Red Bull Battleship 2008

Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008 by Rob

By Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek

Below are the overall results for the Red Bull Battleship 2008 in Wilmington, NC. Coverage and all the bracket results coming up soon
Red Bull Battleship 2008 full bracket results
Abdias Rivera - back overcrook
Warren Devarennes - crooked grind manny
Brian Schaefer - eggplant
Abdias Rivera - frontside nosegrind
Abdias Rivera - frontside pop shuv manual
Jereme Knibbs - half cab manny backside 180 out
Who dat? KFFSBS
Brent Sowinsky - nollie heelflip noseslide
Pat Stiener - half cab nose manual back 180 out
Pat Stiener - switch back lip
Porpe - backside lipslide
Abdias Rivera - shifty flip
Jereme Knibbs - back smith frontside 180 out
Leo Simonen - 360 flip
Winners
Blunter
Slider
Bowling
Flipping
BlackD
Vintage
Smithers
Day/nightlife Ryan Flynn Photo
BSNGing
Dudefest
Unheated
Purple
Kenny
Hats
Feeb
Flick
Ship
Rowdy
Killin
Downtown
Redneck
Bombs
Crook
FSNG
Jam
Underhill
Sparks
Sunset
Night
Welcome to Wilmington
Oh yeah. It’s really cold. But that didn’t matter much because the eight invited shops turned up the heat proper. We landed in the tiny airport on Friday afternoon and made our way over to the Wilmington Riverside Hilton located right on the Cape Fear River. I didn’t know that Wilmington was such a small town, but small isn’t a bad thing because the place has character and history. The buildings are old, the people are friendly, and the vibe was good.

The teams checked in with us at the Hilton and before we knew it we headed across the Cape Fear over to the USS North Carolina, the decommissioned Battleship and site of the event, hence Red Bull Battleship. From across the River it just looked like a regular old big boat, but upon boarding the Carolina, I was really blown away. There were guns every which way you turned and gigantic cannons on the front of the Ship. You truly got the feeling that it caused some serious destruction when it was over near Japan in World War II. And I’m only guessing, but I assume that the numerous “rising sun” flags painted on the side represented “kills” of some sort or another.

The simple obstacles were painted battleship grey to match in with the surrounding natural terrain to fit in just right. Very often in life, less is more, and it proved to be true once again with the set-up, which consisted of a few boxes, ledges, bank ramps, flat bars, and a 4’ tall quarter-pipe. Just because the course was easy to build doesn’t mean that it’s not going to get torn to pieces. The session went into the moonlit darkness and we got the boot from the staff, who informed us that we had to take off before the ghosts took over for the evening. Apparently the USS North Carolina is considered “haunted.”

Next stop was the Eastern Skate Supply private skate park. This place was built by Team Pain and had one of the biggest, most well-built, and diverse bowls I’ve ever seen or had the pleasure of skating. This thing was amazing and I wish we had one at home in Tampa. The street course was equally unique, with angled manny pads, a flat gap, a bank to bank-to-wall (that’s not a typo), and everything else to be desired. The BBQ was delicious and the session went well into the night.

We finally got the boot at 10pm and spent the rest of the night at the Ruth’s Chris bar in the Hilton, telling stories of days gone by. What a great day we had…and it wasn’t even the event yet…

The Format
I’ll be the first to admit that the format was a bit confusing. Let me try and break it down here:
  • It was team vs. team
  • One skater from each team skated at the same time in a three-minute jam
  • Then another skater from each team skated at the same time
  • The overall scores of the skaters from each respective team were then tallied to determine which team advanced
  • Each team starts out in the “Survival” bracket, but if you lost, you went to the “Sunk” bracket
  • We ran through all eight teams once
  • Half “Survived” and the other half “Sunk”
  • We then ran through the “Sunk” teams
  • If you “Sunk” again, you were out because it was double-elimination
  • Then we went back up to the “Survival” teams and ran them again
  • This went on and on until we broke it down to the final two teams, with each team having to lose twice before being canceled
That’s not down to the exact detail, but I think it gets the point across. Although a bit tech, we were just stoked to be working on something new and fun.

