IN PHOTOS: The Chase Hawk Invitational 2021
A breath of fresh air in the contest arena!
What is it that makes a contest something to look forward to?.. As a rider, an attendee, a camera guy or even someone viewing it online, there is a special something that we all look forward to and seek-out through these high risk events. Therefore, I believe it's all in the energy; the energy transmuted from witnessing another human try to perform at their peak and strive for excellence. So to assume responsibility for your own contest is quite challenging. To ensure the proper curation of such high caliber bike riding is a big task to take on but there aren't too many other riders more qualified to manage a brand new event, other than Chase Hawk!
In just under 8 weeks, Chase organized and executed a full scale BMX contest, which had riders come from all over the Americas, even as far as Chile, Mexico and Colombia! Riders took the call and made there way to the Houston, Texas RockStar Energy Bike Park to be included in this new blossoming event! Over 50 riders registered and competed for the top spot but of course only one Man and one Woman came out with the win. The first annual Chase Hawk Invitational was one for the books and we can't wait to see what else comes in the future but for now enjoy this extended photo insight to the whole weekend!
Chase Hawk - The Man with the plan
The AM scramble...
...personally I want to see riders that might not have ever competed before. Anyone could show up and push through all the gnarly things that a contest can throw at you and persevere!..
The Rain Intermission...
You can always make a plan but still, it's never fool proof. And in the name of Murphy's Law of Attraction, "If it can happen, it just might..." So in the midst of Saturday's qualifiers, the Texas sky opened up and poured down rain and halted the event in just minutes. Everyone ran for cover and watched the park get drenched as we all felt the humidity levels rise, adding significant heat to an already muggy Texas day.
It only took 30 minutes or so for the rain to stop entirely and as soon as the last drop fell, there was about two dozen park employees and riders taking charge to the puddles and began drying the park immediately. Blow torches, mops, brooms and squeegees were coming out of seemingly everywhere and before anyone could believe it, the park was dry and we went straight back into qualifiers!
As Saturday afternoon grew into the evening, there was an impeding stress in the air, as the storm clouds continued to brew blackness in the near background, quickly turning the finals into a round of rapid fire bowl ripping! Even though the time crunch was on, everyone was turned up by the energy of it all...
After drying the park twice on Saturday, there was a serious thought that the event may not even reach natural conclusion?! Luckily, we had the man power to battle the puddles and of course, Daryl Nau, on the microphone helped us to get the much needed attention to hurry the event along to on beat the rain! The clock was ticking and the rain was on it's way!
The versatility in style at this contest was top-notch to witness and it felt even better to ride amongst such a talented group of riders in such a relaxed contest setting!
MARCUS CHRISTOPHER is one HELL of an impressive young gun, which I have to say I haven't seen this type of raw talent with a gyro in a long time! During his final run it seemed like Marcus couldn't be stopped, he was all over the park, nailing everything! On his last hit around the big bowl, he executed this MASSIVE TRIPLE downside whip with serious finesse. Making it quite clear who the winner would be and sure enough, Marcus cruised right into 1st place!
The Winners Circle
1st place Women's - Jesse Gregory
Jesse Gregory takes first place in the women's contest, among her fellow riders, Nina Buitrago, Maca Perez, and Bee Cam! This was Jesse's first time winning a contest and she definitely deserved it! Jesse has come a long way in the past few years, showing so much progression! Always with a smile on her face, either rain or shine, Jesse walks away this time with the win at the first annual Chase Hawk Invitational!
After it was all said and done, Chase really pulled this one off! Starting off with a short time frame, the organization of the event came together and was welcoming to all who want to sign up... Even through episodes of dodging rain and figuring out how to manage over 50 riders on the fly, once the weather had it's way with the day's schedule! Chase Hawk and the whole Rockstar Bike park crew brought us all together for a great time and to give young riders a chance to dance with some of today's finest transition riders!
Chase has performed in contests all over the world for years, and now he is shedding a new light on the contest scene. Breathing a new energy and insight on how to approach and organize a contest, for riders to enjoy and look forward to, year after year!
Taj Mihelich, Josh Stricker, Ian Morris, Nate Hanson, Dave Freimuth & Dave Parrick