A few weeks ago now, August 12 to be exact, the 3rd Annual Central Massachusetts Longboard Competition went down in Harvard, MA. If you were one of the 500 plus people there to either skate or spectate the event is anything far from memory still, as it once again took the top spot for the best organized, run, and most fun competition I’ve seen in New England this season.
In what seems like a tradition for the event at this point, the day started off with an unreal amount of rain through warm ups and the first couple of heats, causing some unexpected riders to advance and some big wipe outs to happen (although nothing quite like last year’s collection of crashes). As the day carried on and the course dried out, the race got faster and more competitive, keeping the crowd at the edge of their seats through the final rounds of the downhill races. 128 riders in total competed for the Open Downhill podium, with Dane Webber, Luis Marrero and Steven Sanchez pulling out the top 3 in the end. Mixed in between the serious downhill heats was a Chinese Downhill event organized by Passion Skateboards, making for some fun and wild runs and making Connecticut Downhill’s own Victor Tu a very happy boy after he finished first. There was also a 32-person Grom bracket, with Brett Ciabattini taking first, Tucker Bishop coming in second and David Yang rounding out the podium in third.
Once downhill was over the cones were cleared and the slide jam began. Ed Neives, Steve Kong, and Mason McNay all threw down hard during the hardwheel competition, finishing in that respective order. Friend of the site Norman Plante was also a notable entry into the hardwheels section, mainly because he doesn’t own a techsliding setup nor does he practice it. Norm still managed to throw some impressive lines, showcasing his raw talent on a skateboard. The softwheel competition didn’t leave much on the table, either, as Brett Ciabattini took home first place followed closely by friends of the site Chris O’Brien and Eric Roth. All three of these guys managed to weave their way through two very crowded heats of riders (which in and of itself was very impressive) to still throw some super entertaining lines and gnarly tricks. A sperate division was thrown in for groms in this event, as well, with Jordan Billingsly taking first followed closely by David Yang and Hughie Allan, respectively. I think a few separate heats to space people out and reduce the congestion would have helped a lot, so hopefully that’ll be the case next year.
Ladies weren’t left out of the fun, either, with the fight for the podiums in both Lady’s Downhill and Lady’s Freeride being vicious ones right to the end. Paige Mariscano surprised much the field with her first place finish, followed closely by former east coaster Amanda Powell and Cordelia Welch. All three of these girls duked it out on the hill and were very fun to watch race. When it came to the slide jam Molly Lewis threw down some fun combos and techy tricks to take the top spot on the podium, with Amanda Powell coming in second. Friend of the stie Laura Nocka rounded out the third place position.
Overall this event was surely the most fun of the summer and as usual was amongst the best organized. Huge shout outs to Mike Girard for making it all happen from the stressful stages of planning to the constant, unplanned emergencies that happen during the event Mike kept his calm and cool and made it an unbelievable day for everyone that attended. One thing to draw attention to as well is the prize packages Mike put together. Instead of just letting everyone walk off with a piece of gear, Mike stepped it up another notch (the theme of this event, it seems) by putting together a $2,000 prize purse split amongst the winners. Original Skateboards threw in $300 for the softwheel winner and the rest came out of Mike’s pocket — “NEXT LEVEL GAME CHANGER!” as Eric Roth and Lil B would say.
Rumor has it we might see two days next year, a change that I think everyone would more than welcome and would extend New England’s best event for even more fun and excitement. I for one, cannot wait until next year!