That gap was filled Saturday when the sport of skatercross made what organizers called a world debut at the YMCA’s Krause Family Bike/Skate Park in Clairemont — taped for later airing on ABC.
Fifteen-year-old Trey Wood earned the inaugural title and a $3,500 prize in Skatercross Skateboard Racing.
“I’m super-stoked,” said Wood of Queen Creek, Ariz. “It’s a super fun event, everyone was shredding and I took a couple good slams.”
Skatercross — the vision of 23-time X Games medalist Andy Macdonald — pits several skaters against each other on a track with jumps, berms, gaps, rollers and hurdles. The first rider to cross the finish line wins.
Drawing parallels with snowboardcross, motocross and BMX racing, “SSR” demands that competitors possess a diverse skill set as it combines several skate disciplines including park, bowl, vert and big air, organizers said.
— Andy Macdonald (@andymacdonald) June 29, 2016
“This is one of the most fun forms of skating I’ve ever done and I’m excited to bring some objectivity to competitive skateboarding,” said Macdonald, a Massachusetts native who now lives in Encinitas.
Saturday’s event featured a 16-skater field racing in a double-elimination format.
Wood, who went undefeated on the day, cruised through the opening rounds, defeating Bryson Farrill and Josh Stafford in head-to-head action. In his three-skater semifinal, he topped Monster Energy teammate Tom Schaar as well as Jeromy Green.
In that race, Wood posted the day’s fastest time, coming across the line in 30.56 seconds.
Wood took on Beaver Fleming and Willis Kimbel in the finals. It stayed tight all the way around the 430-foot-long track, but Wood nabbed the victory with a time of 30.85, his second-fastest mark of the day. Kimbel was second in 31.39 and Fleming was third in 32.73.
Asked what it took to win the title, Wood, known primarily as a big air specialist, replied: “Staying in your lane and going fast — that’s all it really is.”
Also competing Saturday for a share of the $10,000 prize purse were Matt Boyster, Evan Doherty, Greyson Fletcher, Cory Juneau, Macdonald, Mike Owen, Ryan Sheckler, Alex Sorgente and Adam Taylor.
After the racing, fans saw the first-ever MovieTicketsDotCom “Straight Up” High Jump contest on the track’s second jump.
The bar started at 6 feet and quickly went up from there. A variety of tricks were thrown over the hurdle by the likes of Fletcher, Green and Sorgente. Schaar cleared a height of 11 1/2 feet to win. (With a “Mega Ramp,” Danny Way reached a world record 23 1/2 feet about 12 years ago.)
ABC’s “World of X Games” will feature full event coverage on July 23.
“Leveling the playing field has been huge,” Macdonald said. “Riders from every aspect of skateboarding were represented today. They all had fun, the crowd loved it and it’s going to make for some awesome television.”
Chris Conway, founding partner of Skatercross Skateboard Racing, said taking something from concept to a successful launch was a challenge.
“I could not be more proud of the successful debut of Skatercross Skateboard Racing,” Conway said, “and I look forward to the future as we introduce skateboard racing to skaters around the world.”
Saturday’s event was part of the Clash at Clairemont, an action sports fundraiser. Now in its 10th year, Clash at Clairemont set a new attendance record while raising over $20,000 for Grind For Life, a charity organization that aids cancer patients.
Results from Saturday
1. Trey Wood 30.88
2. Bryson Farrill (Did Not Finish)
1. Josh Stafford 35.26
2. Greyson Fletcher DNF
1. Beaver Fleming 31.62
2. Alex Sorgente DNF
1. Cory Juneau 31.48
2. Ryan Sheckler DNF
1. Jeromy Green 31.75
2. Matt Boyster DNF
1. Willis Kimbel 32.40
2. Adam Taylor DNF
1. Evan Doherty 31.50
2. Tom Schaar 31.55
1. Andy Macdonald 31.66
2. Mike Owen DNF
1. Greyson Fletcher 34.44
2. Bryson Farrill 35.60 (eliminated)
1. Ryan Sheckler 31.99
2. Alex Sorgente 32.51 (eliminated)
1. Matt Boyster 31.45
2. Adam Taylor DNF (eliminated)
1. Tom Schaar 31.73
2. Mike Owen 33.14 (eliminated)
1. Trey Wood 31.25
2. Josh Stafford DNF
1. Cory Juneau 30.84
2. Beaver Fleming 31.62
1. Jeromy Green 31.35
2. Willis Kimbel 31.73
1. Andy Macdonald 31.71
2. Evan Doherty 42.30
1. Evan Doherty 31.34
2. Greyson Fletcher DNF (eliminated)
1. Willis Kimbel 31.84
2. Ryan Sheckler DNF (eliminated)
1. Beaver Fleming 31.89
2. Matt Boyster DNF (earns last chance qualifier spot due to 31.45 in Round 2)
1. Tom Schaar 32.07
2. Josh Stafford DNF (eliminated)
1. Willis Kimbel 32.54
2. Matt Boyster DNF (eliminated)
3. Cory Juneau DNF (eliminated)
1. Trey Wood 30.56
2. Tom Schaar 32.03 (eliminated)
3. Jeromy Green 37.05 (eliminated)
1. Beaver Fleming 31.81
2. Evan Doherty 32.30 (eliminated)
3. Andy Macdonald DNF (eliminated)
1. Trey Wood 30.85
2. Willis Kimbel 31.39
3. Beaver Fleming 32.73
Top 9 Standings
1. Trey Wood $3,500
2. Willis Kimbel $2,100
3. Beaver Fleming $1,100
4. Tom Schaar $800
5. Evan Doherty $700
6. Jeromy Green $600
7. Cory Juneau $500
8. Matt Boyster $400
9. Andy Macdonald $300
Individual Top Times
Trey Wood 30.56
Cory Juneau 30.84
Evan Doherty 31.34
Jeromy Green 31.35
Willis Kimbel 31.39
Matt Boyster 31.45
Tom Schaar 31.55
Beaver Fleming 31.62
Andy Macdonald 31.66
Ryan Sheckler 31.99
Alex Sorgente 32.51
Mike Owen 33.14
Greyson Fletcher 34.44
Josh Stafford 35.26
Bryson Farrill 35.60
Adam Taylor no times
Other coverage, thanks to Macdonald:
— Andy Macdonald (@andymacdonald) June 27, 2016
— Andy Macdonald (@andymacdonald) June 26, 2016
— Andy Macdonald (@andymacdonald) June 26, 2016
— Gatorskinsramps (@gatorskinsramps) June 21, 2016