Slaughter at the Opera 2008
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2008 by Rob Meronek
Day 2I awoke to one Braydon Szafranski sleeping on our hotel room floor. How he ended up in Sydney was beyond me, but entertaining nonetheless. The crew had to be on-site at 10am to discuss the format and logistics of tomorrow’s event. And man…what an amazing site. The Sydney Opera house is an internationally known building with never-done-before architecture. It’s located on a peninsular in Sydney Harbor just along side downtown and next to the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which is another mammoth structure. I was blown away by the setting…
After squaring everything away, Rob, Roth, and Brian went and did some local sightseeing as I ventured back to The Vibe to get caught up with my work. We met up later in the afternoon and headed to Bondi Beach. It was cold and windy, but cool to be tourists. There is a skate park there…right on the beach. The bowl is sick, but the street course (or flow area or whatever you want to call it) leaves something to be desired.
From there we hit the casino and gave them some of our money. Next stop was the Todd Bratrud Art Show with free drinks. It was great to see Todd down under. Rothmeyer and I snuck out to go to yet another art show. I think it was called “Censorship is Weak as F*C*!!!” There were about 40 or 50 boards from the early World Industries and Blind days and some 101 stuff. In addition, Sean Cliver and Marc McKee were there, too. Good times in preparation for The Slaughter…
Day 3: THE SLAUGHTERAs I mentioned, the site of the event was absolutely amazing. I don’t think that anyone could have picked a better venue. No joke…this might have been one of the best venues for a skateboarding event of all time. First off, the Sydney Opera House is already a tourist attraction, so by default the place is just completely crowded with people. They had the “skate area” roped off. So if you were a regular tourist you could enter and walk around the House, but the skate fans were made to wait until about 11:30am before they could make their way onto the stairs.
At around noon, two hours before start time, I picked up the mic to say hello to the crowd and they erupted with cheers. Right then I knew it was going to be a great day as I looked up at the thousands of screaming kids. In addition, Mother Nature was playing along, too. It was sunny with no wind and it was barely warm enough to break a sweat. Perfect.
At 2pm sharp we got the first of two Heats going. Each group of 10 skaters got a 20-minute free-for-all to do a two-trick line, with one down the seven-set and another down the 11-set. You didn’t “have” to do two tricks in a line, but it certainly helped with your score. The first rail (pick round or square) was relatively small, but the second was pretty big and gnar. Jumping down that thing was no joke, but at the same time, it wasn’t so large that it alienated more difficult tricks.
Out of 20 or so skaters, we only took 10 to the Finals. But since there were several rippers, here are some dudes that were rad, but didn’t make the cut:
- David Gonzalez – he actually made the cut, but got hurt at the end of his Heat and couldn’t continue into the Finals
- Daryl Angel – getting a lot of coverage as of late, Daryl is just as impressive in person with a great style and proper trick selection
- Alex Olson – he was going for fs 360 ollies down the 11-stair that were so huge they looked impossible to land…but had he landed one it would have been gnar
When the judges (Jason Rothmeyer – Paul Machnau – Bill Weiss) got out of their meeting with Schaefer and Phelper, here’s how it was dialed in:
- 1st – $25,000 – Greg Lutzka – dude was on fire. He could have won based on “most tricks landed,” but the fs 270 noseblunt on the small rail and kickflip fs boardslide on the big rail got him the big money
- 2nd – $15,000 – Adam Dyet – he took it last year when Lutzka got second. It could have been Dyet/Lutzka again though because his kickflip bs tailslide on the big rail was the gnarliest trick of the day
- 3rd – $5000 – Ryan Decenzo – so how come this kid isn’t pro yet? He got 3rd in Damn Am last October, won Tampa Am in January, and now got 3rd here…unreal. He did a kickflip bs smith on the small rail and nollie bs smith on the big
- 4th – $3000 – Gailea Momolu – never count out Gailea in a rail jam because he’s got the underground skills. His line was a nollie bigspin bs lipslide on the small rail, interference by Phelps, and then a switch krooks on the biggie
- 5th – $2000 – Sean Malto – in addition to winning the Lee Ralph Award presented by Lee himself, Sean’s extra buttery bs noseblunt down the 11 could definitely have been the most stylish trick of the weekend
ThanksRumor has it that Globe’s plan is to start having these yearly events at iconic landmarks around the world. Eiffel Tower? Niagara Falls? The Kremlin? Taj Majal? Let’s do them all! But special thanks to all of our friends at Globe for handling all of the logistics to put on such an epic event and to all of the skaters that flew so far to be there. And to Thrasher, well, for being Thrasher.
Oh, and I can’t forget the After-Party at Oxford Art Factory. Good times there for sure, but we paid for it during our 30 hours on planes back to Tampa the next day. Funny because we left Sydney at 3:30pm and got to San Francisco at 10am the same day! That’s how it works when you fly over the International Date Line. Can’t wait to do it again next year...