Text: Barre Neirynck.
Photos: Barre Neirynck, Djou Nien.
I hit Barre Neirynck a message after I saw a few photos on Instagram,. Whats this event Barre? I don’t know much about it, it looks amazing. Barre came through with this repo, shouts to Barre and Djou Nien for helping out with photos. Nice to get a repo back here on Flatmattersonline. Enjoy this one!
It all started last year when I saw some footage from a underground contest on a island thirty minutes away from the west coast of France!
Between Normandië and Bordeaux.
The vibe was so dope, that it sparked my interest to know more about this event.
The name of the island is Île d’Yeu, and is organise by Etienne Taraud and crew, the event called Oya Street Jam! With a resident population of only 5000 people, community style.
I spoke Etienne in April when I went to Astrolabe. And he told me about the event, and it sparked my interest even more!
When I did the road trip to the Urban RuralRide, I spoke with Sietse Van Berkel to plan this trip together. Excited to finally travel together.
On August 31st, Sietse came to my place to pick me up around 1:30. We first eat together with my family, because I had the whole week summer camp workshops in the morning for the city of Kortrijk. I gave my kids and wife a big hug and kiss, and off we go!
It was a seven hour drive into France.
We only knew that we had to be at the boat on 1st September 8:45pm. Boat Ticket, and a sleeping place was provided by the organisation for all the rider, so that we enough to be excited to finally do this trip together!!
We arrive at the hotel we booked in the car on the way, a bit freestyle. We arrived at the hotel, but that was full… because of all the talking in the car we didn’t see the email that told us it was fully booked and not possible to have a room. And it was already 11pm, so we decided to freestyle and sleep in the car!
We put the bike outside locked and hiding in the small forest, because there was not enough space in the car.
We woke up early in the car, and went to the parking where we had to leave the car.
On the entrance we meet the Brazilian crew, and we introduced ourselves.
Was good to see Bruno Zebu again, and meet new riders I never met before.
We collected the tickets, dropped our bike and went on board. It took half an hour to get us to the Island!
At arrival Matthias Perrot was there to pick up some persons and give information about the location. He was helping with Etienne and the crew to make sure everybody knew were to go. We were all placed in different houses around the Island.
Sietse and myself were travelling light, so we went straight to the spot with the bike, in that way we already discovered the island a bit!!
The contest area is in the middle of the island called La Citadelle, surrounded by a small forest on the outside, built in the time around 1800 AD, in the middle of the place you have a big tent! There was The spot for the event! We meet Etienne en crew there still doing the last details for the event.
Floor looked solid! Two layers, and big enough where two riders can rider without have to deal with crashing into each other.
But before we test the floor out, Matthias Perrot showed us our house were we could stayed for the weekend! We were the first ones in the house, and man was that a beautiful surprise!
We shared the house with Jean William Prevost, aka Dub, The Chiquet’s family, Thomas graffiti artist and filmer Alex. The house looks amazing, and was only 2 minutes from the event!
Went to the supermarket to grab some food, we had a quick cup of coffee and went to the spot!!
Arriving back to the event fully charged with caffeine, motivation and energy we started our jam vibe session. Big youngster Julien was joining the session, and man is this kid talented!!!
The tricks he has got dialled is mind blowing, and even his mind set of life, and how he see things at the age of 17… all credit to his parents for guiding him in life.
The floor felt really good and we all landed some good combos! And pushed each other! The time flew by and we had to wrap things up because we where all expected at 20h down at the harbour to do some shows for the city to promote the event!
The energy was so high and we all had a good time showing our passion to the locals. But that floor looked so bad and still where there riders that did some crazy tricks on it, that vibe was set for the evening good vibes only.
After a long day our belly was rumbling, and Sietse and myself grabbed a much needed meal.
Dub arrived later than he expected because the air line didn’t got his bike on the last flight from Paris to Nantes, so he had to wait for it.
But at the end everything was fixed.
He joined us at the table to eat something!
Was good catching up after I last saw him was in 2019 Octobike festival 2019.
The evening passed by so quick, but was not over yet and already this trip was a success for us! We went to the house and sit outside in the garden with all the roommates. And man did we had good conversations and laughter.
With a full moon, and bright Jupiter on the night sky time passed by. We wanted to keep going, but we still had tomorrow to crosses our path. So we went to sleep and excited for what tomorrow will bring!
Work up to early, but I started to make breakfast and sit outside under a beautiful open sky. Sun is out good kick start for a other great day on the island. I heard of a beautiful castle on the other side of the island. Built in 10th century and rebuilt in 14th century, so that of course sparked my interest!
We took our bike and went out on a discovery mission. Explorers for the day were Sietse, Dub, painting artist Thomas and myself.
It was a 10 minute bike ride, and man is this a beautiful island!
