[U]1st Annual HCR Invitational Rolling Trials Competition[/U]
1st Place : Frank Brown
2nd Place: Wolfgang (Wogri)
3rd Place : Bill Hamilton
1st Place : Nick Vadala (DigitalAttrition)
2nd Place: Tim Braun
3rd Place : Brian MacKenzie (taken out early due to injury)
Many thanks to everyone who participated in the First Annual HCR Invitational Rolling Trials Competition. Also, special thanks to Leeanne MacKenzie and Allison Sanford for helping me set up the Sections and for cleaning up afterward – I would never have been able to pull it off without your help… and to Dave Lowell for lugging his computer and color printer back and forth to Cleveland for me and letting me use it extensively.
Although things were quite hectic for me regarding preparing the competition (it was the first time I ever did anything like this), everything seemed to come together and everyone seemed to have had a really great time. Being that I didn’t have time to provide the competitors with a formal “walk-through” of all the Sections prior to the start of the competition, I intended to try and ensure that the start and finish lines of the Sections (that weren’t very obvious) were clearly understood by all competitors who wanted to attempt them.
I wound up tagging along with Nick Brazzi, Wolfgang (Wogri), Frank Brown, and Bill Hamilton for most of the event. These guys were amazing! I had incredible fun just watching them ride through my Sections.
I watched in amazement as Bill Hamilton nailed Section 18 (a fairly difficult Section involving an uneven ramp with a nice dip that led to a really narrow teeter-totter) like a Pro in spectacular fashion on his 1st attempt (he admitted to me that he had practiced the line earlier), but it was still his first attempt during the competition and quite impressive, nonetheless!
Frank Brown is an absolutely AMAZING (24”/26” class) Rolling Trials competitor and proved to me that many Sections that I thought were only doable on a 36”er were totally doable on the MUni (though he did admit that there were a few potential Sections that he felt were only doable on the 36er). I watched in awe as Frank cleaned Section #9 (the pyramid ramp), blew through two fairly difficult Sections (#10 and #11) – with skinnies and whoops – in a row, as if they were nothing and then cleaned the bi-level ramp with the hollow step (Section #16)!
Wogri wasn’t too far behind Frank, and is also an incredible (24”/26” class) Rolling Trials competitor. Wogri had to focus on NOT hopping, as he missed a few attempts because of a hopping DQ… but he ultimately cleaned those lines without any hops. Wogri said he really liked the “flow” of Rolling Trials riding and thought that it could really help riders develop their skills. One highlight of the competition was watching Wogri finally conquer Section #19 (a difficult Section involving a log pile and a swing bridge). On his first few attempts, he kept missing the finish line by literally just a couple of inches (he had to clear a big log on the other side of the swing bridge) due to falling or hopping. I was really psyched to watch him finally roll the entire line and earn the point.
While not at the level of Frank Brown or Wogri, Bill Hamilton and Nick Brazzi are both excellent Rolling Trials riders and I really enjoyed watching them ride as well. With a little more practice, I think they will both be a serious force to be reckoned with! That was great when you nailed the big teeter-totter, Nick!
Though I unfortunately didn’t have much time to spend with the 36” riders (Brian MacKenzie, Tim Braun, and Nick Vadala), I was fortunate enough to catch Tim nailing the tabletop jump on his Coker – great job, Tim! Unfortuantely, as you all know, Brian got taken out of the competition early, due to his injury!
ShadowUni showed up late and was unable to compete, but I did enjoy watching him ride as well. I wish I had more time to ride with ShadowUni, but I was too busy wrapping up the competition. Maybe we can ride together at the skatepark in Philly sometime. That was a great wheel walk on the Coker, Shadow!
In summary, I feel that the 1st Annual HCR Invitational Rolling Trials Competition was a complete success and proved to me that Rolling Trials is an extremely enjoyable form of competition not just for me… but for everyone else who gave it a shot. Furthermore the competition proved that the sport works great not just for 36” uni riders, but for any rider on a 24” wheel uni or bigger (there was a pretty skillful 20” wheel uni rider who tagged along with the 24” guys and couldn’t get up many of the ramps, despite excellent attempts… so I really don’t think the sport would work too well for 20” riders). I truly believe that the majority of people who try it will agree that Rolling Trials is a great new form of competitive unicycling. I encourage everyone to give it a try and/or attend an event. I will plan the 2nd Annual HCR Invitational so that it doesn’t conflict with any other events. I hope to see you there…