Society & Culture & Entertainment sports & Match

DEW ACTION SPORTS TOUR CROWNS FIRST-EVER WINNERS AT INAUGURAL PANASONIC OPEN

LOUISVILLE - The Dew Action Sports Tour enjoyed a successful opening at the Panasonic Open at the Kentucky Expo Center, June 9-12. Brilliant athlete performances, led by freestyle motocross rider Travis Pastrana and vert skateboarder Shaun White, appreciative crowds despite rain and heat, and a lively Festival Village created an electric atmosphere at the first stop of the pro tour of action sports.

The live broadcasts on NBC gave fans across the country the chance to see the best action sports athletes in the world compete.
Despite inclement weather most of the event weekend, enthusiastic crowds came out each day of the Panasonic Open to witness the awarding of trophies to the first-ever Dew Action Sports Tour event winners. The winners at the Panasonic Open, and jumping to the head of the tour points standings after the first event in the race for the Dew Cup were: BMX Park, Ryan Guettler; Skateboard Park, Ryan Sheckler; FMX, Travis Pastrana; BMX Dirt, Corey Bohan; Skateboard Vert, Shaun White; BMX Vert, Kevin Robinson.

"Fans in Louisville and across the country were treated to the highest levels of competition in action sports this weekend," said Wade Martin, General Manager of the Dew Action Sports Tour. "This was a great start for the Tour, and the athletes and fans are excited about the Right Guard Open in Denver next month."

In his first competition in nearly a year due to injuries, Pastrana pulled off an impressive return to edge Jeremy Stenberg in the FMX final Saturday afternoon.

Pastrana, of Annapolis, Md., posted a 94.20 score on his first of two runs, and it held up to turn back Stenberg, of Winchester, Calif., who registered a 93.70 on his second run. Kenny Bartram, of Stillwater, Okla., placed third with a 91.60 on his first run.

Back-to-back-to-back back-flip variations were the key to the contest, with Pastrana and Stenberg both nailing them flawlessly. The deciding factor was Pastrana?s landings during his first run, when he performed the cleanest execution.

?Definitely a little squirrelly yesterday in practice,? said the colorful and charismatic Pastrana, ?but I got it all worked out. This sport is going to really take off. I?m really glad to be back. It was an honor to be a part of this event because of the depth of the competition. NBC put on an amazing event. I hope it continues for years to come.?

White, pro snowboarder and skateboarder, cemented his reputation as a formidable crossover athlete Sunday when he captured his first professional skateboard victory in the very competitive Skateboard Vert competition. He edged veterans Bucky Lasek and Tas Pappas in a final in which only a half point separated first and third place.

White, 18, Carlsbad, Calif., claimed the victory with a second run score of 91.75. White?s winning run featured a good mix of tricks, highlighted by a 720 to a McTwist. Lasek, 32, Baltimore, Md., finished second after taking the lead on the first run with a 91.50, featuring a front-side 540 linked to a McTwist. Pappas, 29, Melbourne, Australia, placed third, his best run also being his first at 91.25 in which he linked together a series of tricks, including a nose-grab 540.

?I?m just so excited,? White said. ?I came all the way out here. I didn?t know what to expect. I just wanted to do my run. That was the thing for me. Bucky and all those guys were killing it. I landed my run. It was my first pro (skateboard) win. I couldn?t be happier. I had an awesome time. It?s one thing to go from snow to skate, but I had a little chance to practice this time. I?m trying to (convert some tricks from snow to skate). It?s hard to cross over.?

"I'm psyched,? Pappas said. ?This Tour is really cool, and I can't wait to come back and give it another whack.?

Sheckler, a 15-year-old skateboard phenom from San Clemente, Calif., captured top honors in the Skateboard Park competition Friday night, much to the delight of his fans in the audience.

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