Wake n' Beach 2011 kicked off as a nice summer day in Port Barcares on the coast of the south of France where people world wide showed up for the 5th annual Kum Wake Park Rail Contest. For the past couple years they have been using a Rixen Little Bro cable for the event and this year they added all new Unit obstacles to the mix to make one clean little rail park. The setup had an A-frame and flat bar on one side and a wide box and kicker on the other.
Riders came from all over the place like U.S. riders Keith Lidberg, Mike Ennen, Nate Perry, Trevor Brashire, Quinn Silvernale, Brian Reeder and myself; UK riders CK Koester and defending champion, Marc Rossiter; not to mention Daniel Grant from Thailand, Yann Thibbault representing Canada, Marc Shuster from South Africa and a bunch of local rippers from France and nearby Spain. It was quite the turnout for the event and everyone was really pumped to be there.
Wake n' Beach wasn’t just a wakeboard event. They also had a wakeskate, women's, masters, and handicap division. Wakeskaters like Bertrand Oustrieres, Kevin Sudrat, local French professional and newest member to the Remote wakeskate team, Leo Labadens, and not to mention the little Turtle, Daniel Grant, competing as well.
The event started as a regular elimination round where the top two from each heat got to the next round. Each person got two separate runs that consisted of a down and back pass, best run counts. After round one, the rules stayed the same but only one rider from each heat got to make it through to the final round of four riders. The final four riders came down to Keith Lidberg, Trevor Brashire, myself and defending champ Marc Rossiter.
The Final was extremely close with Keith staying really consistent on his runs, getting solid presses on the flat bar and boosting some sick looking wrapped melon back rodeo 7's. Trevor Brashire was also blowing some minds doing some stuff on the A-frame that no one had even seen before. I’m pretty sure the crowed didn’t even know what they were seeing, but they definitely enjoyed it! Marc Rossiter, on the other hand, was clearly standing out more than the rest with his perfect five-0 back 3 out, nose press back 3 out and huge switch back 5's off the kicker. For my runs, I stuck with some 270 stuff and some backside hard ways with a switch staled shifty front 3 off the kicker. Keep in mind this is when I would hate to be a judge for an event like this because everyone rode so well!
For the wakeskate final there was Kevin Sudrat, Bertrand Oustrieres, Daniel Grant and Leo Labadens. Although he rode amazing all day, Leo fell short of a full showing of his talent in the finals by falling early a couple times and leaving a door open for the others. Young phenomenon Daniel Grant had no problem taking over the finals and turning it into the Turtle show. With huge toeside big spins, backside shuvits and backside 360's off the kicker mixed with back lip, shuvit, back lip on the A-frame and solid flat bar hits, there wasn’t one person in the crowd not going nuts. Clearly Danny Grant came to play.
By the end of the day when the contest was finished everyone gathered for drink and awards on site over at the main cable. This event was thankfully held by Kum from Kum Wake Park, Phil “Good” Sirech and WWA Europe.
The final results went...
1. Kaesen Suyderhoud
2. Marc Rossiter
3. Trevor Brashire
4. Keith Lidberg
1. Daniel Grant
2. Bertrand Oustrieres
3. Leo Labadens
4. Kevin Sudrat
1. Krystiina Nyman
2. Emanuelle Martinez
3. Alexandria Gardiner
4. Alfaro Rosalia