Ultimate X 2015 saw SA’s biggest Action Sports festival take on a new venue as well as a new format. Festival goers were treated to the best in Freestyle Motocross, Skateboarding and BMX action at GrandWest Casino in Cape Town over 2 evenings (27 and 28 Feb). The new indoor venue worked in favour as the wind was howling in the mother city and would have impacted dramatically.
Taking place from 7pm to 10pm on both nights, Ultimate X was run as a nonstop action packed show with the qualifying rounds taking place on the Friday night and the finals on the Saturday night. Athletes and sponsors alike were stoked with the new setup and how the event was run. As always, it was great to be a part of Ultimate X and be able to cover the event. Here’s our review of what went down.
FMX is always a big draw card and gets the fans on their feet screaming for more. Ultimate X 2015 kicked off with the FMX shows on both nights setting the mood for the evening. Another 2 shows took place on both evenings, one being in the middle of the Skate and BMX contests and the other at the end of the show, which finished things off with a bang.
Riders, Nick De Wit, Alastair Sayer, Dallan Goldman, Brendan Potter, Shaun Blaauw and Stewart Couper entertained the masses with an array of tricks from Double Grabs to Rock Solids to Backflips.
Alastair Sayer walked away with the Best Trick award.
The Rider Cup team event took place first on Saturday night featuring some top class skating. Team AKAM of Alan Morola, Moses Adams, Khule Ngubane and Allan Adams earned themselves 1st place and a spot in the Rider Cup finals at KDC later this year.
With Friday night’s qualifying in the books, the finalists took to the park for the finals on Saturday night. A heated battle with crazy lines and tricks landed was the order of the day. In the end it was Yann Horowitz that took the win with his unique lines and landing tricks like a Caveman Frontside Tail Fakie, Pull Out Blunt and Backside Disaster on the 12 foot. Kanya Spani finished in 2nd landing a Smith Grind on the down rail and a Backside Bennett Grind, amongst others. Moses Adams took 3rd landing a 270 Frontboard. Some would say a controversial decision by the judges.
12 year old Tyler Kammies was a standout skater putting in one of the best performances we saw all weekend with a 360 Flip to Flat, Frontside Feeble, Backside Lip and more. Khule Ngubane, Dlamini Dlamini and Alan Morola were also ripping all contest long.
Yann Horowitz also took home the Best Trick award.
Undoubtedly the most exciting discipline at Ultimate X. This year saw a missive 10 international riders come out to compete. Friday nights qualifiers were exciting to say the least but no one expected the mind blowing finals that took place on Saturday Night. The SA riders did their country proud laying it all on the line. Colin Loudon and Kyle Kiewiet put in impressive performances. Malcolm Peters was on form with huge tricks like his Triple Tailwhip and 360 Superman over the box which earned him the Local Hero (Top SA rider) award.
SA’s Greg Illingworth made use of the whole park and put his signature style of high paced riding with huge airs to the test. Greg had a clean first run with a massive transfer Table that had GrandWest Arena on their feet. In his second run Greg went with the Tailwhip attempt over the same transfer, a course photographer ran in the way resulting in Greg going down hard. Greg’s first run counted and saw him walk away with 3rd place.
French Rider Kevin Kalkoff completed both his runs with huge tricks and technicality seeing him take the 2nd place.
However, the final was owned by Kevin Peraza. The American rider made use of the whole park with some of the craziest tricks and combos in the book, all landed perfectly. Peraza took home 1st place and secured the Monster Energy 1, 2 and 3 at Ultimate X.
The Best Trick contest was completely off the hook with riders tricking all over the place. An injured Greg Illingworth came out but not sure if he was ok to ride. With seconds to go before the buzzer, Illingworth dropped in for his Tailwhip transfer he attempted previously and landed it. GrandWest Arena erupted in awe and cheer of what just took place. It was the perfect end to Ultimate X 2015!
A big shout out goes to the all involved for putting Ultimate X together and to the sponsors for making it happen – Sprite, Fox, Skullcandy, VW, Red Bull, GoPro, KDC Grand Slam and the Western Cape Government. We can’t wait for next year!
Photos by Grant Mclachlan, Wayne Reiche and LW Mag