Sydney, Australia: Day One at Slaughter at the Opera

Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 by Ryan

Words by Ryan Clements
Photos by Rob Meronek

We left Braydon in Melbourne. He's not here for the contest. He's on a trip with the Emerica team for a film and photo mission. Braydon's not fitting in too well in the taxi queue
Now I'm at the Skater of the Year Party. I've been seeing the DTE LOC crew all around the planet. Justin Brock claims he has no part in the tagging. It's the rest of the crew that destroys your property
Chris Haslam's beard looks like he has a huge loaf of bread on his face
Look at that, I ran into pasta girl from last year
David Gonzales and another Skatepark of Tampa Party Team member, Adam Dyet
Schaefer took my chill cam and brought back a load of standard party shots. Lewis Marnell got Australian Skater of the Year. Lutzka and Torey Pudwill are going to destroy tomorrow
Guess whose four chins these are and win nothing
That's Jake Duncombe and our new Aussie friend Luke Croker
Is Koston going to be able to throw down tomorrow with that jacked elbow?
What?!? We just left Braydon behind in Melbourne a few hours ago. He blew off the Emerica trip, hopped on a plane, and now he's in Sydney with us crashing in our room. The Skatepark of Tampa Party Team can't be stopped
Greg Lutzka, Chet Thomas, and Bill Weiss. We have all spent more time with each other out of town than we have in our own towns
Wow, there's a little bit of talent in town. Mike Mo Capaldi and Eric Koston are here
That's Becky from Volcom. I'm not just nice to her because she's hot. She writes our checks for Damn Am to us. Look at that maine Nick Dompierre has been hiding under the beanie. DTE LOC is still on the lurk
P-Stone!! Yeah, people get pretty upset when you smoke indoors here. They act like you just stuck a knife in someone's throat. The old "I'm from Texas" excuse works, though. Sydney recently banned all indoor smoking like the uptight, paranoid, and over-regulated state of California
Before I left, the biggest all dude dance party ever broke out. Good times
The party's over, I'm hung over, and now we're at the site of the Contest. The Opera House is on the right and the two stair sets are being built on the left
About a thousand more Opera House photos are in my camera. This place is amazing
That's a foot fetish with Torey Pudwill. He's got a blister so big from just walking around it looks like a Target ad
You can't rip the money here. Sounds weird, but it's true. It's like some kind of cloth or something. I won't rip. They got extra weird schrapnel here, too. The smaller the coin is, the more it's worth. A $2 coin is about the size of a nickel. A fifty cent piece is super huge like a pizza tray
Now I'm just lurking around downtown. Hey, what's that growing from the trees?
Holy crap, it's big giant bats! Bats hanging from palm trees, too. Where else in the world do you see that?
I made a quick nerd-out visit to the Botanical Gardens to see some of this crazy plant life. Flower photos on a "skateboarding website"? Yep, skateparkoftampa.com, 1% skateboarding. Watch for full coverage of the madness over the next few days
If I had a garden, I would make it look like this
Day 1:
We went from clouds and rain in Melbourne to clouds and rain in Sydney. After waiting in a seemingly endless long line to catch a cab from the airport to our hotel, we arrived at The Vibe to a skateboarding party in the lobby. We said our ‘hellos’ to friends both odd and new and got settled in the hip, yet small rooms.

Of course I answered some emails and worked a bit while enjoying some Australian red as the party-goers headed to do what party-goers do. Schaefer was motivated to write about it, so here’s what went down:

Slam Magazine Skater of the Year Party
After not going out at all in Melbourne, I was definitely going out upon our arrival to Sydney. It was much easier to go out when Globe and Slam Magazine teamed up to host a party for all those in town and to award the “Skater of the Year” of 2007. So Rob and I catch a cab, learn about the city, and get dialed in with the city brothels during our short ride to the club.

We arrive to the Party late assuming it was over, but it was just getting started. The Slam Skater of the Year is Australia’s version of Thrasher’s, but in a much smaller, low-budget form. Even though it was a bit low-budget, the title of having “Skater of the Year” is still a great honor. Prior to the announcement of the SOTY, there was an amazing 15-minute tribute to Australia’s finest, Shane Cross.

Unfortunately Shane isn’t here to rip for us, but he is here in spirit all weekend. A very well put together video brought cheers, laughter, love, and smiles, along with a very powerful chanting repeatedly of Shane’s name throughout the video. Immediately following, they say a few words that you can’t hear. More chanting begins, but this time in the SOTY’s honor. Beers are flying…and then came a check with Lewis Marnell’s name on it in the amount of $5,000. Pictures were taken, Lewis was on top of his homies’ shoulders, and the partied continued.

I decided to take Rob’s camera and rip around the bar after shooting Lewis accepting his award. It’s cool to see so many talented dudes at our events. Koston took a hard slam in Cambra, Australia’s capital, and folded himself with the reverse scorpion, smashing his elbow pretty badly. I hope he is healthy enough to skate the Slaughter, but either way it will be a great event. Congratulations to Lewis and enjoy the pics.

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