I had a teacher who wore a toupee. On a class outing the wind decided to gust up and so did Mr. Black’s hairpiece: all the way across the parking lot. I’m quite certain most of today’s skaters didn’t have to worry about losing hairpieces, only their skateboards mid-flight thanks to the wind gusts that were evident throughout the the third and final day of the Vans/Hard Rock Cafe World Championships of Skateboarding.
Arriving fashionably late, I grabbed a seat to check out the vertical preliminaries which were almost halfway done. Bob Burnquist’s switch attacks, Colin McKay’s nollie halfcabs over the 10 foot channel and Andy Macdonald’s nollie heelflips over that same channel were but a few of the tricks that are etched into my memory bank and gave me a good indication of what was to come in the vert finals. Before the vert finals were to start a few things had to be gotten out of the way, including the best street trick contest and masters bowl contest.
Although the best street trick contest was a bit scarce on competitors, the action was still intense and entertaining. The highlights of this event included Geoff Rowley’s lipslides and noseslides down the big rail and Pat Channita’s nollie 360 heelflip caballerials. When this event was over, Pat Channitas technical abilities seemed to have the edge over Geoff Rowleys pure rawness and Pat came up the winner.
Next on the agenda was the master’s bowl contest. The masters division consisted of skateboarders over the age of 30, basically a melting pot of many of my heroes of yesteryear. Jeff Grosso, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, and Mike Smith were terrorizing the bowl with amazing lines. Smith eventually slammed and had be be removed out the bottom of the bowl through one of the plexiglass portals. That, and the fact that the vert finals were getting pushed back forced organizer Don Bostick to call the contest based on the first two runs.
When this event was over, it came down to Steve Caballeros decades of bowl riding experience to earn him first place in the masters followed by Jeff Grosso and Mike Smith.
The third and most anticipated event of today was finally here, the vert finals. The top 12 competitors from the preliminaries were destroying the 45-foot wide vert ramp. This ramp also featured a channel with coping and a 1-foot extension that was located behind the channel.
Some of the highlights of the finals included Neil Hendrix’s fakie melons over the channel, Bob Burnquist’s eggplant reverts, Lincoln Ueda’s 10 foot plus kickflip varials, Andy Macdonald’s nollie flips over the channel, Omar Hassan’s channel boardslides and Colin McKay’s nollie half-cabs over
the channel. Those tricks, however, were no match for Tony Hawk’s high flying final run ramp attack which included 720′s and 540′s over the channel earning him the highest score of the day and a much deserved first place trophy.
Immediately following the vert finals a best vert trick contest had begun. Among the highlights of this event were Jason Ellis going for broke with a kickflip backflip and Buster Halterman’s frontside slider over the channel. The flying Brazilian, Lincoln Ueda had other plans. He dominated the skies above with a humongous kickflip varial over the channel earning him best trick of the day and the end of this year’s Vans/ Hard Rock Cafe World Championships of Skateboarding.
Thanks to Vans, Hard Rock Cafe, World Cup Skateboarding, TransWorld SKATEboarding and all the other sponsors who helped make this annual event happen.
Click here for the Triple Crown of Skateboarding photo gallery.
Final Results Sunday October 3, 1999
Best Trick Street
1. Pat Channita
2. Geoff Rowley
3. Dan Pageau
Masters Bowl Contest
1. Steve Caballero
2. Jeff Grosso
3. Mike Smith
4. Lance Mountain
5. Sasha Steinhorst
1. Tony Hawk – $15,000
2. Colin McKay – $8,000
3. Andy Macdonald – $5,000
4. Lincoln UUeda – $3,400
5. Bucky Lasek – $2,600
6. Sandro Dias – $1,200
7. Renton Miller – $1,000
8. Bob Burnquist – $800
9. Buster Halterman – $600
10. Omar Hassan – $400
Vert Best Trick
1. Lincoln Ueda
2. Buster Halterman
3. Jason Ellis