Story and photos by Fat Tony
This weekend Ocean City, Maryland was host to the first stop of the 2011 Dew Tour series, and four of our riders including Brandon Dosch, Josh Hult, Hucker Clark, and Brandon Christie made their way out there and fought the brutal heat and humidity to get in some time on the park course. With no dirt event at this stop Dosch and Hult were able to concentrate on park, and Hult even signed up to ride vert. Since this was the opening event for this year’s Dew Tour, everyone but Dosch (who was already pre-qualified from last year) had to try to make it through Open Qualifying, which is no doubt one of the toughest contests out there. Nearly 50 dudes competed in OQ and were all hungry as hell to break into the top 10 in order to secure their place on the Tour, so everyone was going off and throwing down hard during on Thursday.
It’s no surprise to anyone that Hucker had his usual "go big or go home" attitude this weekend, and he definitely went for it. He even flipped down the nine-foot step down—the tallest obstacle Dew Tour has ever had on a park course! A crash in each of his runs messed up his chances at making it through Open Qualifying, but that didn’t stop him from putting on a good show and stoking the crowd, all while smiling ear to ear.
Hult said, "The course was really big. I had a hard time with the box—a lot dudes were having a hard time getting speed over it." Christie agreed and said the course was "pretty gnarly this year, but I ended up having some good runs out there and just had some fun…"
Hult’s hard time with the box came with a price and after a smooth first run, a crash in his second run over the box on a superman tailwhip made his shoulder pop out of socket. Unfortunately he ended up being too sore to ride and had to pull out of the vert contest and watch from the deck. He was still in good spirits though, and joked that he was just ready to get to the next stop of the Tour in Portland "so I can get on some dirt where I feel like I belong, haha."
Christie had a few super solid runs during Open Qualifying with a clean 360 over the gator pit, a huge 720 over the box, and a massive flair, but even with bangers like that it wasn’t enough to crack that illusive top 10 needed to get the invite to Portland, but he’ll be back next year and will still be killing it on a daily basis at his local spots and wherever his travels take him over the next few months.
In prelims Dosch came out swinging hard and did a triple whip over the box, spun big 360s both ways, nailed a nice 270 lookback transfer over a long hip, and was the only rider to jump up the giant step down—and he didn’t just jump it—he whipped it. They only took nine people from prelims to the finals, and Dosch didn’t quite make the cut, but he’s already pre-qualified for finals in dirt at the Portland Dew Tour (since he won the Dew Cup for dirt last year), so look out for him there in a few weeks, and watch for him next week at X Games in Los Angeles, too.