JACKALOPE 2017 performances recap
JACKALOPE 2017 performances recap
It has already been a few days now since the end of the JACKALOPE festival and it is still difficult to get the official festival colors (salmon orange and violet) out of our minds, and without a doubt brightened up the last weekend of the summer. Not to forget the combination of eclectic elements seen and lived for three days straight. All the possible captivating and engaging elements all strategically placed on a site that offered a 360 degree view of basically everything. One event ended, another started : we didn’t even have time to take a sip of our complimentary Lait au Chocolat !
Microfriendships, contagious and authentic smiles, trendy and local brand pop up shops, out of this world food trucks, activities open to all, not to forget the completely mental Tony Hawk and friends vert ramp demo, which was the biggest hype of the weekend. JACKALOPE 2017 was literally an endless and anything but conventional playground. This being said, we still can’t forget that under all of these festivities lied actual competitions that were taken seriously by the athletes that participated in them.
We kicked off the JACKALOPE weekend competitions with JUMPOFF’s second edition : if jumping off of the top of the Olympic stadium isn’t wild enough, try adding the goal of landing on a target at the base, right in front of the crowd. INTENSE ! One thing is for sure, JUMPOFF was sure to have the viewers jaws dropped all the way to the ground. Even with the weather that was not on our side for the Saturday and Sunday night, the first round of the Friday set the bar very high for the rest of the festival craziness. We waited until the Sunday night to give out the awards for the competition. It is the canadian jumper, Phil Boisjoli that took the podium, followed by his two close friends Martin Dumas and the very inspiring Sean Lonnie, who not only manages to basejump from his wheelchair, but the land a spot on the podium !
Anyone that has participated in the JACKALOPE festival knows that it involves much more than simply skateboarding. This being said, we can’t help but associate the two elements since the skateboarding aspect of the festival is so enormous (World Cup Skateboarding). Who knows, maybe JACKALOPE will be the entry way for canadian athletes to become a part of the canadian Olympic Team in the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo !? Stay on the lookout
With animation of the competitions done by Dave Duncan , the legend that has been following Tony Hawk for the past 13 years and that knows skateboarding like the back of his hand, it was hard not to let his voice lead us through the landed tricks of the skaters. Not to forget the liveliness of Phil Beauséjour, who added a nice francophone aspect to everything. The crowd felt like it was a part of the crew since a good part of it was placed on the same cement slanted surface alongside the skaters, area where they took a break to catch their breathe.
For the women’s category, it is important to mention that we welcomed the most amount of girls since the very first JACKALOPE ! Around 30 girls coming from all over Canada, a few from the states and from France, came to try the qualifications round.
The atmosphère during the competition was friendly, since the girls were pretty much all friends before this. Since girls are often a minority in the sport, they tend to gather together and to develop a strong team bond and good sportsmanship, even in competition. The eight best performances qualified for the finals. Most of the girls were exhausted, since the qualifications had finished only 30 minutes before, but they still managed to give a great show. Let’s be honest, who was able to hold in their scream when Mariah Duran landed a huge hardflip over the bump to bar. This is what brought this american skater from Albuquerque New Mexico the first place against a pool of practically only canadians. Behind her we found Annie Guglia, the montrealer that is very involved in her skate community, like the All gurlz sk8 d8 that she hosted on the Thursday night RIGHT before the JACKALOPE began. In third place, Breana Geering, 18 years of age from British Colombia who was proud to assist in her first JACKALOPE.
MEN’S WORLD CUP SKATEBOARDING
In the MEN’S category, the World Cup of Skateboarding brought together guys from Japan, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, USA, Russia, France, Argentina ( a first this year), and the list goes on ! With the qualifications round that took place on the Saturday and that filtered through the best of the rounds, we then saw the intensity build up even more during the semis on the Sunday night. One hour after the end of the semis, the crowd was offered the event it had been waiting for and that had been creating all the hype. It is the canadian Jayden Bono that took the podium and that made us proud by standing out in a group of world renowned skaters. Only a few points separated Bono from Martin Pek, the Czech that skates in a professional and very determined way and that listens to his own music in order to create his zone. Quite the clash between him and the third place winner Jon Cos, who never skates without leaving the crowd asking for more of his party personality that shines through each session. In the end, it was impossible not to see the chemistry between all the guys that keep crossing paths from one contest to the other. In fact, they encourage one another across their inner biggest competitors : themselves. It is with a shower of bubbly than the final big event of the weekend ended, only to leave the crowd with a HUGE group photo.
The junior competition was also the biggest we’ve seen yet at JACKALOPE. About 50 kids were there to skate, and we will not forget about it ! The mini ramp competition and the street competition were both very popular. We are so proud of the up and comers of skateboard in Quebec. Aged from 4 to 13 years old, the young ones showed off their skills to the public, amazed by the variety of tricks they could land.
- Léo Hamel
- Zavier Matthews
- Jacob Legault
Photo credit: Jean-François Hamel
To the image of the festival in takes place in, the criterium was at its all time biggest edition. Not only in the amount of participants, but also in the caliber of the performances and the number of people watching the races.
For the races : ladies first ! The iBike Crit brought in racers from Montreal, Ottawa and even Brooklyn! During the race, the lead of the pack took her distance quite quickly, painting a clear portrait of the differences in calibers and experience of the cyclists. It was without surprising anyone, but always leaving us with a feeling of being proud that Raphaele Lemieux (Team iBike, gagnante du Red Hook Crit London this past summer, and of the Mardis de Lachine series) that Raphaele took home first place, followed by Chelsea Matias (Bronx, USA) and by Evelyn Sifton (Ottawa).
In the men’s race, more than half were unable to finish it, since the pro caliber was so elevated ! Once a racer gets paced by the designated lead pack, the racer must leave the race and gets a DNF (did not finish). Brian Megens (Fixedgearcrit.com), who was on top of the podium and who strongly deserved it, brought to the boys all kinds of technique and racing strategies. Not only is it his physical fitness, but it is also his experience on an international level that helped him take the title. He was followed by the second place racer, Nicolas Côté, and in third place Addison Zawada (both for the iBike team).
Photo credit: Gabriel Lalonde-Francoeur
Even if the bouldering activity was open to all thanks to the MEC wall, we still had to make room for the men and women with the bodies of olympic athletes that showed that they are the fittest and most agile of the sport (and also how good they are at gripping onto almost impossible blocs). Through intense heat and that was present the whole weekend and through the piercing stares of the crowd right at their feet, the athletes were still able to reach their goals. A bit more intensity and we would see them on top of the Stadium alongside the basejumpers !