Expert Male Battles:
Advanced Male Battles:
Day by day action, UNICON DAZE 2014:
Montreal, the best Unicon so far in terms of the urban events and unofficial riding.
Free breakfast/wifi, poutine, sports milk, group housing, social bench, flat circles and dat red rail, just your average day at UNICON 17.
It feels like not long ago all the early birds that arrived a day before registration opened, were all outside having a late night game of "Back It Up"…
The first day was full of meet and greets, and a ride to discover the nearby spots, a.k.a the Stadium. The Esplanade, located in the stadium itself, was the spot for many future events and the "perfect rail made for unicycling", with a large flat area and a huge range of ledges, it's obvious why we made it our main riding spot away from the College.
UNICON 17's first urban event, Trials. For prelims the weather was off to a bad start, but the day was long and the sun eventually came out for a huge Trials Prelims. The course was built in the carpark of the College, consisting mainly of pedal grab friendly pallets, including some big gaps, technical skinnies, and lots of creative pallet set-ups. Out on top for prelims, Max Schulze completing 45 lines with Márk Fábián closely following with 43. Moving back to the Esplanade for finals was a group of 13 riders, where huge obstacles were set up involving pallets, skinnies, and part of the stadium grounds itself, setting up for some HUGE drops and sidehops. Organizers chose a great location for the urban events with the Esplanade bringing an outside audience to cheer for the finalists. The course proved to be a tough ride for most of the competitors with the average lines completed being 3/10. Max Schulze took out 1st place for the 3rd time in a row at UNICON, landing 7/10 obstacles. *robot noise*
Flatland was the next urban event, also held at the Esplanade. The day was perfect for the competition and began early with Advanced, Female, then Expert prelims. Lots of riders jogged in solid runs, and we saw some clean and steezy lines and combos in the Expert riding. Following prelims, the Advanced Males battled it out with Alex Romero coming 3rd, Ben Koehler 2nd, and Nicolas Neumann placing 1st. Expert Female battles followed with Hippo rider Sam La Hood placing 3rd, Mary Wegi placing 2nd, and Sophia Pellmann in 1st. Before the Expert Male battles started, the crowd began to grow as a popular Montreal food festival was also taking place at a nearby area of the Stadium and many people were coming to enjoy their meal whilst watching flat. Lights were being prepared for when it turned dark, and everyone was getting excited for UNICON 17's expert flat battles. Right from the first battle between Raphael Poham and Max Schulze the atmosphere was awesome. There's nothing like sitting amongst a crowd of hyped up unicyclists, with a crazy MC (none other than Hippo's Chris Huriwai) pumping up the audience whilst flatland's best riders battle it out. This UNICON also implemented 'Double Elimination' where you get two lives when battling, entering a second bracket once you lose a battle, which is great as it means more battles and less pressure for the riders. As the lights came on and the sun went down the battles only got crazier, huge tricks were coming out, Lorenz's 990 unispin, 180 late triple back by Dan Colvin, and Max Schulze almost throwing down a front flip on flat! There had never been battles like this before, the European riders clashing with big names from Canada and the USA made for a unique atmosphare. Semi's between Adrien and Josef was an epic rematch to last UNICON in Italy, with Josef winning and going forward to face the so far undefeated Raphael Pöham for 1st and 2nd. The final was a battle of style, each rider doing their signature creative tricks, lines and combos. With an upset result, Raphael took 1st place and ended the night undefeated, with his first UNICON win.
High and Long jump was full of record breaking hops. Long jump, again taking place at the Esplanade. 3 riders, Oskar Rytter, Jonas Joergensen, and Simon Rodler pushed the long jump world record a massive 10cm longer. When the competition began Simon held the record of 4.20m, and by the end of finals Oskar jumped a huge 4.30m. After the long jump running until dark, high jump finals were postponed, and to be held back at the College's carpark later in the week. The high jump world record was also broken, beginning at 132cm, with Mike Taylor fisting 137cm in the finals with an amazing battle with Martin Sjönneby finishing with 132cm.
A sunny day, free of urban competitions, perfect for a big street ride. A huge group of over 50 riders went out to explore the streets of Montreal with the guidance of local rider Emile Mathieu. The ride was full of different street spots, we rode some big drops, filmed a group handrail line with 10 different riders, and had a big 4 set session and most of the group went on to check out Mont Royal, an iconic Montreal mountain. The day before the street competition another street ride went down, this time with less riders. We explored even more of Montreal's endless spots and found some big, small, and creative places to ride, getting some banger clips for Unicon Daze. Our day sessions found Montreal to be a great city to street ride, with it's chill security guards, lack of skate stoppers and endless riding spots.
The street comp was the furtherest urban comp from the College de Maisonneuve and FINALLY out of the Esplanade (god bless it), it took an hour+ of combined bus and metro travel but it was worth it to have the comp at the Taz Skatepark. Zones for street were the best UNICON has ever seen for this competition, a nice manny pad section, some ledges, grinds and stairs for the medium zone, and a bigger zone with big rails and some creative obstacles. Prelims was huge with 9 groups, over 70 competitiors, rotating through the course. The judging panel for finals featured old school street legends Dan Heaton and Kevin McMullin, alongside Simon Berry, Sophia Pellmann and Emile Mathieu. Making finals we had 6 riders, Raphael Poham, Max Schulze, Josef Sjonneby, Jack Sebben, Chris Huriwai, and Casper van Tielraden. These guys were all out for a freakin' rip in finals, some highlight tricks include, Josef's skinny ride to stepover-inspin, Chris' and Max's big gap to bluntslides, and Raphael's boom boom flip down the 5 set. It was awesome to see so much big riding being thrown down in one comp, pushing the progression of street. After a fierce comp, Chris Huriwai retained his title as Expert Male Street World Champ, as did Sam La Hood with the Expert Female competition.
The last day! UNICON 17's final urban competition, Slopestyle Street, was held for the first time at UNICON, on the familiar grounds of the Esplanade…(bless it) The course began with the red handrail, 9 set and big 3 block set, it then lead into a set up of 3 pallets, 2 revs, 2 pallets, a few revs and then a 5 set or creative obstacle. Jack Sebben (1st) did some really techy riding including an awesome 5 set varialflip catch, Eddie Ducol had a lot of smooth riding with some huge big street skills like his condor and 360twist down the big 3 block, and Elias Poham (3rd) went all out with the creative grinds on the handrail and some loose pedal grab combos. The comp went really well for it's debut and will be keenly awaited at UNICON 18.
Done and dusted! It was great going to Montreal and enjoying the summer, cold chips in BBQ sauce and "cheese", and the beautiful city. The organisers of UNICON 17 did an amazing job at providing the urban events with every thing they needed to be a success. Staying with almost everybody at the College was a blast and created an atmosphare I'm sure we're all hoping to relive soon. Before we know it we will all be standing around in a flat circle outside the UNICON 18 San Sebastian venue. Yoooh.
To see all the great moments and unofficial riding (+competitions) of UNICON 17, check out Unicon Daze 2014 and relive a day in the life: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLez1_rQ-2yOi3yTsA-KwKuDARI1tQVyE_