Langenfeld Open presented by Liquid Force was also in its fourth edition a true highlight of the 2023 contest season. The probably most progressive setup of the year attracted over 70 riders from 16 different countries. Just like the event, the highlight edits by Steffen Vollert have reached cult status – so for now just sit back and enjoy the show:
Two Americans emerged as the lucky winners this year: Rivers Hedrick in the women’s race and Trent Stuckey in the men’s race. Only 16 years old, Rivers from Atlanta, Georgia made a statement with all her runs. She impressed with sparkling clean and stylishly executed BS 720s and plenty of precision, style and routine on all features in the course. In the Round of 8 she prevailed with exactly these qualities in the head-to-head against Luca Glinski. In the super final, Katinka Buiting (NED), Vanessa Tittarelli (ITA), and Jamie Lopina (USA) were defeated. Whereby “defeated” is perhaps an inappropriate formulation, because one thing was particularly noticeable again this year: The authentic togetherness of all riders.
In the men’s division it was a great battle, with numerous well-known names and favorites already eliminated in the qualification. Among them were Nico von Lerchenfeld, Konni Lehndorff and Carlo Hüsing. All pairings with last year’s winner Trent Stuckey were particularly exciting.
In the Round of 16 he faced the fearless Australian Benny Heatley, in the Round of 8 Max Milde. Both times it was extremely captivating and especially Max Milde, who had previously won against Max Van Helvoort, kept Trent on his toes. Three head-to-head rounds had to be played until the young American prevailed with, among other things, a Pete Rose 720 off the kicker and a KBG 540 in the flats. We have never seen this combination in a contest before!
Besides Trent and Nils, Gavin Stuckey and Pedro Caldas also made it to the Super Final. Nils couldn’t get his run clean and had to settle for fourth place. It was extremely close and exciting between the other three riders. With partly similar air tricks, but small and fine differences, the podium came up in the end: Pedro Caldas on the third place, Gavin Stuckey on the second place and last year’s winner Trent Stuckey on the first place. We have a suggestion for tonight: watch the re-live from 4:53:44 to check out this exact battle.
Respect to Wasserski Langenfeld for this great event. Thanks also to the sponsors Liquid Force, Follow, Nissan and UNIT Parktech.
Photos: Lehnert & Speck