The Battle
I woke up early, but the sun beat me to the punch. Even though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the warmth went away as soon as we walked outside the hotel. Right now it’s 6:30pm and I just checked weather.com. They said it “feels like” 40 degrees at the moment. So I’m going to make an educated guess and say that it was about 55 degrees at the absolute warmest point of the day. And I bet that lasted all of an hour. However, at times the skating was so good I forgot how cold it was, but I was soon reminded when I realized I could no longer feel my toes.

Just after high noon, the first two teams to go at it were Westside and Ambush. John Montessi’s crew set the tone for the rest of the day with their complete domination of all obstacles. I could go on and on and on here, but the best way to explain what teams “Survived” and what teams “Sunk” is for you to check out the spreadsheet that breaks down the entire day.

CHECK OUT THE SPREADSHEET OF ALL TEAMS RIGHT HERE

The final scores were based on points. So even though a team or two in the final listing may have beaten a team that placed higher than them, the only way to make it completely fair was to go by the judges’ scores for each individual skater and average them for an overall team score. I know that’s an earful, but trust us…we did it fairly. Here’s the final placings:
  • 8th - $300 – Board City (Cody Nobles, Chase Loggins, & Sal Butorac) – these dudes came from Jacksonville, Florida
  • 7th - $300 – Continuum (Leo Simonen, Ty Brown, & Jack R. Cox) – no, we didn’t make up Jack’s name, but he sure had a good sense of humor
  • 6th - $300 – Double Wide (Daniel Clements, Josiah Gatlyn, & Cameron Redwine) – Cameron got hurt and they had to sub in a fourth skater
  • 5th - $500 – Vertical Urge (Scotty Moore, Connor Champion, & Brett Abramsky) – I honestly thought that these guys were going to be in the top three because Connor has a serious bag of tricks with him
  • 4th - $600 – Ambush (Gary Sargent, Travis Glover, & Warren Devarennes) – even though of course I wanted SPoT to take it, I really thought that Ambush had a good shot with the buttery style of Travis and difficult tricks of Warren and Gary
  • 3rd - $1,000 – Endless Grind (Jed Shooter, Tom Hyson, & Sam Buxton) – I must say that these guys from Raleigh really came to skate and give it 100%. They lost their final batter with SPoT, but it was the closest one of the day with both teams giving it their all
  • 2nd - $1,500 – Skatepark of Tampa (Pat Stiener, Dylan Perry, & Abdias Rivera) – after losing their first battle to Double Wide, I thought that our crew was going to be sitting the rest of the day out. But a come-back was in order, and we beat Double Wide, Ambush, and Endless Grind to battle Westside for the title
  • 1st - $3,000 – Westside (Brent Sowinsky, TJ Sparks, & Willy Kane) – there was no denying that Westside dominated the entire day. They didn’t even lose a single battle to any other team. Hats off to John’s crew for destroying, earning every penny, and taking the title like true champs
It was over just as fast as it started, and only a mere four hours later. I’ve said it many times before, but I’m a huge fan of these one-day events. We got off deck and headed down into the café where the teams collected their respective checks, headed back to the hotel, and now it’s time to hit the town…

Thanks
Now I’m writing the rest of this the next morning and by the looks of the crew waiting in the lobby for a ride to the airport, it seems as if everyone had a damn fun time last night. We started with dinner at a brew-pub with the Red Bull crew, and then made it over to the After-Party, which was at some bar called Liquid something. It was a major dude-fest, but skateboarders are pretty used to that aspect of partying.

First and foremost, thanks to all of the teams for pulling together and making the effort to attend. Whether it was airplane or by car, we appreciate everyone coming out and showing support.

Also, our friends at Red Bull (Bob, Lisa, Sarah, Veronica, and I’m sure I’m forgetting someone) sure made it easy to have a good time. They took care of travel expenses, hotels for everyone, and even some food here and there. Let’s not forget to mention handling the logistics of renting the Battleship and fronting the loot for the purse. Thanks guys.

Additionally, thanks to Reggie Barnes and everyone at ESS for letting us skate the private park, the staff of the USS North Carolina for being so easy to work with, and Jona Owings and Allen Russell at Hazard County handling the construction of the ramps in such a professional manner.

This was our final event of the year and it sure was a great ender. Thanks to everyone for all of the support in 2008 and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you somewhere in 2009.

Ryan

Red Bull Footage

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