06/06/2013 | by Tom Copsey
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A bunch of the Aussie scene descended on Manly’s famous beachside hotel to throw down hammers and get hyped for the start of the new southern hemi season. Check the report and photos…
The Sydney Rail Jam brought the spectacle of high-quality snowboarding to the people of Sydney in the courtyard of the Hotel Steyne in Manly on Thursday night 6th of June celebrating the start of the winter season at Manly’s iconic beachside hotel.
Australia’s best rail riders battled it out for over $5000 in cash and prizes in front of a capacity crowd experiencing an incredible evening of riding that set a new benchmark for Australian snowboarding.
In the end it was Jye Kearney, fresh off the plane from Dubai, who took out first place, $3000 dollars, and the Xpreshon Best Trick Award of $1000 with a cab 180 back 360 out and an unprecedented display of technicality and style. Tom Pelley came in second place with an impressive display of riding including a number of switch tricks, taking home $1000 for his efforts. In third place, Billy Hayman took home $500 for a solid performance that included a crowd-pleasing backflip.
From the moment the event started, the Hotel Steyne was fully loaded with frothing spectators cheering along every rider with unbridled support. In the first heat, Jye Kearney, Harry Crean and Tom Reilly led the pack with a mind-blowing bag of tricks. Jed Davidson and Samm Neumann also impressed with some amazing maneuvers on the custom built set up built by the team at PowderPakOz.
As the heats went down, the crowd continued to pack in and throw back Coronas. The hype built steadily through the heats, supported by regular Thredbo lift pass giveaways and product tosses from the fine people at Bataleon, Arnette, L1 Outerwear, Balmoral Boards and Elm Co.
The second heat picked up where the first heat left off. Troy Sturrock, Tom Pelley, Tim Laidlaw and Cohen Davies attacked the down rail with an arsenal of tricks. Joel Cantle, the youngest competitor in the field, stepped up to the challenge impressing the judges with confidence and technicality to rival his older companions and sending the crowd of mates into hysteria hitting by being the only competitor to hit the outer handrail. All the while, the music pumped and the vibe peaked in anticipation of the final.
The finals start list for the read like a who’s who list of Austarlia’s best rail riders including Jye Kearney, Tom Pelley, Cohen Davies, Jordan Crockford, Jed Davidson, Daniel Crean, Billy Hayman, Tim Laidlaw, Troy Sturrock and Tom Reilly as snow began to fall at the Steyne.
From the moment the final kicked off, the intensity was peaking. The commentators, the judges and the crowd struggled to keep up as the athletes continually raised and then re-raised the bar.
Head Judge, Jess Rich, was blown away with the quality of riding. “We’re having a tough time deciding these heats – the level of riding is unbelievable!” With each stomped trick, the crowd erupted. In the end the final had to be extended for ten minutes because the judges were having such a tough time deciding a winner.
Jye Kearney was so stoked with his win that he could hardly speak. It was tough to explain the look on Jye’s face when his name was read out in first place. He ran straight up the PowderPak setup to claim his check. “Did I win? No way man this was the funnest contest ever man I am so stoked! Yew!! Demons!”
All in all, it was a classic night for the Australian snowboarding community and a fantastic way to kick off what should be an epic winter 2013!
Lastly a sincere thank you to all the friends involved helping progress snowboarding in Australia to a new level. From the team at Thredbo providing the rail, Transfer Magazine’s Alex Cameron and Alex Horvath for commentary and running the contest, Xpreshon for the best trick award, Corona, Red Bull.
Core snowboarding support from Bataleon, Balmoral Boards, Vestal Watches, L1 Outerwear, SwitchBack Bindings, Elm Company and Arnette, Boardworld, the Whole Creative, PowderPakOz for creating the incredible set-up that all the riders loved, the riders, Pete Long, the Action Sports Agency team and of course Hotel Steyne for hosting the riders, fans and fantastic event, we could not have done it without you all. Thank you.
Keep an eye out for the BoardWorld video edit released this afternoon!
Photos by Ryan Anderson and Alex TIlbury.