When we arrived I was stoked to see the castle in real life! I always ask myself when I’m visiting old places how it must look like in the fullest glory days. And what kind of energy was around it. We walked to the entrance, and by us surprise the door was open!! So we wanted to go inside, when we arrived at the main gate a group of people walked out. So I thought let’s check out the middle square, and the guy told us to make an appointment if we wanted to visit it inside and closed the door before our nose. So we hang out around for a little bit. Time was flying and Thomas needed to go back to start the painting mission. So we went back to the house. We quickly packed our stuff and went to event!
We arrived at the event and there was already a lot of people, outdoors and indoors. The amateur class was already going strong.
So cool to see they mixed it up girls and boy in the expert class and even in pro class.
The format 2 minute 50 seconds..
Judging criteria: Creative/ originality, Difficulty/Consistency, Style/Flow, Overall/variation.
The vibe was really cool, everybody rooting for each other and wishing the rider a good run.
The Brazilian crew holding it strong at the spot!
And with Raphael on the mic, the atmosphere is always electric!
The support and motivation he gives all day long is amazing, a man of many talents.
The moment for me in Amateur class was when Raphael and Celine, there 2 boys did there run! Gaston and Lazare enjoying the bike.
So cute, and man these 2 boys has a great mindset, the bike is all day under his feet essentially Lazare! Not scared to ride between the pro’s, so good to see!
Difficulty: Said Rosales
Style: Mathieu Noury
Creativity: Thomas …
Overall: Swann Palvadeau – forestier
Style: Louise Seigneur,
Creativity: Mat Valhatten
Overall: William le Nezet
The pro class was divided in 3 groups.
The vibe was really chill, but I could also feel the tension, or maybe It was a projection of my mind.
Was feeling a bit nervous, but I took some time en focus my mind, talk to Sietse and thats always chill vibes with him. No stress some good advice and we were good to go!
I was in group 2 with some heavy names in it.
Lot of riders did a good run, with small mistakes. Now it was time to ride for 2m 30sec.
Focus and enjoy the moment. I saying to myself “you are home and breathe“.
First combo, was something I know I can land.
Than small mistake but came back for it later in my run. Sietse sitting on the side to push me to try my last combo with the hitchhiker xft landing. Just missed it but personally I was very happy with my run. Way better than my last 2 contest.
I felt I broke the spell, now I can build on that.
Enough about me.
Julien did some banger combo’s, Sietse did a new link he never did in a contest, Bruno did some technical next level stuff, and Dub always delivers with a crazy level, he did a flawless run and kept going, even after the time run out. Raphael let it all happen, because why would you stop a man on fire!!
Speaking about Raphael, MC-ing and then he also needed to ride. From the mic to the bike killing it on both sides!
Style: Julien Baran.
Creativity: Sietse Van Berkel.
Difficulty: Bruno Zebu.
This was a great result, so props to the judges! Congrats to all the riders entering this event!!! We all have something to contributed in this beautiful art form.
And at the end Flatland won big times!
Julien and Dub won a helicopter ride around the island, they went straight after the contest. Was very special for Julien, he just took his first flight ever from Glasgow to Vigo and couple weeks later again together with Dub a helicopter ride! That creates a memory for life!
After the contest we all go and checked the concert outside the tent! Support our friend Raphael with his new passion, music! Was so good to see that many riders where in front of the stage supporting him! Even Gaston Chiquet came on stage! So cool to see and wife Celine in the middel of people knowing all the lyrics singing a long with her husband!!!
The Seigneur family dancing all together. Rider Roman got some good dance moves and partnering skillz,Funny to see. On the side we had our roomie Thomas was making a portrait painting of Dub from a picture he took earlier that day after we came back form visiting the castle. And man must say he got some serieus talent and skills, make sure to check him out on insta: otom_art!
What also stood out for me was Seeing original hardcore style cat Charles Paty again after many years!! Great to see he transformed in a Amazing rider, and followed his own path.
The evening was falling and I went to the house to take a shower, no riding anymore for me. Took some time to chill to then go back to the event. I would leave my bike in the house, but Sietse pushed me to take it with me, and men was I happy I listen to him. We went back and did a jam session, first I was filming some clip for Sietse that wanted to pull a flowing combo, Dub entered the session so I started to film him also. I like to come close when I film, but I needed to be quick if I don’t wanted to crash with the Canadian tornado!
It was soooo intense I started to sweat like I was riding my bike, ….a lot !!
After Sietse pulled his combo he told me its time that I join the session and he would film me! I was already sweating so I could better go for it! And men I’m happy I did it!! Got some cool footage from that jam session. It felt so good like in the old days, after the contest riding till our body and mind were satisfied.
So we went home and and hang out in the beautiful garde! Relaxing conversation with the roommate, Sietse Dub and Alex the camera men. Bit later Celine came home and put the boys in bed and joined the conversations and laughters under a bright night sky. Breath and some salty butter, with tuna pasta. Sietse won.
Drinks on the table Lemon Tea, Red wine and some Gaston Chiquet champagne what is very nice by the way!
We thought we would ended like the night before chilling.
But it didn’t Raphael came home a little drunk, and is he even more funny when he is like that!!
