A new format threw a wrench into the Dew Tour men's vert competition at the Skate Open and left Bob Burnquist out of the finals for the first time in his Dew Tour career. He was sidelined along with '09 ISF World Champ and reigning Dew Cup winner Bucky Lasek.
With four 30-second runs allotted in the 12-minute finals, the ordered jam rewarded event winner Pierre-Luc Gagnon for his consistency and endless flip tricks, naming him the 2010 ISF Skateboarding World Champ and Dew Tour points leader.
Men’s Podium, l-r, Sandro Dias, 2nd, PLG, 1st, Andy Mac, 3rd
PLG’s highest scored runs included a big 540 into a kickflip mute, another big 540 over the channel, then four flip tricks back-to-back. He busted out a kickflip melon, kickflip indy, kickflip mute to fakie and switch heelflip 360. Even after nailing his runs, he couldn't help thinking about Bob and Bucky missing from the final competition.
“It's definitely a bummer, both of those guys were shredding," PLG said. "They were killing it in practice yesterday"
"We all thought that it was going to be one run counts, and so we all had a strategy of doing one really, really good run," he continued. "And Bucky did that, he had probably the best score of the day with that one run he did, but we realized, 'Oh no, it's two runs!' "
Gagnon said he adjusted his strategy at that point, but the timer was running out and some of the familiar faces weren't able to post a second high score and advance.
PLG, kickflip mute
Back at the finals, Sandro Dias was doing massive 540's over the channel and dropping gnar jars left and right, which had the crowd believing he could win, but he finished in second place overall.
"I'm happy to get second," Dias said. "I made three really good runs. I was planning to do those runs ahead of time, so to make them when it really matters feels good."
Sandro Dias, varial Christ air
Andy Macdonald took third and had good things to say about the new contest format.
"I do like the two runs count part," Macdonald said. "It makes everything a little more exciting and a little more strategic. It's tiring though, you end up skating a lot of runs."
Andy Mac, straight leg frontside air
Some new faces on the scene joined the Tour veterans, including Brazilian bowl shredder Pedro Barros, 15, who finished an impressive fourth and qualified for the Tour along the way.
"Man, I'm feeling great," Barros said. "I didn't expect to get to the finals. So I skated the hardest I could. I didn't make my runs but just being over there seeing Sandro, Pierre, everybody ripping in the finals was just great."
Pedro Barros, stalefish 540
Barros said his priority is bowl competitions, but he's looking to get to as many Tour stops as possible this season and said he'd be stoked if he could make them all.
Adam Taylor, indy nosebone
Adam Taylor rounded out the finals competition in fifth place, showing he's matured in his skating and has become a face we'll be seeing in finals regularly.
For video highlights of the competition, click here.
For Dew Tour coverage of the finals, click here.
For full results, click here.
1. Pierre-Luc Gagnon, 91.26
2. Sandro Dias, 89.38
3. Andy Macdonald, 87.63
4. Pedro Barros, 81.00
5. Adam Taylor, 80.75