Big trick gamble ends in crash landing

03:14, Jan 29 2013
Lee Nuttall
HIGH TIME: Motueka's Lee Nuttall got dressed up for the open scooter competition at the Richmond heat of the Tasman Skatepark Tour at Jubilee Park on Saturday.

Motueka BMX rider Lee Nuttall knew there was a good chance he wouldn't land the last big trick that could have propelled him into first place in the final round of the Tasman Skatepark Tour in Richmond.

The 360 back flip is a high risk manoeuvre and Nuttall had "only ever nailed it once in a foam pit" where a soft landing was guaranteed. So he took extra precautions, taking his cellphone out of his pocket and handing it to a mate before charging off down the Jubilee Park skate ramp to attempt the trick on Saturday.

And just as well as Nuttall, 19, mistimed his jump, smacking his hip hard on the concrete when he crash-landed.

"I didn't have enough speed and under rotated," Nuttall said. "I think I'll have a pretty good bruise after that one."

Nuttall still did enough to finish third overall in the BMX section of the popular tour which featured eight heats around the Nelson-Tasman region over the last four weeks. The Tasman District Council tour attracted about 250 entries and 1500 spectators and was a big success.

"We had good numbers and the standard of competition was really high," TDC recreation officer Paul McConachie said. "It's also been very rewarding seeing these kids progress over the last five or six years I have been doing this - they have really improved."

Mr McConachie said it was also pleasing to see good support for the riders from their parents and the community. Saturday's crowd was full of baby boomers, including Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne, marvelling at the skills of the young riders.

"It's been good to see the community involvement. I think it's helped put skateparks and young skaters in a very positive light and helped challenge those stereotypes we have about them," Mr McConachie said.

Takaka's Tom Bassett-Eason won the BMX title, Mita Timpson of Stoke was the tour's top scooter rider while Jake King of Nelson won the skateboard championship. The winners received more than $1500 worth of prizes from sponsors Cheapskates and Village Cycles.