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World Event News
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Three cities, three legendary stadiums, three unique events: Winter 2014/2015 will start off a new era in the history of Air + Style. For the first time, in addition to the two contests in Beijing (12.05/06.2014) and Innsbruck (01.16/17.2015), there will be a grand finale: The Air + Style in Los Angeles (02.21/22.2015) in and around the famous Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena. Andrew Hourmont´s long cherished idea of a world tour with a tour winner can finally be realized in the home base of Shaun White. A 450.000 US$ prize money and the chance to be “Champions of the Champions” is attracting a lot of world class athletes. In Beijing and Innsbruck 24 athletes will battle for 100,000 US$ and the 16 slots in the finals in LA.
The first stop of the Air + Style Tour in Beijing is the incredible setup in the architectural masterpiece National stadium “Birds Nest” and will be the destination for a two days top-class snowboarding event. 24 athletes will participate in the qualification on Friday. 16 of them qualify for the final on Saturday, accompanied by DJs and two live music performances.
In Bergisel Stadium Innsbruck, the birthplace of Air + Style, the qualification will be on Friday Jan 16: 24 athletes will fight for the 16 starting positions in the main contest. For the very first time families with children from 6-14 years old can experience the legendary event for free.
The program on Saturday starts at 3.30pm: just before the top 16 final, Shaun White´s success coach Bud Keene will hold a training session. Two bands and a top DJ will provide the perfect sound. One of the top acts is already confirmed: the German rapper CRO. As Shaun White also is a pro skateboarder there will be some skateboarding action in Innsbruck: The WUB skate dome in Innsbruck will be open free of charge for the public with contests, workshops and DJs from Thursday (January 15 2015) until Sunday (January 18.2015) daily from 2pm until 10pm.
The tour final in Los Angeles at Rose Bowl Stadium west of LA will bring the idea of Air + Style to a whole new level. The concept mirrors the lifestyle and interests of Shaun White perfectly: heaps of sport: Snowboarding, Skiing, Skating and BMX, finest tunes, art & fashion, technology and food. A kids zone will allow even the youngest to try snowboarding in LA.
For latest information on program, athletes, bands and tickets visit the website www.air-style.com
Days are getting shorter and leaves are starting to change their colors soon. Winter is just around the corner. Burton is happy to announce the 16th annual Burton European Open presented by MINI taking place in LAAX, SUI from January 29th – February 1st, 2015. Riders can look forward to the brandnew Superpipe and innovative Slopestyle course up on Crap Sogn Gion mountain. On a extra note, spectators and riders can expect an Hawaiian themed event, which will provide a fun environment onsite. Aloha!
More information soon on www.burton.com/events
The 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI wrapped up yesterday at Cardrona Alpine Resort with a historic halfpipe finals event. Burton riders Yiwei Zhang (CHN) and Chloe Kim (USA) gave world-class performances through variable weather conditions to finish on top, and walked away with $2,500 USD each.
Chloe Kim © Phil EricksonOver the last week, sixty of the world’s top riders have experienced a non-traditional snowboarding event like no other in New Zealand, competing in world-class snowboarding events and classic kiwi-inspired off-snow team activities. In an effort to earn points towards their overall team standings, yesterday’s unique event also drew numerous slopestyle competitors back to compete in halfpipe. In the end, thanks to his strategic fantasy draft picks, local Kiwi Carlos Garcia Knight’s team stood victorious and split the $70,000 USD earnings, with each rider receiving $7,000 USD. To add to this, Christy Prior (NZL) and Tyler Nicholson (CAN) received Burton’s Total Comfort award, and earned $500 USD for performing the most impressive and stylish trick throughout the week. For the complete list of teams, head here.
