Boarders eye Olympic chance

The Black Pearl Skate and Surf Park had its summer kick off skate contest on the public holiday.

It was another successful event attracting a couple of hundred local youth and their families to spend the day honing their skills at Cayman’s own world class Skate Park.

Monday’s contest was the third event with the new management at Black Pearl and it will follow with many more.

‘We had a pro roller blader team come down over the weekend, our summer camp programme is under way and will follow with an after school program for September’ said Ali Amos the team leader at Black Pearl. ‘And we are already working on our Back to School contest planned for September 6.’

The new team at Black Pearl is making some big changes in 2008 and they are thinking all the way ahead to the 2012 Olympics.

‘That Olympics will be the first time skateboarding and BMX will have a chance at a medal. Cayman has the second largest skate park in the world so we are going to try hard to send one of our local youth to represent Cayman on the world stage,’ said Douglas Cameron Jr. another team leader at Black Pearl.

They are currently working with Red Bull to get an Olympic standard Vert Ramp so the upcoming Olympians can have the best chance possible of an Olympic medal.

Amos added: ‘We are trying to grow this park into a world class training facility as well as making it more spectator friendly. In the next couple months look for our new spectator patio with lots of shade for people to watch our local youth grow.’

As for the contest, the skaters of Cayman once again did not disappoint.

The progression was definitely noticed from the first event held on Discovery day in May to last week’s display. There were two main events; a park skating contest as well as a mini-ramp jam.

As well as the many great prizes for contest winners, there were prize throw-outs where Ricardo Connelly became the proud owner of a brand new Black Pearl skateboard.

For the beginners this time they had some new entries, with Tatiana Ebanks winning with a strong run, landing almost every trick she attempted, Gegofry Brown taking a close second, Ben Farrington third, and John Bodden fourth.

The novice category was a hard one to judge as everyone was so close and giving it their all. In the end though, Keiran Myles snagged the top spot with his smooth style and creative trick combinations, Taylor Bodden in a very close second was impressive as he had some big tricks which were smoothly executed. Third place was a tie between the ‘dynamic duo’, Jason Brown and Patrick Williams and Jayden Ebanks had a huge bag of tricks taking fourth.

The amateur category, which is the last stop before going pro, and potential Olympians, gave an amazing performance.

They had the crowd up on their feet amazed at what these guys could do with a skateboard.

Entered in this category was Neuville Cover, the only sponsored shop team rider as Darren Goodall was away skating some new spots, David Verhoeven , a previous regular at the Black Pearl returning to the park after studies abroad, Eugene Pascual, another Black Pearl regular who is on a summer break from studies off island, Shawn McComb, a local guy who is one of the main rippers in the Black Pearl these days, as well as the long time Black Pearl employee Jordan Downey who has been skating the Black Pearl since the beginning.

Once again, this event would end up with guys getting prizes for all their hard work, the ‘Best Trick’ winner cashing in, as well, the third shop sponsor would be handed over to the deserving skater.

It was a tough one to judge once again as they were throwing down and all had different styles, strengths and tricks.

In fourth place was McComb, stomping a big 360 flip on the bank. Third went to Pascual who had some amazing tricks and combinations but fell short on some landings, the judges unanimously couldn’t determine the winner though as Cover showcased his skills on the rails and the hubbas and Downey packed so many stylish tricks into the three minutes finishing with a daredevil ollie down the double set and landing on top of a picnic table.

There would have to be a trick-off. The rivals had to name their trick, then head to head they would have three tries, determining the winner.

Cover showed his amazing skill and consistency landing a backside lipslide down the rail first try.

Downey using his aggressive style and showmanship skills chose to ollie from a downhill slope 12 ft. to the flat bottom of the big bowl.

He stuck this impressive but punishing trick in five tries to the amazement and cheers of the crowd. This though would be more than the allotted three tries giving Cover the win. Downey would take second, best trick of the day, as well as the third shop sponsorship.

Black Pearl proudly welcomed Downey to the team, where he joins Cover and Goodall.

Cameron said: ‘The Black Pearl Skate Team is sponsored by the shop to enable their skills to grow as they will be the representatives of the park as well as the Cayman Islands as we travel to different contests throughout the Caribbean and the United States.’

For Black Pearl Summer Camp info email Ali at [email protected].

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