Slideshow focused on the Simple Joys of Whistler Life Takes Top Prize in the Crankworx Annual Photo Competition

WHISTLER, BC August 12, 2015 – The King of Deep Summer in Whistler is crowned for another year. Sam Needham’s slideshow was named the winner of the Deep Summer Photo Challenge Wednesday evening in front of a crowd of hundreds of whooping and hollering mountain bike and photography fans in Whistler Olympic Plaza.

“It feels incredible. I actually didn’t think I’d get that,” said Needham, who takes home $3500 for the win. “The competition was really tough.”

The photographer beat out five others, including Grant Robinson, Ryan Worcestor, Tim Koerber, Laurence Crossman-Emms, who won his entry through the Pinkbike Deep Summer Wildcard Photographer Search, and one of Needham’s photography heroes, Gary Perkins.

“The reason I got into all this was because of Gary,” he explained, referring to veteran shooter.

Needham’s slideshow, ‘Life is a Journey,’ was born out of the simple idea to capture the fun of Whistler.

“You don’t come here to have a crap time. You come here to ride bikes, party, chill – that was the vibe we were going for, and hopefully it came across.”

Judge Sven Martin said the decision was extremely difficult.

“There’s a couple things you look for as a photographer, a couple things you look for with the criteria of the contest, and there’s a couple types of shots, so we had to take all of that into consideration.”

Event organizer Seb Kemp said he thought it might have been the longest deliberation period ever seen at the event. In the end though, while it was a competition, the feeling backstage was more of a community of like-minded peers, excited to see what each other had produced.

“People got to see six very different takes on Whistler, on mountain biking, on photography,” said Kemp. “It’s really special to get to see these people all compete together in such a respectful environment.”

Three other distinctions were awarded for the best photo in three categories – Black Tusk, which went to Laurence Crossman Emms, and Garbanzo Tree Island Hip Jump and GLC Drop, both of which were won by Needham.

There is still one additional piece of the creative puzzle that has yet to be placed. For the first time in Deep Summer history, Crankworx will be awarding an additional $3500 prize to the Viewers’ Favourite slideshow, all of which have been posted on the Crankworx website. To vote for a favourite show, fans must place a vote at www.crankworx.com before 10 p.m. Thursday, August 14.

See the winning slideshows can be found on Crankworx.com or on YouTube:
Gary Perkin – youtu.be/zZW6UZmLDZ4
Sam Needham (Judge Winner) – youtu.be/WVA3QDiy7Bc
Grant Robinson – youtu.be/79scgTQvMAQ
Ryan Worcester – youtu.be/I99Xe3YjIXE
Laurence Crosmman-Emms – youtu.be/gvR3R0urQvA

Crankworx LIVE webcast schedule:
Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox Thursday, August 13 7 – 9 p.m. Canada, 4 – 6 a.m. Europe (August 14), 2 – 4 p.m. New Zealand (August 14)

Giant Dual Slalom Friday, August 14 5-7 p.m. Canada, 2 – 4 a.m. Europe (August 15), noon – 2 p.m. New Zealand (August 15)

Red Bull Joyride Saturday, August 15 4:30 – 8 p.m. Canada, 1:30 a.m. – 5 a.m. Europe (August 16), 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. New Zealand (August 16)

Canadian Open DH presented by iXS Sunday, August 16 3 – 5 p.m. Canada, midnight – 2 a.m. Europe (August 17), 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. New Zealand (August 17)

Print-quality photos of all Crankworx events will be posted to the Crankworx Flickr account daily: flickr.com/photos/crankworx/albums

Daily videos can be found at: crankworx.com/videos

Media requests:
Jennifer Smith
Communications Manager, Crankworx World Tour
(604) 848-8801

Through dirt, sweat and cheers, Crankworx celebrates the epic endurance, supreme flow, monster air and heart-stopping drops of gravity mountain biking. Anointed by dirt, powered by passion, the Crankworx World Tour travels to Rotorua, New Zealand, Les Deux Alpes, France and culminates in its Canadian home base of Whistler, BC

Tread among the gravity-fed. Join the bike-minded.