TLD’s BRANDON SEMENUK NOW HOLDS FOUR DIFFERENT CRANKWORX FESTIVAL GOLDS
Even the competition’s brand new signature trick, ‘The Twister’ couldn’t steal top spot
March 12, 2016, Rotorua, New Zealand — The man who wrote the book on Slopestyle penned himself a new first, Saturday, as the inaugural winner of the Kelly McGarry Memorial Trophy at Crankworx Rotorua.
Brandon SEMENUK’s effortless performance bested even Nicholi ROGATKIN’s groundbreaking 1080, dubbed “The Twister”, on an afternoon no one in the bike community will soon forget.
The competition opened with all 18 riders, friends and kids who looked up to Slopestyle's gentle giant, McGarry, executing a train in his honour, riding back-to-back down the course that will be his legacy. McGarry was both the designer and builder of the Rotorua Slopestyle course, with Elevate business partner Tom Hey, and his passing in early-February, was the only cloud on a stunningly perfect afternoon at Skyline Gravity Park—the weather itself a tribute to the rider known for his golden locks and sunny disposition.
“(Kelly) was an amazing person and a really good friend of mine. I spent a lot of time with him, rode with him. He was the happiest soul I know,” said Smenuk, who noted the tribute and win were pretty perfect for him as well.
Following a moment of silence, an announcement was made that the competition will be known as the Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza moving forward, and the riders met the occasion by raising the competition to the highest level. From Semenuk to Rogatkin to the man who challenged the Triple Crown of Slopestyle in 2015, Brett RHEEDER, it appeared everyone was ready to pull out new tricks, pull oppo (opposite) approaches and generally push the envelope.
“I’m so excited to come back and get a good run on the course. The track’s been awesome. Last year, I had a big crash and didn’t get to do my second run, which was a bummer, so it’s nice to be able to come back and walk away unscathed,” said Semenuk.
Social media blew up well before the man known for owning Joyride came through to accept his win, the fans clearly declaring a preference for Rogatkin’s envelope-pushing trick, despite its shaky landing. In interview after the competition, the judges indicated it was Semenuk’s consistency and grace, which secured the win over the phenomenal single hit.
As a result of this win, Semenuk will be the only rider who can make a play for the Triple Crown of Slopestyle in 2016. Unfortunately, the remainder of the TLD slope style team was too injured to ride, with Cam Zink recovering from repairing some old shoulder damage, Logan Peat crashed on Saturday and hurt his shoulder, enough to enforce not competing in the finals, and Tom Van Steenbergen still a few rounds away from competing as he repaired his ACL in the winter time.
Crankworx Rotorua Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza-FINAL RESULTS
1. Brandon SEMENUK (CAN) TROY LEE DESIGNS
2. Nicholi ROGATKIN (USA)
3. Brett RHEEDER (CAN)
About Troy Lee Designs:
For over 30 years, Troy Lee has been customizing helmets "For The World's Fastest Racers." TLD's relentless commitment to creating products that exceed the cutting edge of style, design and quality, has earned them the reputation as an innovator in many different fields of racing. Troy Lee Designs has since expanded into a full force operation, offering a complete line of helmets, apparel and premium protection for off-road motorcycling and bicycling, sportswear and accessories, and operating the TLD supercross and motocross teams. Based in Corona, California, Troy Lee Designs has a global network of distributors.