He told that everyone wanted to go to the party somewhere were else on the island. But all of a sudden all of riders came to our house to hang out before the party, pre-party.
If I had to guess we went from 5 people to all of a sudden 20/30person.
So the atmosphere change in a energetic vibe. You never know what the evening has in store.
Was a dope experience. It was already 2 in the morning. Sietse, Dub, Alex and Celine decided to stay home. And when the silence returned in the garden, we keep talking about our lifestyle experience, dreams and visions about life…conversation I like.
So time stood still, only the night sky kept on spinning. We all closed the evening around 4h30… and other great evening that will stay with me for a long time graved in my memories.
Woke up at 9:30, because I had a phone call of my wife. I was eager to share a bit of the trip so far. And to hear how it was with the kids. In the meantime I openend up the swimming pool. Because I had a deal with Sietse to jump in the pool, couldn’t leave the house and not take dip.
But first I make a delicious breakfast, Sietse woke up and took care of the coffee.
Most of the roommates woke up around 11h.
And enjoy the first cup of coffee, and then join us at the pool. Was already 25 degrees outside and blue sky. So the cooling down was perfect for a other great bmx battle day ahead.
Arriving at the spot they started the battles, clearly you could see some face didn’t had enough sleep and had a hangover, so funny to see. Lets see how that will effect the riding.
The Battles started with amateur expert, girls in de mix and ending with Pro! No judging people had to choose by making noise. And the decibel meter show who had the crowed in there favour. Raphael on the mic to push the riders! Pushed if you fell or make mistake to try again straight away.
Will not forget the faces in the family Battle, Jeanne VS.Louise, they told me they didn’t sleep more than a 1hour. So the face looked tired. But they didn’t ride so badly, not the best but hey that get if you didn’t sleep much and need to ride your bike the next day, our better say the same day:)
Then the pro kick off with Dimitri and Romain.
And the spectators digging the vibe! The power was in there hands.
To switch things up for the next battle, France against Brazil! Julien and Anatole vs Emerson and William!
France came out strong with some crazy flow combo’s and bike flip in the mix. The Brazilian homies struggled a bit so France took this one!
Then home rider Etienne delivered against Maxime Luchetti who had also a good run, but home rider ended strong and had the crowed behind him in this one!!
And then next battle was fun energy between Sietse and Keiryo. Different approach, Sietse layed down on the bike and Keiryo Popped over him like only he can do, the crowd loved it. Sietse took the funny way while Keiryo delivered but clearly he had trouble to come back on Sietse his style of messing around.
You could tell it was messing with his head!
But kept on doing hard shit!
So Sietse had switch his game plan, and started to landing his signature tricks and style. So at the end both went full on. This on was fun to see.
I had to battle Mike Plas, that was actually my first battle I ever did. We both pulled some combos and missed some, I really wanted to land my Xft hitch because Sietse pushed me the whole weekend to pull it. But was not this time. I took the win, but I spilt my prize with Mike, in my eyes that was only fair outcome!
The last Battle was two heavy bangers, 1 front and other 1 back wheel. Hmmm who would that be? Mr. Brazil Brunical against Mr. Canadian Dubeast. And man was that energetic. They bought so much hard stuff!
Dub delivered every time the pressure is high, so epic to see! They both ended strong asf!!
Dub last combo, trubine undertaker to pivot switch pegwheelie to turbine inside pegwheelie grap the peg to turbine upsidedown to switch foot to turbine xft to insideaaaaaaaaa can’t name it any more it go all so fast… Sorry Effraim I’m not that dictionary like you…. Look at the video instead on Instagram (@barrebmx)
So Jean William pushed Bruno to go all in at the end!
And did he came back strong, he took the risk and pulled at the end of the battle a new combo (will try again) halfhiker pivot to xft backpacker into turbine crackpacker pivot out, so clean!!!
He told me he never did this in competition/battle, so happy he went for it! And being rewarded on a personal level.
At the end Bruno did many small mistakes at the end of the combo to land it.
So Dub took the win in this one, because the crowd saw he delivered and pulled more combo clean with signature moves.
But it was a real high intense battle.
So at the end Flatland won again today!!
Congrats to every one again, it was only good vibes! Big hug for everybody crosses my path this weekend it felt like a real Family meeting,where rider were treated like they matters.
So big up to Etienne and his family ,Mathias Perrot and girlfriend Kelly that work o lot begin the scene. And the entire crew of Oya street Jam 4.
Next year it will be on the 7/8 of September.
So if you still doubt to go, DON’T it only good times at the flatland Island. Îls d’Yeu!!!!!
Time to pack things up at the house clean it and go to the boot to go back home ,we still have a long drive a head back to Small Belgium.
Special thanks to Sietse to travel together with me, it was really a great the gave this experience with you.
To all the roommates in the house, will cherish this my memories till the end of time!
Thx Effraim for letting me do this, I enjoyed it a lot, first time for me writing and put it out there.
And YOU, the reader’s.