Holy smoke! The Opens were ridiculous: it would have been hard to cut the fifty-plus entrants down to twenty let alone to a top eight. We saw lasers on lock (Dani Campbell), impossible to 50/50 grinds (Leigh Takemoto), bigspin flips to front board (Jack Fischer), cross country fifties (Gabbers) and grinds UP and ACROSS the handrail (Nick Boserio) there was even a rogue freestyler!

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NSW’s Dani Campbell laser flipped the wedge to wedge with ease. <click to animate>

Palate sizzlers in the lower section of the qualifying top six were: Sam Atkins’ backside late shuv’s on the wedge-to-wedge and back tail biggies on the ledge, Tim Williams’ wedge to wedge backside flip to flat and all out laps of the joint and Mitch Robertom’s general power and how bout that frontside flip over the “Manning Gap”?
 
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Mitch Robertom equals wow. Absolute boomer of a frontside flip!

Third place went to Tasmanian and now Melbourne resident Kristjan Rowell. He charged at speeds only paralleled by Tim Williams. Back threes to die for and a NBD transfer over two hips and a ledge!

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Two committers helping each other out: Gabbers performs reiki on Tim Williams.

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Gabbers goes cross country on lengthy 50/50: fat snaps and accuracy the key.
 
Jack Crook styled his way into second. Frontside flip fakie nosegrinds on the ledge, and fluid lines incorporating hip, wedge-to-wedge and quarter. One of his lines in qualification was a perfect boned kickflip over the hip, tre the wedge-to-wedge, straight into a frontside flip on the quarter pipe. Flawless execution Jack!

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Crook, Robertom and Atkins. These guys have got clout.

Max Couling took it out with a voluminous nailage of balance beam tricks. He focused on the rail area with round bar fifties into the bank, nosebluntslides, switch blunts, switch k’s and switch salad 180’s down it; but it was his switch heel up the three that came out of no where that clinched the deal. No one saw that coming. Congrats mate. 
 
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Max Couling performs the very rare switch salad 180 on his route to Vic Am Champ 2014
!

It was an absolutely ferocious display of shredding all day and major props to all that competed, attended and had anything to do with the event on any level. Hope to see you all in Tasmania.

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OPEN RESULTS
(top six qualify for The Grand Final)
1st – Max Couling – 27 – Abbotsford, VIC – $1,000 – Victorian 2014 Am Champ
(middle)
2nd – Jack Crook – 24 – Carlton North, VIC – $500 (left)  
3rd – Kristjan Rowell – 22 – Kensington, VIC – $200 (right)
4th – Mitch Robertom – 22 – Craigieburn, VIC – $100   
5th – Tim Williams – 26 – South Yarra, VIC – $100   
6th – Sam Atkins – 16 – Geelong, VIC – $100
7th – Dean Johnston – 16 – Dingley Village, VIC
8th – Jack Fischer – 19 – Sydney, NSW

 

Thanks to all the event sponsors for helping make this happen and massive praise to Moonee Valley City Council & Bendigo Bank for the help with the use of Rosehill and the free shuttle.

 

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