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