As the women began to drop, the clouds rolled over the perfect bluebird sky, and covered the resort with a fresh snowfall. Shortly thereafter, the sun came back out, and the changing conditions couldn’t stop young halfpipe specialist Chloe Kim (USA) from boosting her way into first place on her first run. Through the low visibility, Chloe set the bar high for the women, sending a massive backside air into a frontside 540, McTwist, and a corked frontside 720 before finishing with an impressive corked cab 720, which earned a 92.60. China’s Xuetong Cai landed her last run with an 86.40 to put her in second place, and fellow Burton rider Hikaru Ooe (JPN) took third place with an 85.40.
“I’m really happy about how everything turned out,” said 14-year-old Chloe Kim, who finished second at the 2013 Burton High Fives. “When we came up here this morning the weather was windy and snowy, but turned out to be really good.”
The unpredictable weather did not deter the men’s field either. Burton’s Yiwei Zhang (CHN) dominated with amplitude, technicality and style on his first run, which included a frontside 1080, cab double cork 1080, double cork 900, corked backside 540 and finally, a frontside double cork 1080 which earned him 91.00. In a historic day for the sport, yesterday marked the first time a male Chinese rider has finished first in any international snowboarding competition. To round out the men’s podium, Seamus O’Connor (IRL), who also competed in slopestyle finals yesterday placed second with a 90.60, and Nathan Johnstone (AUS) finished third with an 88.60.
Yiwei Zhang © Phil Erickson
At night, the entertainment continued at Bullock Bar in Wanaka. During the official Burton High Fives after party, competitors and fans enjoyed an exclusive screening of the newly released ‘Burton Presents’ Jussi Oksanen and Mikey Rencz and Snowboarder Magazine’s full movie “Foreword”.
For the full list of results and team highlights from the week, head here and follow the hashtag #BurtonHighFives. The 2014 Burton High Fives is a 5star event on the World Snowboard Tour and marks the first stop of the Burton Global Event Series.
The 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI continued today with slopestyle finals at Wanaka’s Cardrona Alpine Resort. Olympian and two-time Burton High Fives winner Jamie Anderson (USA) and Emil Ulsletten (NOR) walked away with the titles, and $2,500 USD each.
© Lorenz Holder
Over the last four days, sixty of the world’s top snowboarders have experienced a snowboarding event like no other in New Zealand, competing in world-class snowboarding events and classic kiwi-inspired off-snow team activities. On Monday, riders were treated to an adrenaline-filled afternoon of activities at the Oxbow Adventure lodge, followed by a fantasy draft team selection auction where it was announced the team with the most points at the end of the week will walk away with $70,000 USD, or $7,000 to each rider. Teams had a blast on Tuesday at the MINI Off-Road challenge where they had the opportunity to bond while driving MINI Countryman Cooper S All4 vehicles around a muddy, off-road course. Today, after a morning practice session for both men and women, the Burton High Fives slopestyle finals got under way with the best of two runs format, which allowed for an exciting competition in spite of the windy conditions.
Jamie Anderson © Phil Erickson
While strong winds threatened to deter riders during both the men’s and women’s competitions, athletes charged through the course regardless of the weather. In combination with the unique course, fans witnessed incredible snowboarding all day long. Competitors were faced with navigating through back-to-back wall ride MINI features followed by a unique urban inspired street rail setup that left ample room for creativity. A fourth feature consisted of a cannon rail next to a giant cable reel, which was placed right before three perfectly shaped jumps that wrapped up the course created by the Cardrona Parks NZ shape crew.
Chloe Kim © Phil Erickson
Sochi gold medalist Jamie Anderson set the bar high for the women right from her first run where she linked a frontside wallride to a backside nose slide into a backside tailslide, 50-50 backside 180 out off the cannon rail into a cab 540, frontside 360 and a huge back side 540 to finish with a 94.00. Taking second place was Burton rider Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) who scored an 87.80 on her run that included a highly technical cab 270 boardslide to regular through the tricky rail section. New Zealand local and team captain Christy Prior (NZL) rounded out the podium with a run that showcased her signature front side Rodeo 540 and earned her an 86.80.
