WHITE AIR DAY ONE KICKS OFF IN STYLE!
Monday 27th August
Day one of the festival kicked off in true White Air style, with competitors and spectators ready to take a slice of the action. Thanks to sponsors including Corona, Merrell, Wightlink, Isle of Wight Council, and the RAF, the extreme playground burst into action with the sunny weather keeping everyone in high spirits.
The first day saw action both on the land and water. Top mountain bike pro’s as well as new and local riders took to the ramps to prove their flair for the sport and encourage more riders to the island. For these guys, White Air is part of a huge attempt to get mountain bikers to the island and get more people involved in the sport. After a warm up session on the park, the guys showed off their skills in the first Mountain Bike Freestyle display.
Returning after last year’s festival, DLR Bikes rider Blake Samson wowed the crowds displaying some of his finest tricks including the infamous 360 and no foot can and superman no foot can. His brother Raymond, sponsored by White Mountain Bike Shop, was adding to the tricks with huge Indian air sea grabs and no foot cans.
Also on the ramps, Ricky Crompton, sponsored by Black Market Bikes, Masters of Dirt Clothing and Atom Lab, showed off his best tricks including 360’s, tailwhips and non-handed backflips. New to the scene and taken under the wing of these pro riders, local rider Steve Knowlend was pulling old schools and no foot cans out the bag. These guys are dirt jumpers at heart, but don’t miss a chance to ride parks too, with White Air providing the perfect opportunity.
Mountain boarders also took to the ramps today, with an array of riders warming up in the park. Pro riders displayed their flair for the sport in this afternoon’s Mountain Board Freestyle. Riders including the likes of Tom Reece (Trampa), Mike Paine (Trampa), Lester Shrimpton and Chris McCarthy were all pulling tricks out the bag; Lester especially impressing the crowd with some massive jumps. Have-a-go sessions have been running all day, with eager spectators wanting to get involved. Thanks to the Trampa team, 2 hour sessions ran throughout the day, with up to 20 people giving it a go on the hill overlooking the main park.
Also hitting the park throughout the day were skaters from across the island. Toby Booth, Sam Gryzb, Jamie Sawyer, ‘Baron’ and ‘Munk’ were just some of the skaters on the park. These guys have been pulling tricks out of the bag all day, riding both on the mini-ramp and the main park. The day saw a whole host of different technical tricks including huge ollie’s and big front side grabs. Open park sessions have also been running throughout the day, with skaters and BMX riders hitting the park.
Out on the water, 11 boats took part in the YSBC Open Handicap Sailing Race. Heading out this morning, the catamarans started from a buoy just off the shore at Yaverland, heading north towards Red Cliff, before racing back round to the pier. The boats completed 3 laps, with Ian Lawrie and Doug Wright from Gurnard Sailing Club taking first place in an F18, followed by Darren and Terrisa Jones from YSBC in second place, also in an F18. Paul Grattage and Chris Budgen from Stokes Bay Sailing Club came in third place in a Dart 18.
Back on dry land, the graffiti park kicked into action this morning, with writers from the Midlands starting their graffiti jam. Spectators also joined in the fun, trying their hand at writing on the huge white walls. The graffiti jam will be expanding to the top field overlooking the festival, with 19 bare fence panels ready and waiting for top graffiti artists to show off their talent. Have-a-go sessions will be running until Friday, with the weekend seeing the talent of writers from around the world, including the 101 crew from Greece.
Team Traceur set the Parkour in motion today, with have-a-go sessions as well as a display on the main ramps in the park. Parkour is all about moving through your environment with precision. The team plucked eager volunteer ‘Ninja’ from the crowd, who had a go at Parkour on the ramps, performing precision jumps between the ramps.
There was plenty more have-a-go action at the festival today, including speedminton. Combining the best of badminton, tennis and squash, the speedminton enthusiasts have been showing off this easy to learn sport on the beach. Have-a-go sessions ran throughout the day, with spectators trying out this new sport.
Yet another new sport to join the festival is aquaskipping, with riders bouncing on the water to pick up speed. Have-a-go sessions have been running today, and will be available all week. They are running in half hourly sessions until Sunday from the slipway at Yaverland.
Running from tomorrow until Thursday, the landyachters will be showing spectators the ropes on the beach, wind dependant. These guys will also be running demo’s on the dirt surfer this week. Wind disc pro’s have also been showing the have-a-goers how it’s done, both on the beach and the grass overlooking the park.
New to festival and the UK is Camtriking. This sport originated in the States, and only hit the UK 6 months ago. Spectators have been trying out the trikes on the flat park today, which is similar to skiing on dry land. With a range of different sized trikes, this low impact all over body workout is popular with people of all ages. Camtrike are drawing a raffle each day, with a £100 trike up for grabs.
The first day got off to a great start, with the sunny weather keeping everyone in top summer spirits. Live bands performed throughout the day keeping the crowds entertained, together with a whole host of have-a-go sports and pro’s showcasing their talent. Be prepared for more action right through till Sunday!!