2014 Grayland Open Freeride Exclusive Report & Results!By: Dan Lindgren
Photos: Mark Fischer
Pro Rider Watercraft Magazine, media sponsor of the 2014 Grayland Open, is proud to bring you the inside scoop on one of the hottest developing freerides on the west coast! As a continued supporter of the Grayland Open, Pro Rider’s on-site corespondents were getting up-close and personal with the competition. Be sure to subscribe or renew to get the full scoop in the upcoming September/October World Finals issue.
The 2014 Grayland Open, which is also Round 1 of the first ever Krash Nationals USA Freeride Tour, was held this past weekend in a beautiful little Washington beach town called Grayland. The event was a massive success with riders coming from all over the world to join the competition. In total, there were 36 competitors with just 2 local riders. Riders came from as far away as South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, California, Montana and all over Washington.
The event kicked of on Friday around 11am with a clinic for all of the young riders. The pro riders went out with the younger freeriders to give some on the water training and encouragement to try something new. There were multiple “cherry poppers” this year. Local Westcoast Surf Rider, Gavin Utley threw his first flip and then about 3 more. Jerry Cox, out of Bellgrave Montana, went for it and busted out his first back flips. There were about 75 riders out for the clinic throughout the day with some spectators.
On Saturday the competition kicked off at around 10am with beautiful clear weather but minimal surf. There were over 1000 people on the beach checking out the sport of freeride and asking some questions about this growing sport. An honorable mention for Saturday goes to Danielle Lawlor out of California when she went for a big back flip and got completely blown off of her ski about 15 feet in the air. Riders made the most of the small waves and competition heats went on all day long to narrow the field for finals and semi final rounds. Once we wrapped things up, everyone got cleaned up and headed to the Cranberry Road Winery. Owners Chris and Maria Tiffany took great care of us all weekend for our evening hang outs and had a wood fired pizza oven set up on the beach to take care of us during the day.
Sunday kicked off with the semi final and final rounds. There were about double the amount of spectators on Sunday. It is estimated that there were about 2000 people at the event throughout the day. There were some really close heats leading into the finals and every rider was riding very well. The weather was great. Surf conditions were small and it was very shallow but the riders were still able to launch off of an occasional set that would come in a bit bigger. Once all the scores were tallied up, the final rounds were decided.
An awards ceremony was held on the beach. Top honors for the weekend went to Rookie class winner, 16 year old Demian Mogan. Demi has been riding rapids for the past 4 years and only ridden surf 4 times. She absolutely shredded in the surf and impressed even the most seasoned riders. Look for a more detailed story in the next issue of Pro Rider Watercraft Magazine.
Overall, the event was a massive success. There were no injuries and everyone had a great time. The spectators continue to grow every year and ask questions. Lots of new competitors and many more are stoked to compete next year after attending for the first time. A big thank you goes out to our title sponsor Nick Barton of Krash industries who flew in from Australia to be a part of the event and organize a U.S. Tour for the first time and for helping all around with bringing the Grayland Open to the next level. Special thanks also go out to Liquid Militia and Blowsion for being at the event to support all the riders. Big thanks also goes to Pape Rents, Tyler Rental and Pro Rider Watercraft Magazine for helping out in a big way. Additional thanks goes to Blowsion, Xscream,TC Freeride, Hydro-Turf, Liquid Militia and DASA for providing our top prizes for the weekend to give to our young up and coming riders. Most of all, we would like to give thanks to the riders for coming out and getting into the competition. This event is for you. There were so many new faces this year. We have some big things in the works for next year. Stay tuned!
You can access more information through the website at www.grayland-open.com which will be updated soon or find up to the minute information and pictures on our facebook page. Next stop on the US tour is the Daytona Freeride in Daytona Florida on January 15th-18th. Be sure to make your plans to make it to the event if you want the opportunity to earn points and be crowned the 2014-2015 National Freeride Champion!
Demian Morgan (Clarkston WA)
Ky Hyytinen (Lake Tapps WA)
Dane Dials (Portland OR)
Jerry Cox (Belgrave Montana)
Jay Braillard (Redmond OR)
Mark Gomez (Fullerton, CA)
Brandon Lawlor (San Carlos, CA)
Zack Bright (Ocean Side CA)
Masters (35 yrs & up)
Jay Braillard (Redmond OR)