Groundforce 0.2

     Groundforce 0.2 – Flatland Series Singapore

With the advent of Groundforce 0.1 in October last year, we made a few noteworthy firsts in a successful debut. As such, expectations among the flat-starved souls of Singapore were growing. Hence, out of great need to meet these expectations and to satisfy the thirst for good quality flatland, Groundforce 0.2 was born out of our backbreaking efforts.

AresBykes,, Diversion, Swatch and World Of Sports got together once again, along with Downtown East, 100 PLUS, and the Singapore Sports Council, this time around, to bring Groundforce 0.2 to the uninitiated masses.

Once again, the best of Singaporean flatland took centre stage, with Japanese riders; York Uno, Hiroya Morisake, Yuki Maheta and Kritsada Prathumma from Thailand bringing a level of flatland never witnessed before.

But not all was to be the same; with a few changes to the short tradition that is Groundforce, things were a little different this time around.

The two class – Novice and Expert – format was retained, with shorter time periods leading a change. The Novice class dictated one 60-second run for each rider in the qualifications, while the Expert class had it for 90-seconds each with two rounds.

The finals saw a double round 60-second run for each Novice class rider, with the Expert class taking two 90-second rounds each.

Among these minor amendments there was a more critical one-week gap between the qualifications and the finals. This week was filled out by demos and clinics led by our local Aresbykes riders as well as the foreign boys, a premiere for us as organisers, and a premiere for the scene, which has yet to witness such an intensive promotion of the sport.

And in yet another barrage of changes, Groundforce was part of a larger event called “East Park Challenge” instead of the stand alone, independent event it debuted as. Besides flatland, there were other disciplines, namely, aggressive in-line, skateboarding and BMX Park. It was, to use a clichéd term, an extreme sports festival of sorts.

Needless to say, with so many changes in the barrel, Groundforce 0.2 felt pretty different for all of us.

The end of the qualifications spelt a one-week break between the qualifications and the finals which among other things prepared the riders for the final assault of their best flatland moves.

Bright and early on the last Sunday morning of the East Park Challenge week, 5 riders from each class gathered to showcase their hard earned technical wizardry.

They were sure to impress our Japanese judges, by throwing down some original moves with signature style, even with the Novice class riders. Sign enough that the scene is on its way.

In a replication of last session’s results, Ashler Lwi defended his title, taking the lead in the Expert Class, with AresBykes Singapore rider, Andre Reyes coming in a close second. Calvin Tan stepped it up a notch from 0.1, taking third place this time around. The AresBykes Singapore rider also clinched the Most Promising Rider Award – the first of its kind in Groundforce.

The Novice class wasn’t left out of the race for top brass. Sean Markus Scheerder made a big jump from fourth position to clinch the top spot this year with an impressive final run. Joshua Huang Zhi Wei made second place his once again, with a flawless albeit unexciting two runs. Zen Tan made a surprise entry this year, and laid rightful claim to the third spot.

The final results represented an insight into the future of Singaporean flatland, and this future holds much excitement for all of us. The Novice class saw a major shift in talent, a sure sign of the times. With the expert class it was more a case of testifying that there is no limit to perfection, and that the best can get even better.

Sure it was a tough time trying to tie the lose ends, getting our act together, organising the second part of the Groundforce series. But what really matters is that we had fun doing it.

And if that wasn’t enough we sure learnt a great deal along the way. Something we would definitely take with us, when the third instalment of Groundforce is due. When that time comes, we’re confident of making it a success.

With the experiences gained and the lessons learnt over the past two competitions, we’re sure we’ll be able to pull it off well and good. And as it is with every chapter of Groundforce, things will change, but only one constant will remain. Progression. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Until then…

19th of May 2005 - Dinesh Kumar