Major Stok’em 5 went down this past Saturday under the George Washington Bridge in sunny and warm (I’m not kidding, it was a beautiful day) Fort Lee, New Jersey. The race course was simple and sweet and made for some great racing for skaters of all skill levels. A quick aside: the finish line’s back drop was the George Washington Bridge and Downtown Manhattan’s skyline, with the yet-to-be-completed Freedom Tower looming large — very surreal for a downhill skateboard race.
The race ran smoothly all day and the points based bracket system seemed to work very well for keeping the preliminary heats moving steadily. There were some gnarly crashes and good racing had by all during the early heats, with both skilled and novice racers being mixed in together to duke it out and see who’d be left standing. The Crash Corner lived up to its name once again, and despite new and improved custom-fitted pads the curb still laid claim to more than one knee/shin/body part that hit the gap.
Once the preliminary racing was over the Bustin’ Boards High Ollie Competition got underway. While it wasn’t run quite as smoothly as the race was, it was a ton of fun and should be a nice addition for the years to come. Towards the end it started to drag on, but Dave Aparicio sealed the deal with a 32″ ollie on a borrowed YoFace 32″ to end the competition and take home $300. Props to him, it was unreal to watch him ollie that high. Our boy Josh “Wild” Wright also put on a good showing and made it deep into the competition so props to him.
After the High Ollie Competition finished everyone was called together and the top 16 riders were announced for the final heats of racing. Our very own Connor Bewighouse made it into the top 16 on his Tutone Skateboard which we were ultra stoked about. Due to an unfortunate bump-draft incident with Anthony Flis he got taken out in the first heat of finals, but we’re proud of him and stoked none the less. In the end it came down to a super exciting race between Dejaune Jones and Rolando Martinez with Dejaune coming out ahead in the final turn to take the win. A new comer to the scene from Long Island, Christopher Lavinio, came in third with Sam Ettorre rounding out the final heat in 4th.
All-in-all the event was a huge success with some great racing, fun people, and beautiful weather (despite it being a bit windy and cold in the morning). If Major Stok’em 5 is a sign of how the 2013 season will unfold out as a whole, we’re in for an even better and gnarlier season than expected. Thanks a ton to Adam Dabonka for organizing the race, and all of the other volunteers and sponsors that came together to make it possible.
UPDATE 4/16/13: We found out that Christopher Lavinio was the previously unknown rider who placed 3rd and updated the above post accordingly.
Check the gallery below for more of our photos from the event: