Words & images by Paul Jackson
I arrived at Stowmarket Town F.C. in bright sunshine. Not bad considering my BBC weather app. was telling us all the previous day that we'd be seeing nothing but lightning and heavy rain!
Having past though the turnstile, a fifteen minute session with two security guards followed who even took the lens caps off all my lenses and checked my small pack of Rennies for illicit substances.
Apparently disappointed not to have found anything of interest, I was released by my muscly, highly visible captors into the arena.
Instantly it was obvious that this year's event was a larger concern than the first.
The stage had been promoted from a flat bed trailer to the premier league of small event stages, along with all the lights and a desk enclosure associated with such equipment. Hat trick. (That's all the football analogies. Promise.)
2017's ramp had been replaced by a new pair of 6 foot high minis, supplied by King Ramps sat side by side with five foot wide channels, right next to the stage.
As Renegade Twelve and Antarctic Monkeys cranked through their sets, the skating started to get going and the platforms began to fill up. So no photos of Renegade Twelve I'm afraid. And only a couple of Antarctic Monkeys from the ramp when I had the chance to swap lenses. I also missed Metallica Reloaded and Faux Fighters for the same reason. Pictures of Pantera UK, Guns 2 Roses and Dirty DC are mixed throughout. I don't think I need to tell you who's who.
|Lee Blackwell over Max Melwani [or Mom & Mum]|
|Sox - f/s over-crook|
|Since his move to London, I've not managed to roll with Harley Miller. It was really good to have a few beers and a chat with the lad!|
|Ash Finlay - double pegger|
|John Howlett - ollie fakie|
|Jed Jolly - f/s crail|
|Lee Blackwell - f/s smith|
|Alex Halford - f/s 50-50|
|John Howlett - fakie f/s 5-0|
|Jordan Thackeray - f/s R&R|
|Didn't catch his name, but he does a mean tail block|
|Jordan Thackeray - gap to f/s lip slide|
|Alex Halford - f/s ollie|
|Lee Blackwell - f/s air|
|Jed Jolly - egg|
|Rio O'Byrne - gap to smith|
|Jago Forde - f/s ollie|
|Rio O'Byrne - f/s ollie|
|Harry Wilson - b/s ollie|
|Tyler Emery - early grabbed b/s air|
|Alex Halford - blunt fakie|
|Jed Jolly - gap to sugarcane|
|Jordan Thackeray - f/s ollie|
|Sox - gap ollie in|
|Toby Gozzute - f/s flip|
|Jordan Thackeray - b/s pivot|
|John Howlett - flip fakie|
|Rio O'Byrne - gap ollie in|
|Sox - ollie nose bonk?|
|Jordan Thackeray - f/s ollie|
|Yeah yeah yeah. I chopped his hand off. So what. You wanna fight about it?|
Jordan Thackeray - ollie up to b/s over crook
|John Howlett - f/s flip|
Jago Forde, Rio O'Byrne and Sox took away the top prizes by Simon Emery at The Paint Box & Bazz at Skate Interiors and a total prize fund of £250 (donated cash) and a whole load of donated prizes were tossed to the worthy in the final jam session, MC'd (at the very last minute!) by Harry Wilson from Slam City Skates.
Massive thanks go to Andy Jarvis & Luke Irons for organising another memorable event and to all that contributed to making this a fitting day to remember Luke.