The judging of the comp was rather a battle on its own. Dale Nieuwstad, the Ice Breaker’s Head Judge, expressed at the prize-giving how close the scores were between the contestants. The Groms (Junior Men’s division), such as Byron Brett (3rd), Jacques Labuschagne (2nd) and Jeannu Du Plooy (1st) won the Junior Men’s division with fractions apart. Not forgetting to mention for those few months that they have been wakeboarding, they have shown a great deal of improvement and style in their riding.
It was a pleasure to see the talent and dedication by the ladies. The Ice Breaker was an Obstacle-only Comp and it is maybe worthwhile mentioning that even the smallest of those floating boxes seemed like Icebergs when approaching them on the wakeboard. Never the less, none of the ladies gave into the terror: Jacqueline Reichmuth (3rd), Candice Bacon (2nd) and Melissa Colborne (1st) claimed their well-deserved titles.
In the Pro-Men’s Division those Icebergs became little toy boxes. We saw skills of international standards and the crowd was getting quite a treat. Clapping, awing and cheering was a non-stop occurrence. It was not an easy task to finalise the three kings of the Pro Men division. They eventually were: Cameron Graham (3rd), Jason Colborne (2nd), and Gregor Reichmuth (1st). Please do yourself a favour and check out the video clips of the final run of those contestants on the Ice Breaker events page (www.bluerock.co.za/events), they will be up soon. It is a great idea to make use of them as riding and learning inspiration.
The wakeskating was judged a little different to the wakeboarding. The contestants were marked on their best two obstacles and three best ground tricks. Chris Rogers (3rd) had a nice nose-grab-180 off the kicker, which impressed the judges, as he has never been on the Blue Rock Obstacles before. Dean Trollip (2nd) stunned the judges with his switch-board-slide-to-back-lip on the Rooftop. But what set Sean Bacon (1st) apart from the rest was that his runs were always clean and controlled.
The Event’s main purpose and signature piece was the clinic. There was a surprisingly and unexpected high number of young Ice Breakers that took part in the wakeboard and wakeskate teaching clinic. The Pros who coached the clinic were overwhelmed to see the improvements and hidden talents throughout the two days. The big tricks of the event were done by Kyle Hecht-Wendt who pulled a front KGB and another by Gregor Reichmuth with his S-Mob and Raily 540. Dominik Reichmuth had his 900 spin almost cleared and Justin Mitri had a clean transfer 540 over the Funbox. The crown of this event though was the young boy, Mikyle Roets, who hardly filled out his own helmet with his tiny head and his legs were almost doing the splits to reach into the bindings of his wakeboard. But that didn’t stop him, he was eager to learn. He didn’t just want to learn anything, no, he knew exactly what he wanted. He told me he wants to fly – he wants to hit the kicker! And that is quite the demand for a little kid like that. It didn’t take long and one could see him cruising around the cable and over the obstacles – definitely one of my favourite legends that I have seen here at Blue Rock!
There is a great deal more that happened in those two days of the Ice Breaker. The wakeboarding, the wakeskating and the great scenic panoramic views were well absorbed by the photographers and the Wolfalley film crew. We have already received a great deal of entries to the photo contests. One that stands out, out of the many great photographers is Claire Butler. She has a great eye! She captures not only the stunning angles and action in the right moment but also frames a shot with a good composition. When it comes to wakeboarding, and similarly in all extreme sports, capturing the moment is gold. The riders do something to show one specific moment and if the photographer is not familiar to the sport, it is easy to miss exactly that.
Claire captured the press, the poke, the spins and the grabs, etc. with a composition of atmosphere very well. Definitely an extreme-sports photographer to keep an eye out for.
The entry to the photo contest will close this Sunday, the 24th June 2012 and the top professional extreme sport photographers: Craig Kolesky, Nick Muzik and Stephen Greeff, will make their selection and choose three winners in each category being, the best action shot, atmospheric shot and scenic shot. More on that next week…
To conclude, the event has reached its intended purpose. The Ice Breaker was designed to teach new-comers and existing riders, to get everyone more prepared for competitive riding, and most importantly, inspire each other to go further. I’m looking forward for the next event.
Written by Samuel Reichmuth