This weekend, a former public pool in the Dagenham section of East London, UK, will be drained of its water and replaced with a unique BMX contest and community project that runs till June 12. "The Pool," as it has come to be known in BMX circles, is the brainchild of Nike 6.0. And to launch the project, Nike 6.0 has invited ten riders to choose a team consisting of three additional riders for a contest that will go down at the pool on Saturday, May 14 with a prize purse of 25,000 Euros. "This invite-only event will present a new competition format and demonstrate the unfeasibly high standards that BMX park and street riding have reached in 2011," says Nike 6.0.
The "team concept," utilized by Nike 6.0 for the 2009 UK Tunnel Jam, is once again being instituted, but the team captains have expanded beyond the realm of Nike 6.0 team riders to include Ruben Alcantara, Brian Kachinsky, Van Homan, Drew Bezanson and Sebastian Keep, along with Nike 6.0 team riders Garrett Reynolds, Dennis Enarson, Harry Main, Jason Phelan and Harry Main.
And what do you get when ten of the world's best and most legendary street and park riders pick their own four-man teams? You get forty of the best BMX riders in the world descending on East London for what is sure to be a monumental contest.
As predictions go, team-style contests are anyone's game, because team-style contest riding requires a BMX anomaly: teamwork. That means that Drew Bezanson could have the heaviest of heavy hitters on his team (Rob Wise, Pat Casey, Michael Beran), but if they don't work together and ride consistently across the board, it will affect their scores.
Personally, I'm a fan of the team-style contest, because it requires each team to work on a strategy, and some times, in the true spirit of BMX expression, that strategy leads to creative riding, good times and what I'm assuming in Brian Kachinsky's teams' case (Kevin Porter, Chris Doyle, Tony Hamlin), perhaps funny costumes or unusual tag-team tricks.
But The Pool project does not end at the end of the contest weekend. Once the contest is done, the pool is open to everyone. "Riders of all abilities need to be quick as this fantastic building is set for demolition. The Pool will be free to ride, take lessons or just watch the action with local school sessions starting on May 16. The 4-week program of core events, community interaction and beginner workshops run through to June 12 with bikes, supervision, pads and helmets available for those who need them," says Nike 6.0.
A full team rundown is below. We'll be on the ground in Bicycle Union country reporting on the contest as it happens, so stay tuned. For more info and chances to win tickets to the comp, hit up the Nike 6.0 UK Facebook page.
FULL TEAM RUNDOWNS FOR THE POOL
Garrett Reynolds, Kevin Kiraly, Ty Morrow, Sean Sexton
Dennis Enarson, Chad Kerley, Josh Harrington, Jeremiah Smith
Harry Main, Alex Coleborn, Ben Wallace, Kyle Baldock
Jason Phelan, Kriss Kyle, Ben Hennon, Geoff Slattery
Alex Kennedy, Simone Barraco, Joris Coulomb, Dakota Roche
Ruben Alcantara, Sergio Layos, Kevin Kalkoff, Tom Dugan
Brian Kachinsky, Kevin Porter, Chris Doyle, Tony Hamlin
Drew Bezanson, Pat Casey, Rob Wise, Michael Beran
Van Homan, Brian Foster, Darry Tocco, Randy Brown
Sebastian Keep, Dan Lacey, Bruno Hoffmann, Chase Hawk