As with any Suzuki Nine Knights event, this year’s MTB edition closed with a spectacular gala night to honor the many talented riders, filmers and photographers who make the event possible. The evening always builds in momentum as the stoke mounts with every new photo and video recapping the week’s most insane moments, first with the photographer awards, then with the rider awards. For the photographers, the categories are : “Best Action Shot”, “Best Illumination Shot”, “Best Composite Shot”, and “Best Lifestyle Shot”. Meanwhile, the riders are competing for: “Ruler of the Day”, “Trick of the Day”, “Best Whip”, “Best trick”, “Highest Air”, “Ruler of the Week”, “Best GoPro Shot”. With a peer voting system, the riders themselves decided who deserved the recognition and then celebrated the night away.
Christophe Laue was stoked when he took home “Best Action Shot” for the second year running, earning himself an awesome Focus E-Bike. If that wasn’t enough, he also got to celebrate in style with a massive bottle of champagne, awarded to him for taking home the “Best Lifestyle Shot” as well.
The winner of the “Best Illumination” category was none other than German photographer Martin Erd who also gets to ride away with a brand spanking new E-Bike from Focus Bikes.
French-man JB Liautard, was also awarded a Focus E-bike for the best image in the “Best Composite” category.
The contest day podium, Adolf Silva (ESP), Sam Reynolds (GBR), and Nico Scholze (GER) celebrated their “Ruler of the Day” status in style. Coming in first, Silva was awarded a weeklong surf camp in Portugal thanks to Blue Tomato. Reynolds won a Suzuki surfboard for taking second. while Scholze took home a nice bottle of whiskey from a renowned local distillery. Silva also won the perfect Suzuki surfboard for him to use in Portugal for the “Trick of the Day” category with his monster double backflip on the Big Bertha kicker.
The “Best Whip” award when to Anton Thelander (SWE), who unfortunately injured himself while trying to transfer from the quarter pipe take off to the hip landing. When he recovers in a few weeks, he’ll be sure to put his new Suzuki surfboard to the test!
After that, it was time to award Syzmon Godziek (POL) with “Best Trick” for his insane Cork 720 No-Hander with a sick VIP trip to the MX of Nations Italy event organized by Monster Energy.
Though all athletes were boosting out of the quarter pipe this week, the winner of the “Highest Air” category was hardly a surprise and was awarded to Clemens Kaudela (AUT). Thanks to Monster Energy, he will be meeting up with Godziek at the MX of Nations in Italy in the VIP section!
Reynolds returned to the front of the crowd when he was named the “Ruler of the Week” for his unstoppable riding all week and his ability to get everyone else stoked at all times! Not only was he awarded an invite for a weeklong surf camp in Portugal, but he also got to play with the infamous Suzuki Nine Knights sword.
The final award of the night was the “Best GoPro Shot” that was awarded to none other than Blake Samson. For this honor, Blake took home $1000 dollars courtesy of GoPro!
A new category for this year’s Suzuki Nine Knights MTB was the “Man of the Day” category honoring someone who’s just done something incredible. In this case, the honor went to Andi Wittman, this year’s main course builder for his outstanding work on the event. Highly moved by this award, Andi actually nominated Clemens Kaudela to take his place, having decided that he deserved it more for not only helping build the course, but riding the course all week as well. That type of camaraderie is what the Suzuki Nine Knights is all about!!
All in all, it was another absolutely epic night, the perfect closing ceremony for a crazy week of tricks, progression, and friends.
Congrats to all of the riders and photographers and see you next year!