Ultimate X 2013: an action-packed adventure

Words & Photo: Claire Butler

Saturday 16 February 2013 saw the V&A Waterfront play host to the fourth annual Ultimate X extreme games festival. Arguable South Africa’s largest and premier extreme sports event, Ultimate X features the country’s top riders, as well as a few international riders, from across four action sports disciplines invited to compete for a share of the R100,000 prize money. A blistering hot day greeted over 5,000 spectators to the Gateway Canal site at the entrance to the V&A, which was transformed into an extreme sports playground for the day.



This year’s event, sponsored by Hunter’s Extreme, took the format of a day-long programme consisting of four different extreme sports events: skateboarding, BMX, wakeboarding and FMX.


Crowds were guided through the day’s events by commentators Kai Linder, Rupert Von Tutschek and Chris Cab. The 2013 winners for each category were: Wakeboarding - Dylan Mitchell; BMX - Greg Illingworth; SkateBOARDING - Louis Taubert; and FMX - Nick de Wit and Alastair Sayer.


Ultimate X began in 2008 in the form of the Summer X event at Camps Bay High School. Then in 2010, the event moved to its current urban location in the heart of Cape Town and adopted the new name of Ultimate X. Founder of the event, Markus Museler, said the 2013 event was the best yet, “We really pushed the boundaries this year to stage an action sports event on par with international standards. With record crowds and unbelievable performances from local and international athletes, this is without a doubt the most unforgettable Ultimate X to date.”


The wakeboarding division saw a rather unusual set-up in the waterfront canal using a specially designed two-way cable system to tow the riders. This was a welcome change from previous years where riders were towed by jetski, resulting in pauses between runs while the water settled. Along with the new motorised tow system, the wake course featured three obstacles: a kicker, rooftop A-frame slider and flat slider.


History was made this year when, for the first time, two female riders were invited to compete. Current South African Cable Wakeboarding Champion, Melissa Colborne, and fellow Cape Town-based rider, Candice Bacon, put on an impressive display in the wakeboarding prelims and stunned the crowd with their ability.


The level of female riding was a definite standout in the 2013 wakeboarding event.


The final saw Dominik Reichmuth, Jason Colborne, Devon Nassif and Dylan Mitchell battle it out for the title of Ultimate X Gold 2013 South African Wakeboarding Champion with an impressive assault of maneuvers on the three course obstacles. Mitchell, who recently returned from competing internationally, emerged on top after landing a number of impressive and technical aerial tricks.


The skateboarding division was probably the most hotly contested event of the day. The 2013 event featured an upgraded and revamped skate park that riders used to their full advantage.


The lack of permanent skate parks in Cape Town meant that the audience was hungry to see some proper skating in action within the park setting, and the surrounding viewpoints were jam-packed with supporters.


German skater and defending champion, Louis Taubert, took top placing in the skate division, narrowly beating local skaters Khule Ngubane and Dlamini Dlamini.



Sharing the street-style park with the skateboarders, and surrounded by two stands of spectators, the BMXers put on an impressive display of their technical abilities.


The BMX division saw riders executing various highly creative and technical tricks using park obstacles such as ramps, ledges, platforms and rails.


The competition was fierce and riders pushed hard, resulting in a number of hard falls and injuries. It was defending champion Greg Illingworth who finished in first place ahead of Somerset West’s Malcolm Peters and British rider Paul Ryan.


A crowd favourite was definitely the FMX division of the event. FMX or Freestyle Motocross features riders jumping dirt bikes over a 22 m gap and launching about 10 m in the air. While in the air, they detach themselves from the bike to do a midair maneuver before grabbing back onto the bike and landing.


The gravity-defying stunts demonstrated by the six invited FMX riders had the crowd roaring in cheers. The field of competitors played testimony to the level of FMX riding in South Africa and featured the likes of Nick de Wit and Alastair Sayer, who are no strangers to the international competitive FMX scene. De Wit has a current ranking of fifth in the world; so it was no surprise that he came out tops in the FMX division, along with Sayer.


In addition to the four extreme sports events, Ultimate X 2013 also featured the Ultimate Gamer section, sponsored by Mountain Dew. It is a gaming competition featuring five different genres of games on sixteen Xbox 360 consoles.


There was also the Inner City Muscle car show; a showcase of some of the best examples of American muscle, Rods and vintage cars; and an after-party at Cape Town nightclub, the Dragon Room.


Planning for the 2014 event is already underway and Markus Museler anticipates that it will be the biggest and best yet. “Every year we need to improve and increase the action and adrenaline of the event,” he says, “so look out for some big international names plus some new unique features in the same venue and location.”


For those wanting an extra dose of extreme sports action, look out for the following events coming up on the calendar this year:
Mountain Dew SA Road Tour
Buck Tour Skate Competition
Maloof Money Cup World Skate Championships



Visit http://www.oldschoolproductions.co.za for more information.


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Gravity Adventure Festival (Issue 7, p. 70)
Thrombi X Fest Revival Rocks (Digital article, Feb '13)



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