Another season of European skateboarding opened on the weekend of June 16, 2000 with the first influx of American pros flying the Atlantic to take part in the second annual comp held in the concrete wonderland that holds a special place in the hearts of everyone who’s ever been here.
For once there were no fears of what the course would be like and no worries over what the weather may hold. In fact, it was business as usual. Friday saw some of the qualifying heats get underway. Most of the free skating was held to a minimum as the Mediterranean sun was taking no prisoners.
It was easy to see from the onset who was going to place in the final. New comer to Europe Neal Heddings set the whole qualifying jam rolling with some sick skating. His grounding at Burnside was certainly holding him in good stead. He looked like he’d been skating this place for years.
Last year’s top two of Omar and Wade Speyer began where they left off. Ben Krahn also looked good in his heat mixing up some tech and old school tricks. Alan Petersen was doing what he does best with some smooth looking skateboarding in the bowls. Canadian Alex Chalmers amazed the crowd with a transfer never seen before, spanning at least 12 feet (each photographer counts as two feet) from the main hip into the start of the clover bowl. But the opening day belonged to the one and only John Cardiel. He came out of the pits a blazing. His opening run sent rumbles around the crowd; every bit of the park was used to the max. Chet Childress was also in there working some nice lines especially in the deep bowl. Late showers on the day were allowed a second chance and on the way back to the hotel an enthusiastic Chris Senn passed by with all his possessions in hand, eager to skate.
No spectator who showed could have been disappointed with what they saw today. When it all came down there were twelve of some of the finest concrete skateboarders in the world, skating in what many consider to be the best park in the world. Add to this the old Jam session system then you have a recipe for destruction, the appetite was there, too.
Watching all twelve weave lines through one another was amazing. People were getting worked left, right, and center. Omar was putting some tech stuff in with a 540 in the deep bowl. Chris Senn was working each part of the park while Wade Speyer pleased the crowd with his lines which were easily as impressive as his mustache. Chalmers was looking for the big move and cruised where others didn’t go. Alan Petersen was ruling as was Chet Childress who did hold back on anything.
After the 30 minutes were up another five were added instead of each individual taking a single run. It was then that John Cardiel did a backside 360 transfer from the main hip into the small bowl on a broken board. The crowd went apeshit. Others stood in amazement and it seemed a fitting end to what had been one of the best contests seen in Europe for quite some time.
When the results were announced boos came from the crowd, people weren’t happy. It seemed somewhere that Cardiel had been given a bad deal, Omar apologized for this in his acceptance speech. But at the end of the day the results didn’t mean all that much, what people will remember from this comp is the hardcore of skateboarding doing what it does best.
1. Omar Hassan
2. Alan Petersen
3. Chet Childress
John Cardiel’s backside 360 transfer into the bowl
Highest over the hip
Alan Petersen stuck an ollie that was up there with the seagulls.
Went to the Canadian Alex Chalmers who flew from the tear drop into the start of the main hip