Seffner, FL – July 8th, 2012
The McCormick’s “Get Railed” Summer Series got under way on a beautiful Tuesday night at McCormick’s Cable Park in Seffner, Florida. 30 riders of all ages and skill levels showed up to compete for the honor of representing Team McCormick’s at the 2012 Cablewakeboard.com National Points Chase Championship. Thousands of fans lined the banks of the cable lake, and with MC Kyle McCutcheon on the mic and the judges perched high atop the operator’s stand, we were all set for a night of high flying, death defying aerial maneuvers.
First off the dock was the always-competitive novice division, featuring a diverse lineup of 7 riders of all ages. Defending champ Dennis “The Menace” Bulin came ready to lay a smackdown on the youngins, but he was up against some stiff competition, including his own grandson, Asher. Sasha Greer works harder on her riding than just about anyone, and it really paid off as she laid down some smooth grabbed 180s and shocked everyone by almost landing a tantrum off the final kicker. But it was last-minute entry Mark Russel who swept in to take the victory with some very technical rail riding. Dennis had to settle for second, and Sasha took a well-deserved third.
The intermediate division was absolutely stacked, with 11 closely matched riders battling it out over the obstacles and in the air. I came up short on my difficult 2nd run, but with a clutch heel 5 off the kicker for my wild card trick, I squeaked by for a 2nd place finish. My buddy Sean Morton showed up big in his first contest ever, stomping a heel 5, massive inverts, and even a whirly bird to take me out. Carrabba’s employee of the month Michael Hernandez wowed the crowd with a very creative run that included a tantrum off the end of the fupa to take a surprise 3rd place, despite not having any air tricks.
The advanced wakeboard division was short on riders but long on style, as Bammer Rhen battled legendary videographer Sean Carmichael and Tyler Trant. Tyler displayed his signature smooth, snowboarding-inspired style, but didn’t have the banger air tricks to compete with Bammer, who out-pointed Carmichael to take the win.
As the sun began to set, the throngs of spectators were itching to see the pro wakeboarders throw down some of the gnarliest tricks in our sport. But first, they were treated to a bootless display of popping and shoving from the wakeskate division, with guest appearances from a few stray skim boarders who were nice enough to stop by for some slayshing. Bammer Rhen showed his versatility, taking another division win.
Finally, the stage was set for an epic battle in the pro wakeboard division, as 15-year-old wonderkid Chandler Powell took on contest killer Andrew Proses and the explosive Danny Burnstein. A little out of practice, but still dangerous, were rail master Jon Dickey and kiteboarding legend Billy Parker, fresh off his jaw dropping jump over the Reddington Beach Pier that earned him an appearance on ABC Action News.
Andrew Proses’ waterskiing background shined through as he packed in the tricks at a frantic pace that none of his competitors could match. Among the many air tricks in his standup run was an awe-inspiring double s-bend. Chandler fired back with a huge KBG and a wild card heel 9, but he couldn’t stick a crucial s-mobe. Danny Burnstein had the tricks to tango with his top-tier competitors, but an uncharacteristic fall on his go-to Pete Rose 540 hurt his score. Dickey slayed the rails, unleashing his signature tap on the transfer, but his toe back 7 took him down. Billy parker went huge as always, but couldn’t stand up his run. Bill and Dickey’s falls meant that it was a three-horse race for the overall win. With his aggressive and precise composition, Proses outscored Chandler’s big bangers for the win. Burnstein took 3rd, ahead of Dickey and Parker, wrapping up a memorable evening of fierce battles and stoketastic riding.
Check out McCormick’s Cable Park on Facebook for full results and follow me on Twitter (@SethRavid) for more coverage as the battles continue at Round #2!