In one of the most heated battles in Red Bull Manny Mania history, amateur skaters from around the globe proved that skateboarding is a universal language. Belgium’s Youness Amrani went trick-for-trick against Spain’s Dani Delgado, earning the win and the honor of claiming victory over the world on two wheels.
Manhattan’s Coleman Park served as the perfect backdrop to the skateboard battle between 32 nations, each of whom held a series of qualifiers and national finals that crowned their representative. The 32 skaters then faced off against each other in heats of 4, narrowing down to the top 8 for the semi finals. Spain’s Delgado led the pack with his tre flip nose wheelies. Four moved on to face off in a final between USA’s Bert Wootton, Australia’s Dean Palmer, Amrani and Delgado.
The skaters amazed the crowd of 1500 spectators with trick combinations that were inventive and challenging, including Amrani’s manny 5-0 to 360 flip out, which the judges were quick to claim as the trick of the day. The skaters each had a distinct style, from Wootton’s reverts up and down the pyramid obstacle to Australian Palmer’s sleepy smooth approach. The new manual master Amrani was excited but humble about his victory, “It was really sick. It’s not too much pressure. You can take your time and keep it mellow. It worked out for me. I got lucky I think.”
The prize for winning the World Final is an amateur’s dream – an all-expenses paid trip to skateboard Mecca Venice Beach, CA to spend a weekend skating with event creator and manual superstar Joey Brezinski. First though, Armani earns a spot into Sunday’s Pro final to compete against the previous champions of Red Bull Manny Mania – Ronnie Creager (2007), Joey Brezinski (2008) and Eli Reed (2009) and other popular skaters likes Brandon Biebel, Kenny Anderson and Stevie Williams. The pros already have their eye on their new competitor. Brezinski quipped, “I‘m honestly a little frightened of the guy that won today.”
The second place prize is a Mac Book Pro with Final Cut and for third, a Canon Eos Rebel T2i. Although he didn’t win, Delgado was thrilled with how his day went, “It was the best contest ever. I saw so much good skating. I saw more tricks that I’ve never seen before in my life. It’s really exciting.”
Perhaps the biggest prize for these skaters is getting the exposure to a global audience. As judge Charlie Wilkins put it, “I was psyched because I’d never seen half the stuff they’d done. The Belgium kid just destroyed it. It’s like, ‘Come over to The States and make a name for yourself.’”
1. Belgium - Youness Amrani
2. Australia - Dean Palmer
3. Spain - Dani Delgado
4. United States – Bert Wootton
5. Mexico- Polo May
6. Argentina - Pablo Sanchez
7. Peru - Luis Guillermo Vascones
8. Austria - Philipp Josephu
9. Denmark – Tobias Lynge Moving
10. Israel - Ran Fernandez