Jumpship acrobatics draw thousands
By Neil Judson
Thousands of spectators flooded the Inner Harbour to watch some of the world's best freeride mountain bikers catch big air and pull off amazing tricks during the Jumpship Dirt Jump Invitational.
Hosted by the newly-formed Dockside Mountain Bike Society and taking place on a barge, the dirt jump competition was a first of its kind and encouraged spectators to get in the action with live music and Camp of Champions air bag sessions.
Canadian trials sensation John Webster also put on an impressive show, bounding and balancing through a precarious course of logs, stumps and large rubber tires.
The dirt jump events included a Best Trick contest on Saturday and Sunday's main contest, where riders were judged on their complete run through the course.
Event announcer Brett Tippie, known as one of the "Godfathers of mountain biking," described the amazing aerial acrobatics on display. Californian Mike Montgomery won Best Trick for pulling off a 720, and Whistler's Brandon Semenuk put the best complete run together to take home the first Jumpship title.
The lineup of pros also included the likes of Casey Groves, Tyler McCaul, Kurt Sorge and Geoff Gulevich. One of the most entertaining performances came from 15-year-old Surrey native Anthony Messere, who was boosting higher than most riders on the wall gap.
Of course, there were a few spectacular crashes as riders pushed the limits. And with strong winds throughout the weekend, timing became very important to attaining successful airtime.
Eric Lawrenuk presses the eject button
As accommodation sponsor for Jumpship, Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa hosted many of the riders over the weekend. Some were seen powering up at fellow sponsor and neighbour Tre Fantastico before the contests.
- Photos & text by Neil Judson©