OCEAN CITY – The 2014 Dew Tour Beach Championships in Ocean City set another attendance record last weekend.
Dew Tour came back better than ever with a lineup of world-class athletes and music acts. Celebrating the 10-year anniversary, Dew Tour history was made as athletes young and old came to prove themselves before a new record of attendance with 105,000 people experiencing the event, compared to its previous record of 103,000 set last year.
“The hospitality of the city and enthusiasm of the fans within Ocean City certainly helped contribute to its success,” Alli Sports President Eric Grilly said on Wednesday.
The Dew Tour Beach Championships kicked off the first day of finals competitions on Saturday. Australian-born Andy Buckworth took home his first Dew Cup with a dynamic run that included a first-time trick, beating out defending champion and BMX legend Ryan Nyquist. Later in the day, Canadian Pierre-Luc Gagnon won his fifth Skate Vert Dew Cup.
Using past competitions as motivation for 2014, Buckworth won with his signature handplant flip, a no-handed double back flip and a 360 double flip over the spine. Buckworth is the only BMX Park athlete to successfully complete a 360 double flip over a spine in competition. In the last run of the competition, Buckworth scored an impressive 91.75 – edging out Nyquist from the top spot. Nyquist came in a close second with a final score of 91.25.
“I’ve been battling injury after injury and defeat after defeat and I wasn’t going to let history repeat itself,” said Buckworth. “Growing up in Australia, I always watched Ryan Nyquist and now being out on the Park course with Ryan is an honor. I respect him as a legend and I always will.”
After placing second last year in Skate Vert, Gagnon took the top spot with a final score of 94.00. Gagnon’s winning run included the fan-favorite grapefruit grind, a front side air and a heel flip at the buzzer.
“East Coast crowds don’t get to see us too often, so the fans in Ocean City are always so supportive and hyped up,” said Gagnon. “They helped me get into the zone to step it up for my final run.”
The Dew Tour Beach Championships came to a dramatic close Sunday with two action sports legends taking home Dew Cups in front of record crowds.
BMX superstar Jamie Bestwick continued his decade of domination by winning his 10th consecutive Dew Cup. The final run of the night resulted in a victory lap for Bestwick, with a dynamic winning run including a turnout flair and a frontside flair at the buzzer, earning a high score of 90.75. By a narrow margin, Vince Byron came in second with a final score of 90.00, while Simon Tabron rounded out the podium with 86.00.
“This is the most pressure I’ve been under for any contest, so it was nice to have my whole family here to help me pull through,” said Bestwick. “The Dew Tour is a landmark event that you want to win every year. My 10th Dew Cup in the Dew Tour’s 10th anniversary year caps off one of the best years of my life.”
Baltimore native Bucky Lasek won the Skate Bowl Dew Cup, catering to his hometown crowd with enthusiasm. Lasek boosted his score with different trick combinations including a backside tailside over the hip into a McTwist. The skate veteran shared the podium with two rising stars – 14-year-old Tom Schaar and 15-year-old Cory Juneau. Schaar took home his best Dew Tour finish to date, with a second place score of 84.50. Juneau placed third with a final score of 81.87.
“It was great to have the bowl here in Ocean City once again, the new design was really fun for us to skate and I was really able to explode out of it,” said Lasek. “The superfinal had a pretty diverse range of skaters, and it was cool skating with these young kids who push me to be better.”
The 10th anniversary season will continue with skateboard and BMX street and streetstyle events in Portland, Ore. Aug. 16-17 and Brooklyn, N.Y. Sept. 20-21, wrapping up once again with a winter event in Breckenridge, Colo. at the Breckenridge Ski Resort Dec. 11-14.
“This year’s Dew Tour Beach Championship was a fantastic kick-off to our 10th anniversary season. From the kick off with Ocean City Mayor Richard W. Meehan to setting a new attendance record, the hospitality and enthusiasm of Ocean City truly helped make the event a success,” Grilly said. “We knew coming into the event that a lot of eyes would be on hometown favorite Bucky Lasek in skate and defending Dew Cup winner Jamie Bestwick for BMX. Both competitors contributed to exciting finals in their respective events, where Lasek earned the Skate Bowl Dew Cup and Bestwick earned the BMX Vert Dew Cup. The energy on-site was incredible. We have always maintained that Dew Tour has some of the best fans in action sports and we were not let down this year.”
The big question at the end of Dew Tour Beach Championships in Ocean City every summer is if the event will return next year.
“Our focus has been on preparing and planning the event for 2014; once we have our plans for the 2015 Dew Tour finalized we will begin conversations with host locations once again,” Grilly said, not confirming nor denying if the event will return.