Click Here for the Italian Version
As promised last year, I went back to Tallinn for the twenty years of the Simple Session! Twenty years are a lot of time, even more if we are talking about a freestyle sport event, the only longest lived that comes to my mind are the X Games and just by littleWith the difference that SS are organized by a handful of people in a country that has less than one twentieth of the US population.
Risto Kalmre and the others do not care about numbers and continue to organize one of the most hardcore and coveted competitions in the world! You don’t see every day the strongest riders in the world commenting posts on Instagram posts looking for an invitation that so far escaped themThe Simple are in fact an invitation competition, even if this year satellite contests have been organized that have allowed some new faces to participate in the qualifications with their idols…we hope to convince the organizers to do the same here in Italy for next year.
Here there are no UCI points or an attractive money prize like at the last Chimera A Side in Japan ($ 90000 !!). What’s there are the best bmx and skate athletes in the world, who keep coming back simply for the atmosphere, the parties and the beauties that Estonia has to offer 😉 You sleep a little, work a lot (inside and outside the arena) and most of all have fun as between old friends, as a single community
It is my second year and I by this time I keep everyone in my heart.This year I found our Ivan Federico and Diego Fiorese in skate and a lot of friends in BMX, first of all the crazy Australian duo Alec Danelutti and Jake WallworkLanded in Tallin at 1 am on Friday night at 9 am I was already in the arena for practices, sessions where I can get as close to the action as possible without risking ruining someone’s run
The park, designed for the fourteenth year in a row by Nate Wessel was absolutely fantastic, an enormity in size and number of lines, a design including street elements and park elements, with sections dedicated to those who love technical tricks and huge hip for crazy air, all topped with a central gap that has bewitched everyone: skaters, bmxers, audiences and photographers!
11 uninterrupted hours of shooting put a strain on the equipment and photographers, so the first evening I dodged the parties and took refuge in the room to rest and fix the plenty photos takenThe day after the routine is repeated, at 9 in the arena, meeting with the riders and the organization and then off to the qualificatons.Ivan qualifies in eighth position with an excellent run that presages what he has in mind for tomorrow, in Bmx street Courage Adams blew everyone’s mind with an incredible run, in bmx park unfortunately Jake and Alex are left out of the final, Alec missing it for one spot and a handful of points.However, he must be proud of himself for the riding he showed at just 19 years old, in fact all the bigs go to congratulate with him. Give him a follow on instagram
Alec and Jake join me for a pizza at the Vapiano (the only restaurant in Tallin where Sessioners dine). At midnight we celebrated Rim Nakamura’s 18th birthday and in an hour drank a disproportionate amount of beers (and tequila) to celebrate, the Australians dominatedBeers in hand we all move to the Club Hollywood as usual, phone full of videos that cannot be disclosed and headache of praxis the next morning.
I wake up not even knowing where I am, I trudge towards the arena where I find everyone lying on the benches in the judges’ tribune, apparently I’m not the only one to be in hangover, the party made his victims … but unlike the unqualified riders I had to get to work quickly, there were the finals!
In skate Daniel Leon snatches his first win after 5 years of podiums, second Ke Chaud Johnson and third Tyler Edtmayer. Fifth our Ivan unlucky in his two runs, he missed a transfert that in the days before never missed
Right after start the BMX finals and I am the only photographer to follow both sports 😅Unlike the X Games, the girls here have a real contest, Sister Session, with trophies and prizes equal to the male categories, Estonia has something to teach.The girls do not disappoint in terms of show, Nikita Ducarroz win, followed by Minato Oike and then by Lara Lessman fresh addition in Redbull
In bmx street Felix Prangeberger is confirmed as back to back champion with an impressive run, of all tricks I want to name the cab 7 on the small pyramid, 2nd Broc Raiford with a huge gap in 36 and Alex Donnachie third with a double peg to gap that had to be seen in person for fully appreciate it.
In park well deserved victory for the birthday boy Rim, with one of his run all combos, surpasses by a couple of points the spectacular Brandon Loupos and last year’s champion Boyd Hilder that finish 3rd , Boyd is the only riders that competes at very high levels both in street and in park.
Honorable mention for the ever funny Brian Fox 6th, who finally has returned to the top of the international competitions after his knee injury and last year’s operation, I am really happy to see a nice guy like him finding his smile after his run, in which he delighted the crowd with that flip-whip on the volcano! Shower in the champagne for the podiums and then the Vapiano-Hollywood routine is repeated, from there a couple of hours of sleep and then headed for the flight home, while almost the street riders will go to Barcelona for a week of filming and jam, I return to my office for everyday life
Now fixed appointment, SIMPLE SESSION 21 will be on 6-7 February 2021, I will be there, and you?
Stay tuned for more report, FISE Montpellier is now around the corner