After nine years of providing Africa with its premier action sports event, the pressure was on for the tenth edition of Ultimate X. With a move from its original home, Cape Town, to the bush and hills of the Pilanesberg, no one knew what to expect on arrival at the event. Sun International wanted the event at Sun City and it turned out to be an exceptionally good idea.

From arrival on the Thursday, both athletes, media and sponsors were treated to exceptional hospitality and glorious African Cuisine. The early arrivals got to head into the Pilanesberg National Park with Mankwe Game Trackers and experience the bushveld and the big five first hand. Afterwards they were treated to a traditional “Braai” with gourmet boerewors rolls. After that many chose to enjoy the Sun City nightlife and Casino.

Friday saw the balance of the athletes arriving from the Night Harvest event the previous evening in Cape Town. Many of the sponsors and media joined Monster Hydro, TaylorMade and Skullcandy on the world famous Lost City Golf Course, while others either enjoyed all the action attractions at the resort, hit a practice session at the incredible contest park or simply lazed poolside. The evening saw the first of two action packed Monster Energy, Flight Night FMX shows under lights, with both the athletes and the Monster Energy Girls keeping the crowd entertained until the closing fireworks display. Local FMX riders, Dallan Goldman, Scotty Billet and Alastair Sayers pulled some huge tricks, as they were joined by Nitro Circus star, Brayden Davies from Australia. The evening ended off with a traditional “Shebeen” evening put on by North West Tourism. The international guys were blown away by the food, hospitality and traditional dance troop, who even pulled up BMX stars, Kenneth Tencio and Tristan Aarts to join them on the dance floor. An incredible first day at Ultimate X.

Day two dawned with a palpable sense of expectation, as the crowds started arriving early for the SKATE and BMX qualifying and finals. In the Element skateboard qualifications, the local guys were lifting their game in answer to the small batch of international riders competing. It was very hard for the judges to decide on the finalists and no one could claim to pick a leader amongst them. Moving into the finals there was a massive battle between defending champion, Brandon Valjalo and the two international skaters, Tomas Vintr (Czech Republic) and Zander Gabriel (USA), with young Cape Town star, Allan Adams hot on their tails. It was also great to see skate stalwarts Alan Marola and Puddy Zwennis battling through to the finals, along with Yann Horowitz and Byron Rhoda. In the end, it was consistent and clean riding with some technical mastery, that saw Zander narrowly edging out Brandon for the win.

Kurhula David Ngobeni

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Kurhula David Ngobeni

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