The inaugural Park Lines BMX Tournament presented by LW Mag and Dragon Energy Drink, in associating with Garmin, GoPro, Mongoose Bikes, Fox and BMX Direct, took place over the weekend (Saturday 29 May), and witnessed the country’s best Pro and Amateur Freestyle BMX riders battle it out for top honours.
The stomping ground, a fully-fledged BMX Park, offering a variety of obstacles from Quarter Pipes, to Box jumps, to Transfer lines – dubbed The Compound BMX Facility in Benoni, Johannesburg. The setup presented riders with the perfect opportunity to showcase their skills as well as catered for the different styles and levels of riding.
With 40 riders competing through the Am and Pro divisions, judges had their hands full as they took use-of-park, variation, style, tricks and amplitude into account when making their selection of riders advancing into the Finals, and podium positions.
A strong field of up-and-coming riders took to the course in the Amateur division and set out to impress the judges through two heats of runs. Progression was the name of the game as riders pushed their limits throughout the contest.
In the end it was Damion Fourie who impressed the judges the most to take the win ahead of Victor Sawkins and Zaden Davis in 2nd and 3rd.
Next on course was the hugely anticipated, and hotly contested, Pro division. The amount of variation, technical difficulty and insane tricks these guys brought to the table was mind-blowing. Through the qualifying rounds, the top 10 riders were selected for the final to battle it out for the R25 000.00 prize purse, and bragging rights. The always technical and precise Francois Bodenstein made good use of the park with clean runs to pit himself into 5th place.
The battle for 4th and 3rd was inseparable between Malcolm Peters and Matty Duffy, both landing some of the biggest and cleanest tricks of the day. In the end it was Peters who just managed to edge out Duffy for the 3rd.
Murray Loubser topped the qualifying heats and was a clear favourite for the overall win, especially with tricks like the 1 Hander Cannonball, G-Turn, Barspin to Table, Double Truckdriver, Transfer Tailwhips, the steeziest Flairs of the day, and technical mastery included into his runs. It wasn’t enough for the win though and 2nd place it would be.
Vincent Leygonie was on form all day and put it all on the line in the finals, going higher and crazier than anyone else. 720’s, Double Truckdrivers, huge Superman Tailwhips, a 450 Barspin and 450 Tailwhip over the hip where just a few of the massive tricks included into his run. Leygonie literally owned the park and claimed a well-deserved 1st place.
The tournament ended off with the hour-long Best Trick jam session that saw a host of tricks being landed and attempted – the likes of Frontflips, Flair Barspins, Bikeflips, Backflip Tuck No hander to Fakie, G-Turn to Barspin to name a few. Dylan van Belkum’s clean Backflip Barspin took the Best Trick win.
Matty Duffy Backflip Tuck No hander to Fakie attempt
Park Lines organiser, Ryan van der Spuy said, “We’re extremely proud of the Park Lines BMX Tournament, to bring this platform to the local scene and give the riders a place to compete and showcase their abilities. To say we are stoked with the outcome and feedback, from the competitors and fans alike, is an understatement. To everyone involved in making this happen, especially the event partners, thank you. It is only onward and upward from here. See you at the next one.”
Park Lines BMX Tournament Results
Amateur (Top 5)
1st – Damion Fourie
2nd – Victor Sawkins
3rd – Zaden Davis
4th – Mark Pienaar
5th – Jean Meyer
Pro (Top 5)
1st – Vincent Leygonie
2nd – Murray Loubser
3rd – Malcolm Peters
4th – Matty Duffy
5th – Francois Bodenstein
Dylan van Belkum
Photos by Tim Moolman.