2016 Grayland Open Jet Ski Freeride Competition from the Pros
Brandon, Jeff Bolte, and I rode up to the 2016 Grayland Open together. We had a rather smooth trip with three skis on the bed of the truck and two on an open trailer. Josh Bridges shipped his ski to us and we hauled it up for him. We arrived on Wednesday around 5:00pm and quickly hopped into the water. The sun was out, the surf was awesome, and we all felt like it was our best day of ridding in a long time.
Grayland Open road trip for the team. Locked and stacked next stop Grayland.
Liquid Militia Team riders Brandon, Randy, and Jeff set up on the beach.
On Friday we had some great weather and a lot of qualifying to do. The waves were not really throwing to well, everyone was having a little trouble with the surf conditions. It was awesome to see all the familiar faces and also a lot of new riders that I had just meet. The rookie and amateur class looked better then ever. Everyone was pushing them selves and going huge. I had a pretty good qualifying round but I got ejected on a no handed barrel roll that looked a little worse then it felt.
Friday night we were on our way to the winery from dinner when we got the devastating news about John Dady. It came as a complete shock to the entire Freeride community. John was such a great guy and did so much to help and grow our sport.
Lawlor’s 2016 Grayland Open Rig. Truck packed, skis stacked.
Saturday morning we woke up to the good old normal GRAY Grayland. The fog was in and everything was wet. Brandon and I only hung out on the beach until 11:30am which at this point nothing had even started yet because of the fog delay.
Team selfie Thanks DAD!!
We had a family wedding to attend (2 birds one stone). We drove 4 hours south for our cousins wedding in Corvallis, OR. It was a beautiful out door wedding we had a great time catching up with friends and family.
Brandon and I arrived back to the beach Sunday morning by 10:00am to get our skis wet. Big thanks to our Dad for driving, we got to catch up on a little sleep during the drive. Sunday morning the fog was in heavy again.
There was so much to run, we had to get this comp started! We went strait into the consolation and final rounds for rookie, amateur, and sit down. The fog made it difficult to see. The judges had to pay extra attention to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Unfortunately Dan Lindgren smashed his face on the handlebars pretty bad and had to make a trip to the hospital to get checked out and glued back together. This created a little bit of confusion because Dan was running the show. The fog at this point was so bad you could barely see the ocean. The decision was made to go on with the award ceremony and hope the fog would clear enough for us to get some pro rounds in.
Randy Lawlor pumped to ride after that long drive.
Randy Lawlor doing an interview for TV at the 2016 Grayland Open.
It was great seeing some of our fellow Pismo Freeriders up on the podium.
The awards were over and the fog was in as heavy as ever. The final decision was to just do a Pro Jam. The Pro Jams are always fun, all pros went out at the same time and rode for 20 minutes. We feed off each other and push each other so it makes it a lot of fun.
When we came back in we found out the judges couldn’t tell who was who and couldn’t see anything on the back set, so there was no decision made.
As always it was an awesome time Dan Lindgren thank you for everything. Nick Foster thank you, All the judges thank you, thank you to the water rescue, and everyone else that helped make this event happen.
Zack Bright geared up
Grayland was an event I won’t forget. This is the 6th year I’ve been apart of this event and the 5th time I’ve made the drive up to south Canada (aka Grayland Washington). It really never gets easier.
This year I couldn’t get a crew together from Oside to go up and I didn’t want to drive my rig solo so I threw my ski in my truck Tuesday night and drove up to Orcutt, CA to Sean Starr’s house to help him, Marisa, and Spark drive. We woke up early and headed to Taylor’s to get the trailer and the rest of the skis to start our mission up north. We took way longer than expected and got a late start.
The drive went good and we pulled into Grayland around 11am on Thursday. Thursday was the rider clinic and check in day. We hung out on the beach and made our way back to the brand new Bogwater Brewing Co. Then made our way back to the camping grounds.
Big shout out to Neal Smith, Bryan Baroussa and Rihanna for taking me in and letting me stay all weekend in the motor home. Sorry for snoring!
Friday, we knocked out every class’s qualifying. Saturday, we moved through rounds to bring us to Sunday’s finals. Nick Barton couldn’t make it to Judge the event this year so, Chris Grace, Pete Macaffe and myself were the judges for the event (minus pro class). Big thanks to them. It went really well and utilizing nicks forward thinking scoring system, we all came to easy decisions for who advanced to the next round throughout the weekend.
Grayland Open Judging arena
Zack Bright Ski looking fresh
Saturday was a very hard day for me hearing the news that Johnny Dady Mr. Blowsion had passed away and that really put a hit on the entire weekend. We decided to carry on for him but it really affected me and a lot of us out there. Our sport lost a huge supporter and we will never forget him.
The finals went really well. Every year the amateurs and rookies really step it up, and this was no exception with addition to a lot of new riders! Honestly the entire amateur field was killing it. There were 6 guys that could win the event and every rider could podium so it was great watching them duke it out! Congrats to my LM team mates Bryan and Sean for taking 1st and 2nd.
The pro class got fogged out which was a bummer for us but in reality, the event is about the amateurs and growing the sport so I didn’t really care. Huge congrats to LM shredder Jeff Bolte for absolutely killing the masters class. That guy is 54 years old and rides better than most 20 year old’s. Best surf riding all weekend! Dudes a legend!
We loaded up and hit the road after the event and finally stopped at lake Shasta to ride the skis in some fresh water. I’ve always wanted to do that and that was super super fun.
Big thanks to Dan Lindgren and all the supporting sponsors for supporting this event. It has really grown since 6 years ago and I can’t wait to see the next 6 years and help out as much as I can!
Beach vibes, judging, people, the scene.
This was the 1st Grayland Open for me ever. Since I’ve been working out west in California for the summer, I have been able to attend some events that I normally would not be able to attend. I figured since I’m here and can meet up for my boy’s the Lawlor Bros. Lets do Grayland! I decided to enter the contest into the master class. Overall I ended up taking 1st place which was cool, I was just stoked to be able to ride with my friends and have a good time.
Jeff Bolte talking on the mic on the podium 1st place speech.
Jeff Bolte 1st place podium shot
Grayland Open top 4 in the master class.