The skating scene in the NSW Hunter took another step forward on the weekend following a stellar showing at the Bar Beach bowl.
Thousands crowded around the skate park for the Australian Bowl-Riding Championship on Saturday and were treated to some of the best talent in the country.
Among the competitors was young prodigy Keegan Palmer who, at nine years old, turned on the style to grab the under-18 division title.
Alex Sorgente took out the Pro division while Jack Fardell’s third-place finish saw him crowned the new Australian Champion.
The Gold Coast-based skater said he was impressed by the quality of the competition.
‘‘The crowd here is amazing,’’ he said.
‘‘Everyone’s just so excited and the grandstand was epic. Newcastle’s always a great place to come.’’
Fardell said it was great to see so many young kids take on the bowl and was also impressed at the amount of women competitors.
He lives around the corner from up-and-comer Palmer, and the two often skate together on the Gold Coast.
‘‘He’s grown so much in the last year and he’s got big things ahead of him,’’ he said.
‘‘That bowl is about four times his height.’’
Lizzie Armanto from Santa Monica became the first woman ever to make a pro open division finals.
She finished 8th overall, one place behind last year’s winner, Renton Millar.
Fardell flies out to New Zealand tomorrow for competition and will return to Australia before heading over to Brazil.
While he’s skated in a range of skate parks around the world, he said he always loved making a trip to Newcastle.
‘‘It’s one of the top three bowls in Australia for me.
‘‘Newcastle always turns it on, everyone’s so welcoming here. It’s definitely got big things coming out of it.’’
Poppy Olsen, 12, won the women’s title for the second year running and Pat Ngoho won the masters division.
1. Alex Sorgente
2. Josh Stafford
3. Jack Fardell
1. Poppy Olsen
2. Jayden Barratt
3. Sabre Norris.
1. Pat Ngoho
2. Adam Luxford
3. Lester Kasai
1. Keegan Palmer
2. Jakob Robinson
3. Luke Russel