By Brooks Welsh, Special to The Baltimore Sun
5:39 PM EDT, August 19, 2012
Dark clouds and a bit of rain was not enough to stop fans from packing the stands for the fourth and final day of the Pantech Beach Championships in Ocean City, but it was enough to delay the skate bowl final twice due to the rain-slicked surface of the bowl.
The skate bowl final was delayed the first time after the first heat. Bucky Lasek took command in the first heat by throwing huge 540s and Mctwists to the delight of the packed stands. Zero Skateboards rider Ben Hatchell of Manassas, Va., was nipping at Lasek's heels using a more technical array of grind tricks. Hatchell brought the crowd to a roar with his blunt, kickflip to fakie, in the shallow end of the pool.
As the rain picked up, the fans dispersed quickly from the stands only to return 20 minutes later when the action resumed.
The second heat saw boosting airs from the number one qualifier after the semi-final, Pedro Barros. To the loud cheers of the fans the encouragement of the announcers, Barros launched airs in the deep bowl after linking fast turns and grind tricks to boot.
But a rain delay interrupted the contest again after the second heat. Prompting fans to once again to disperse as the announcers and Dew tour workers tried to keep the fans engaged with give-aways and athlete interviews. A few of the skaters voiced their frustration about the rain delay to the fans.
"This whole waiting around thing is getting a little old," joked Lasek, who was in second place heading into the final heat. "I have some cake and ice cream waiting for me."
The third heat consisted of the best scoring skaters from the first two heats. Lasek, Hatchell and Sandro Dias were set to drop, but the rain kept them on the deck as the Dew Tour staff wiped down the deck of the bowl.
The skate bowl final most likely won't be the only event affected by the rain. The finale of the weekend, the Mega 2.0 final, also looks to be substantially delayed if not cancelled due to heavy rain that was looming.
Organizers said a crew was standing by with squeegees and blow dryers to quickly dry the ramp if the rain subsides so that the Mega 2.0 final can still go on.
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