The 2016 Vic Pro edit by Skylar Wilson is live! Congrats to Brandon Sears for taking first place!
Words by Tex Haines
I do not think we could have asked for a better 40th. It was a plethora of waves, a dearth of sand, an intimate soiree of sand, shorebreak, and sun for all the die hard skimboard fans of the world. Broadcast live around the planet to skimboarders in Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Europe, the Philippines, this was a weekend to remember.
It was a quantum leap in excitement, made possible by Matthieu Thibaud’s live scoring system of iPads and cell phone hotspots. For the very first time the riders knew exactly where the scores were falling and what they had to do to keep up or stay ahead. In the semi finals with Blair Conklin and Austin Keene, with only two minutes remaining, Austin was behind and pulled off a couple of huge rides to advance to the finals.
As amazing a rider as Brandon Sears is, he could not hold off the two time runner up. Austin would not be denied. Finishing his last wave, we all knew he had won and the crowd response was a classic chicken skin moment, he emerged from the water with his arms to the sky. Whooowee I will remember that for a long time.
A huge thanks to the sponsors, who make up the pro purse and donate a mountain of prizes for the winners bags. Your community support is so appreciated in our relatively unknown sport, and it goes a long way in making the Vic the very best contest.
It is a team effort. A heck of panel of veteran skimboarders make the judges decisions pretty hard to find fault with. Conley Ware, Keith Peery, Aaron Johnson, Kasey Kiernan, Lance Brooks, we thank you all so much for doing 16 hours of mind numbing conversions of wave rides into a cold hard numbers, sometimes two, three or four riders must be simultaneously dealt with.
Thanks my wife Lynn and my daughter Carly and her BF Nathanial, for handling the thousands of questions at the check in desk as well as pre and post parties and food and drinks for judges and endless questions from me for names on a heat sheet.
Thanks to Dominic Prietto for his stellar discography on Sunday. Skimming with music is the best! Thanks also to our Laguna station 93.5 for rocking the contest on Saturday.
Thanks to the Ranch for hosting our after party in the most memorable setting we have ever had. The patio of the Ranch is where you want to be come evening. The quiet is amazing.
We heard nothing but praise about the accomodations and the atmosphere for the skimboarding guests.
Photo by Sumner Miller