By Leigh Ramsdell, Team Manager
One of the most anticipated events of the year is always Battle of Hastings at Source Park! The real Battle of Hastings went down in the year 1066 and was not something you would want to be at if given a choice (look it up on Wikipedia history-buffs). However, BoH at Source Park is something you just wouldn’t want to miss! There were BMX gladiators competing against each other in vicious bike battles in video form, normal context combat, and the winner-take-all Best Trick! Unlike the battle in 1066, everyone in the event supported and cheered for each other hoping to see some of the best bike riding to date! No one left Hastings disappointed.
We had three Mongoose riders there - Greg Illingworth, Kevin Peraza and Pat Casey. Unfortunately, Greg took himself out a day before the event with a crash that hurt his shoulder and broke his pinky. Nothing major and he’ll be back in no time at all! Pat Casey was team captain and chose Kevin Peraza to be on his team along with Dennis Enarson and Mongoose Am Jam winner, Felipe Manerim. Now that is a serious team!
During one of the practice days, Greg took Pat up to his local trails and some serious shredding when down. It was a chill vibe with lots of smiles, but when you get that caliber of rider pedaling around you better believe some incredible moves are bound to happen. Pat pulled off huge tricks including a 360-downside whip to no-footed can-can and a truck-driver to table and much more! Once the dust settled and everyone got their fill we headed back to the seafront of Hastings for some food and much needed rest.
For the first event the teams were split in half. Two riders rode the street plaza section to film a minute-long video that would be judged, and the other two riders would ride the bowl section of the park to be judged live on how they rode. Pat and Dennis were doing the bowl section while Kevin and Felipe road the street plaza. They had one hour to film and get the best riding down. The boys delivered some incredible riding and put down a solid video edit that would be shown at the Our BMX NORA cup awards after the Bowl qualifier.
For Qualifying days, Dennis and Pat went in and rode the bowl section. Both have a super powerful riding style and know how to get tech at the same time! Pat started his runs with a huge toothpick on the Monster Vert wall and kept it going with 360 downside whip transfers and barspin flairs. It’s always a treat to watch Dennis ride and his underside ice pick on the wall ride is something not many people would even think about attempting. They took 8th in Park.
Right after the Park event they went straight into Best Trick. Each team could pick one person to ride for them in Best Trick. Team Casey chose Kevin Peraza. Kevin had a few things in mind, and you know almost anything Kevin does is incredibly hard. He was trying some tech wizardry on the wallride but couldn’t quite get down what he wanted. Still, his warmup trick was good enough for 5th place! Madman, Morgan Wade won with a huge 270 transfer reminiscent of one he did at the Mongoose Jam last year on Team Wallace!
At the Our BMX Nora Cup Awards show the Source Plaza played the videos in the order in which they placed. Team Casey ended up with 6th with a solid edit. After the screening the NORA Cup awards show started. NORA stands for Number One Rider Award and they have multiple categories. Kevin was up for Readers Choice award. There were only five guys nominated, so he was in good company. The award ended up going to a well-deserved Boyd Hilder. This was also the first year they did a Women’s Rider of the Year award and I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Nina Buitrago to take that home! At the end of the night they announced all the teams that made it to the finals. Team Casey missed out by only two spots. This was a tough event and I am glad I wasn’t a judge! Just being invited is a win.
So the next day we watched the five teams that made the final event. This was done in the park/bowl section and some of the craziest riding to date went down. One of my favorite moves was Tom Justice doing a massive fufanu on the railing where the crowd watched from. You just don’t see that anymore. At the end of the day Team Layos had the best score and put down some incredible runs to win the Source Battle of Hastings!
We can’t thank Mark and Rich enough for making this happen along with everyone else involved, along with the riders and the crowd that came to support BMX! Greg Illingworth put it perfectly, “It seems like every year BOH gets wilder and wilder. The level of riding this year was unreal and the vibe around the Hastings was going off all week!” So… see everyone there next year?