GLOUCESTER-- If there were betting favorites prior to the Friday Greasy Pole competition off of Pavilion Beach, Kyle Barry would certainly be near the top.
The 25 year old Barry has had several close calls in his six years walking the greasy pole touching the flag but not bringing it down in 2011. He was also one of the winners of the Greasy Pole Fall Classic in November 2011, a competition held at Newell Stadium on the old and broken greasy pole platform.
When it comes to the Friday pole, there are usually just a handful of guys with a good shot of winning, Barry is one of them.
On Friday, Barry showed why he is one of the more highly regarded walkers on the Friday platform taking it all the way with a flawless third round walk to capture his first greasy pole crown. With the in he now walks first in today’s Greasy Pole competition (4:45 p.m.) which will feature several other Friday winners and veteran walkers looking to break into championship Sunday, where only past winners, and proteges of past winners can walk.
“It was just a helluva feeling (grabbing the flag),” Barry said. “It’s the biggest sporting event of the week and to have your fellow walkers carry you off the beach is such a good feeling.”
Barry admittedly needed a couple of walks under his belt to reach the perfect winning walk, but it was clear that it was his day by the middle of the second round. On his second walk, the eventual champion made it nearly 3/4 of the way down the 40 foot pole but fell just shy. Fortunately, Barry knew the mistake he made.
“My first walk a came off the rag pretty bad, on my second walk I had a great walk,” Barry said. “I was about six feet from the flag and I slipped. I knew what I did wrong, I didn’t keep my feet moving. So next time I told myself ‘Keep your feet moving, stay straight up and go get it.’”
Barry did just that on his third and final walk.
The winning walk was about as flawless as a greasy pole walk can get. Barry got off to a perfect start, kept his balance through the middle of the pole and didn’t lose it all the way to the end.
“I got about five feet away (on the winning walk) and I said to myself, ‘This thing’s coming home with me,” the winner said. “There was no way I wasn’t going to get it on that walk.”
Most impressive was the fact that Barry was not only the winner, he was the only one to get close to the flag. There are usually plenty of close calls to go around in the greasy pole competition, but not this year. Barry was the only walker to get past the half way mark, and he did it twice, sending the fans on Pavilion Beach home early with a third round win.