For the men, Emil Ulsletten (NOR) set the tone on his first drop with a run that included the perfect mix of style, technicality and variety to give him the win with an 88.40. Emil started off with a 50-50 to boardslide to fakie, followed by a switch tailslide 270 out from off the top of the second wallride. Coming through the rail section he continued with a cab 270 boardslide to fakie into a huge frontside bluntslide 450 off the cannon rail, followed by a frontside 900, switch backside 1260 and a rarely seen frontside Rodeo 1080. Young Burton rider Darcy Sharpe (CAN) closed in on his second run to land on his feet for second place with an 85.20, while Yuki Kadono (JPN) took third with an 83.40.
Emil Ulsletten © Phil Erickson
Notable mentions go to three Burton riders. First up, Mikey Ciccarelli (CAN) narrowly missed out on the podium by coming in fourth place. Halfpipe specialist Chloe Kim (USA) had an impressive fifth place finish outside of her comfort zone with a switch backside 180, and Ben Ferguson (USA) threw down a flawless backside rodeo stalefish that proved he isn’t confined to the halfpipe either.
The Burton High Fives will wrap up tomorrow with halfpipe finals where Burton riders Taku Kiroaka (JPN) and Ayumu Hirano (JPN) will look to repeat their 2013 Burton High Fives Halfpipe podium finishes. The final results will also determine which team will equally split the $70,000 USD team award. For the full list of results, highlights from the team competitions throughout the week, and current team standings, head here. For the complete list of teams, head here. For real-time event news, follow the hashtag #BurtonHighFives.
To catch all the action, watch the webcast on www.burton.com/HighFives
The countdown has begun for SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2015 BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT). All of the world class athletes who will be battling the lines of the prestigious tour have been confirmed and have now stepped into preparation mode.
British rider Sascha Hamm will once again be riding in the tour.
Defending champions ready and four continents represented
All of the four defending champions in skiing and snowboarding are back in the game on the FWT 2015! Right now they are preparing to take up the fight with fellow riders from no less than four continents. Besides the defending champions the riders list features Olympians, Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) champions, wild cards and injury come-backs.
Snowboard – Men
The riders list for snowboarding includes the top 2 men from the FWQ 2014 region 1 and 2 where the winners were Camille Armand (FRA) and Colin Boyd (USA).
The wild cards have been given to 2013 FWT champion Ralph Backstrom (USA) and 2012 FWT champion Jonathan Charlet (FRA) who is back from injury (injury wild card).
The top 8 riders from last year's FWT are automatically qualified and all of them are present again with current FWT champion Emilien Badoux (SUI) at the top. Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA) is excited about the new destinations. He already knows Andorra, having won an FWQ there in 2011 before making his spot on the FWT: “I'm excited to return to Andorra – this time for the FWT! The organization there was awesome last time and they took excellent care of us.” As for Alaska, this would be totally new territory and “the realization of a dream for me”, the experienced French rider reveals.
Snowboard – Women
Top 4 women from last season are back, with champion Shannan Yates (USA) at the top. The newcomers from the two FWQ regions are the winners of the women's FWQ, Anouck Mouthon (FRA) and Mary Celia Boddington (USA). Margot Rozies (FRA) decided to end her career as a professional athlete. A wild card has been awarded to Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI) who won the FWT title back in 2011.
Defending world champion in women's snowboarding, Shannan Yates from the US, is impatient to be back and of course to go for the title again. “I look forward to being a part of this community of amazing athletes. I feel that the female athletes continue to raise the bar and push harder, they are adding freestyle, big airs and speed! I hope to ride strong and finish well.”
Ski – Men
The newcomers are the winners of the 2014 FWQ region 1 and 2, Leo Slemett (FRA) and Kyle Taylor (USA), along with their respective overall FWQ podium companions.
