Melissa Brown's overview of Girls at Winterclash 2017
2017 Winterclash, hosted in Eindhoven, NL, took place on 17 & 18 of February. Winterclash is a world renowned event that has taken place for the past 13 years. Winterclash is a gathering of aggressive inline skaters as they compete using their skills and athleticism to become the next champion.
2017 made history with the number of female competitors. There were 26 women competing and that doesn’t include the number of women who didn’t compete who still skated during the weekend. The 26 women were from all levels of skills; Some novice and some on a “professional” level. The fact they were all put together in one category makes it even more humbling and challenging for them. You think a newer, less experienced, girl competing against the top females actually have the confidence to compete. And you need to think the top girls have the integrity and passion to skate with the women who are not as experienced as them but still show their support. Us women, we are truly this amazing support system, a rare companionship, and give everlasting sportsmanship towards each other.
Mery Munoz took the win for the bladies contest. If you experienced the “clash” this year, you can agree that this win was more than just another woman taking the title. There aren't many words to describe this win for Mery. Mery has competed many times at "clash" to now take the big "W." Everybody witnessed probably the worst fall in the entire contest to only have Mery get right back up, lace a grind on the down rail, then later, ultimately, having the best trick and winning the 2017 Winterclash women's category. Truly the most deserved win and I hope this inspires many women and girls as it has for me.
There were 5 heats of girls this year. Only 5 made it to the finals. The top 5 were well known ladies from around the world. You had Grazyna from Poland, Eve and Mery from Spain, Frieda from Germany, and Manon from France. The heat was filled with a power house of amazing women competing for the Winterclash women’s title. You know it would be a good show to see these 5 ladies battle it out. It was an amazing show of skill and athleticism. You can see the girls using all parts of the park and utilizing all of the obstacles. Manon with her flawless sweat stances, Grazyna with her amazing technical tricks, Eve with her stylish spins, Frieda's creativity on the course, and Mery with her street skills. I must say, I give so much credit to all of the girls for skating so well. All of the girls in the qualifiers and the finals! But in the end, street acclaimed rider Mery Munoz laced almost every trick she tried all over the course and ending it with the best trick of the day with a soul grind transfer to a royale on the rail. Winterclash was such a fulfilled event and I hope it stays forever.
Winterlcash women are more than just being focused and serious about the contest. You can see the girls everywhere who competed enjoying their time with the blade family. But the biggest thing you should notice is that, at Winterclash, if you look left or right and you see a girl, there is a chance she skates. You need to support and respect her, meet her as she may be your next best friend.
By Melissa Brown
top3girls. photo by jack toibin, group photo by John Goez, Olga pic by john goez, manon photo by melissa, eve and claudia photo by melissa, girls on the quarter photo by jack toibin, mery transfer photo by john goez.