Chile has picked the skateboarder it wants to represent the nation and take a bite out of the Big Apple when the Red Bull Manny Mania Grand Final hits New York in August.
Over 800 boarders entered Manny Mania in Chile, testing their skateboarding chops in a series of qualification heats. These hopefuls were rated for style, speed and skill, with just 80 going through to the national final at Santiago's Parque Bustamante skate park. The finalists were split into 20 groups of four with one skater after another hitting the ramps in the hope of representing Chile at the 2011 Red Bull Manny Mania Grand Final.
Keeping a close eye on the action were the judges, led by a living legend of Chilean skateboarding, Spiro Razis. Alongside Razis was Marcelo Munizaga from the Chilean Skating Federation, Chilean skate journalist Patricio Albornoz and Luis Balmaceda - champion of Chile's Manny Mania in 2010. Nobody was envious of the tough decision the judges had to take but after a long discussion, the final verdict was eventually reached.
While 79 skaters were left to dream about next year, Manuel ‘El Rubio’ Rivera was crowned the 2011 Chilean champion of Red Bull Manny Mania. The blonde bombshell had travelled 18 hours from the far north of Chile to be in Santiago and his reward was an even longer journey to New York.
'The quality of skating was amazing, so it’s hard to believe I've won the honour of representing my country at the finals in New York. I’m so happy right now, happy and excited. It was definitely worth the long trip from the north of Chile.'
After witnessing the next generation of Chilean skaters, Spiro Razis also went home happy.
'I’m glad to see the Chilean skating scene get so excited about Red Bull Manny Mania. The number of people getting involved surprised me and it’s great to see the scene growing. Best of all, we are getting fresh talent like Manuel who can go and show the rest of the world what skateboarding in Chile is all about.'
Red Bull Manny Mania was started in 2007 by Venice Beach skater Joey Brezinski. It's now a global skating phenomenom and when Manuel Rivera heads to New York for the Grand Final in August he will face skaters from 30-plus countries.
- Lots more Manny Mania at redbull.com
- Follow Manny Mania founder Joey Brezinski on Twitter @joeybrezinski
- The best tricks from the 2010 Grand Final at redbull.com