World Mountainboard Championships 2017
This past weekend saw the 2017 World Mountainboard Championships and it was the first time two World titles would be contested on the same weekend at the same venue. It was the fifth instalment of the World BoarderX Championships and the first World Freestyle Championships in 5 years. Over 100 mountainboards descended upon Compiegne, France; the atmosphere was friendly and the riding level high.
The Freestyle finals was first with 15 riders competing under floodlights on Friday night. A titanic session went down as riders had their first chance in 5 years to claim the World Freestyle Champion title with all the riders throwing down.
Nicky G and defending champion Matt Brind managed to separated themselves from the pack with some very high quality riding, both throwing multiple 720s in their runs. James Wanklyn from the UK put in a stellar performance and was the only rider to hit the middle, biggest, jump in switch and put in his best freestyle performance since his back injury to claim a well deserved third place.
Everything seemed pretty even throughout the session between Nicky and Matt with each rider opting for a different tactic – Nicky sticking to his trademark technicality while Matt kept his runs a bit cleaner, a bit less technical but with more amplitude and style. The judges deliberated for a couple of hours after the jam because the results were so close. In the end, Matt managed to edge it and retain the World Freestyle Champion title he earned in 2012 in Moscow, with Nicky in a very respectable 2nd and claiming the Best Trick award in the process.
On the BoarderX side of things, Kody Stewart of the USA was in pole position after the time trials but an uncharacteristic mistake in his first qualifying race dropped in down to 18th seed. The Team GB riders all put in a clean performance and managed to lock out the top 5 qualifying spots once BoarderX Qualifying was finished – the top 3 being Joel Treliving, Andy Brind and Matt Brind.
Due in part to his low seeding, Kody was one of the two big names to go out in the Quarter Finals. The other big name was the 4th seed, Connor Smout, who pulled a fraction too early on the gate and hit it before it dropped, killing his speed and his hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.
The first semi-final saw the dream of an all Team GB finals disappear as James Wanklyn slid out in the first berm and was at the bottom of a pile up. Though he tried his best to recover, he couldn’t quite make it into second place to progress.
The Finals lined up with the top seed, Joel Treliving (UK), the second seed, Andy Brind (UK), third seed, Matt Brind (UK, and current champion) and 12th seed Evgeny Vyborny (Russia). Out of the gate, Joel and Andy were tied with Matt on the back of Andy’s wheels and Evgeny a half a board further back. Joel came out of the gate with too much speed though and made a big mistake over the first feature – overshooting and wobbling into a fall, going straight into Andy’s lane as he fell and taking Andy down with him. As Andy fell, his board collided with Matt’s but Matt just managed to stay up and get through the collision while, on the other side of Joel, Evgeny was jumping over Joel and grinding the very limits of the track, somehow managing to stay up.
From there, Matt and Evgeny cruised the rest of the track with Matt claiming a 4th World BoarderX title in a row and Evgeny claiming his second silver medal (his first came in 2014). Once Andy had confirmed that Joel was OK, he got up and finished the race claiming the final podium step.
In the Master’s category, Leon Dove (UK) got the jump on the defending champion (Pestu from Spain) out of the gate and never looked back as he stormed to his maiden Master’s World BoarderX title.
With both Pro titles under his belt, Matt claimed the Overall World Champion title with Evgeny Vyborny in 2nd and James Wanklyn in 3rd.
Le Mag du Compiegnois
Edouard Bernaux Photographe