Sideways Salutes at Whip-Off Worlds

Finn Iles and Casey Brown go off the rails

The Crankworx Whistler Whip-Off World Championships continue to be a crowd favorite, drawing the biggest-ever crowd in the event’s history. Almost as impressive as the crowd, however, was the 120-some field of riders on hand for the fun. With so many punters eager to join the train down the Whistler Mountain Bike Park’s Crabapple Hits, the judges were forced to start eliminating riders shortly after the first runs. After 45 minutes of big whips, flips and antics, the judges managed to narrow the competition down to the 30 riders who got the most sideways.

But with a worrying wind picking up through the afternoon, many riders were concerned for their safety and were slightly reigning it in as random gusts cramped their style. “This wind is pretty gnarly,” said Belgian style king Nico Vink. “I’m not having too much fun.”

In addition to the wind factor, many riders were disappointed that the huge number of competitors forced the judges to continually eliminate riders while they were still warming up. “I’m a little bummed on this format,” Vancouver’s Geoff ‘Gully’ Gulevich commented to Darren ‘Bearclaw’ Berrecloth. “Yep, they just keep whittlin’ ’em down,” said Bearclaw. To which Gully quipped: “Yep, it’s a ‘whittle’ annoying.”

Here are some photo highlights of the day’s shenanigans:

Every year, the crowd on hand for the Crankworx Whistler Whip-Off World Championships gets bigger—and rowdier. There were so many spectators in the field next to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park's Crabapple Hits that riders were having a hard time pushing through the crowd on their way back to the top of the jumps. Photo: Anthony Smith
Every year, the crowd on hand for the Crankworx Whistler Whip-Off World Championships gets bigger—and rowdier. There were so many spectators in the field next to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park’s Crabapple Hits that riders were having a hard time pushing through the crowd on their way back to the top of the jumps. Photo: Anthony Smith
True to form, Eddie Masters turned up to the Whip-Offs looking like he was on his way to Lost Lake instead of the massive Crabapple Hits. He did his runs in boardies and flip flops, per his usual custom. Photo: Bruno Long
True to form, Eddie Masters turned up to the Whip-Offs looking like he was on his way to Lost Lake instead of the massive Crabapple Hits. He did his runs in boardies and flip flops, per his usual custom. Photo: Bruno Long
Once the field of 120 riders had been narrowed down to the final 30, the fans were horny for action. Photo: Bruno Long
Once the field of 120 riders had been narrowed down to the final 30, the fans were horny for action. Photo: Bruno Long
For the first 45 minutes, it was essentially a judged jump jam, with riders gradually being eliminated while the judges narrowed the field down to the 30 who got the most sideways. Photo: Anthony Smith
For the first 45 minutes, it was essentially a judged jump jam, with riders gradually being eliminated while the judges narrowed the field down to the 30 who got the most sideways. Photo: Anthony Smith
This joker was wild: But with his bike looking like this, it was probably best that he didn't gamble on the jumps. Photo: Anthony Smith
This joker was wild: But with his bike looking like this, it was probably best that he didn’t gamble on the jumps. Photo: Anthony Smith
In his debut appearance at the Crankworx Whistler Whip-Off Worlds, Utah's Reed Boggs consistently soared high above the crowd, earning himself an honorable mention for amplitude. Photo: Bruno Long
In his debut appearance at the Crankworx Whistler Whip-Off Worlds, Utah’s Reed Boggs consistently soared high above the crowd, earning himself an honorable mention for amplitude. Photo: Bruno Long
Fans from all over the world were on hand. There's a six-pack on offer for anyone who can tell us what this sign means. Photo: Bruno Long
Fans from all over the world were on hand. There’s a six-pack on offer for anyone who can tell us what this sign means. Photo: Bruno Long
Longtime fan favorite Kyle Jameson couldn't resist joining the party train, despite the fact that he's been suffering from concussion-related issues in recent weeks. Photo: Anthony Smith
Longtime fan favorite Kyle Jameson couldn’t resist joining the party train, despite the fact that he’s been suffering from concussion-related issues in recent weeks. Photo: Anthony Smith
Britain's Sam Reynolds was on the send-it program. Photo: Anthony Smith
Britain’s Sam Reynolds was on the send-it program. Photo: Anthony Smith
Like many riders at this year's Crankworx Whistler, young Finn Iles was showing his support for Stevie 'The Canadian Chainsaw' Smith. Photo: Anthony Smith
Like many riders at this year’s Crankworx Whistler, young Finn Iles was showing his support for Stevie ‘The Canadian Chainsaw’ Smith. Photo: Anthony Smith
And the 17-year-old phenom went on to win first in the Whip-Offs, for the second time in three years. Photo: Bruno Long
And the 17-year-old phenom went on to win first in the Whip-Offs, for the second time in three years. Photo: Bruno Long
Even though flips were officially discouraged by the judges, that didn't stop this punter from pulling a fronty to please the crowd. Photo: Anthony Smith
Even though flips were officially discouraged by the judges, that didn’t stop this punter from pulling a fronty to please the crowd. Photo: Anthony Smith
There was so much dust blowing off the jumps that it forced some young fans to go full enduro. Photo: Anthony Smith
There was so much dust blowing off the jumps that it forced some young fans to go full enduro. Photo: Anthony Smith
Tyler 'T-Mac' McCaul's real middle name is 'Sideways'... Photo: Bruno Long
Tyler ‘T-Mac’ McCaul’s real middle name is ‘Sideways’… Photo: Bruno Long
It came as no surprise that Casey 'Browntown' Brown dominated the biggest-ever women's field of six riders. This was Brown's third consecutive Whip-Offs win. Photo: Bruno Long
It came as no surprise that Casey ‘Browntown’ Brown dominated the biggest-ever women’s field of six riders. This was Brown’s third consecutive Whip-Offs win. Photo: Bruno Long
The level of riding was so high that the judges found it harder than ever to choose the top five riders. Photo: Bruno Long
The level of riding was so high that the judges found it harder than ever to choose the top five riders. Photo: Bruno Long
But with whips like this, it was pretty clear that Finn was in for the win. Photo: Anthony Smith
But with whips like this, it was pretty clear that Finn was in for the win. Photo: Anthony Smith
Style never ages: While young Finn Iles took top honors, veteran style-master Thomas Vanderham's whips were so impressive they earned him the second-place slot. Photo: Bruno Long
Style never ages: While young Finn Iles took top honors, veteran style-master Thomas Vanderham’s whips were so impressive they earned him the second-place slot. Photo: Bruno Long