One of the wild cards is Ivan Malakhov (RUS) who managed to take part in FWQ events of both regions in 2014 and notably skied a spectacular 2nd place line in the Andorra FWQ event El Dorado Freeride 4* Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra. The last 4 wild cards given in the men's skiing have been awarded to: Markus Eder (ITA), who had a break from the FWT in 2014 to enter the Olympic slopestyle competition, Wille Lindberg (SWE), who had two FWT podiums in 2013, Drew Tabke (USA), – FWT champion 2013 and Felix Wiemers (GER). Charlie Lyons (NZL) is back on an injury wild card and ready – showing great come-back form by winning the FWQ 3* The North Face® Freeski Open NZ 2014 earlier this month.
The top 16 from last year automatically qualified. One of these is 6-time FWT-skier, Stefan Häusl (AUT) who is as motivated as ever: “Staying motivated is pretty easy for me. I always dreamed about being a professional athlete. And since a kid I loved skiing. To me, it is the best life I can have at the moment. I can make a living from the sport I love the most.”
Ski – Women
Already revealed earlier this month was the kiwi come-back on the women's ski side with Janina Kuzma (NZL) returning to the FWT after an Olympic escapade in half-pipe. Eva Walkner (AUT) will be back on the FWT on an injury wild card.
Qualified from the FWQ are the top 2 women of both regions with Lotten Rapp (SWE) and Ashley Maxfield (USA) as the winners.
Top 7 from last year is back again with strong representation from the US, Austria and Sweden featuring two-time FWT champion, Nadine Wallner (AUT), and former FWT champion Christine Hargin (SWE). Unfortunately Pia Nic Gundersen (NOR) is injured and won't be able to compete this coming season. Jaclyn Paaso (USA) is especially excited about the FWT stop in Alaska: “This season I'm really looking forward to the Alaska event. I would love to represent the U.S. at this event in North America.”
Besides the pleasure of riding well and being part of the FWT community, the riders can look forward to a total FWT prize money pool of more than 400,000 USD.
On the athletic side
The athletes are currently preparing for the season in their respective corners of the world. Jaclyn Paaso has had a busy summer mountain biking and is now in ski prep mode and impatient for the season to start: “Preparation for this season is going well, I had a little set back while training for the UCI Down Hill World Cup (mountain biking) this summer but it hasn't stopped me from getting work done in the gym. I think I'll be coming into this season stronger than ever. I can't wait for winter!” Others have been doing surfing, slackline and rock climbing in addition to gym work. “Fitness is a key part in performing well on the tour,” as world champion Shannan Yates says. She has been doing hill climbs, road biking and altitude trail running besides her core training routines to be strong for the demanding season in sight.
Nicolas Hale-Woods, General Manager of the FWT, is impressed with how the sport is evolving: “On the athletic side, we can look forward to an intense battle between a very dense field of excellent riders. It will be nothing less than spectacular! There has been a continuous and solid progression of the sport, and we see more airs featuring freestyle tricks and big amplitude. The mix of the classic FWT stops and the new destinations will make it possible for all riders to re-interpret and be creative and put on a great show for the fans.”
This year again, it will be possible to follow all of the runs of the riders on live broadcasts from all of the events, starting with Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, on January 24, 2015.
With over £400,000 raised since the event began in 2008, we are firm supporters of the annual Monster Ski challenge, that raises funds and awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. The Trust works to enable people with MS live their lives to the full by providing evidence-based information; educating health professionals about multiple sclerosis; and funding research to help people living with MS now.
If you want to help the cause, whilst sliding 3 times the height of Everest, then why not join this year's challenge?
The MS Trust is looking for skiers and snowboarders to join its Monster Ski challenge in Chamonix next March, where they will ski the height of Mount Everest every day to raise funds to help people with multiple sclerosis.
Monster Ski is being held from 13-17 March 2015 in Chamonix to raise funds for the MS Trust, a charity that trains specialist nurses and provides information for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
For each of the three days of the challenge, participants will attempt to ski 30,000 vertical feet - that’s the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest every day!
This charity event offers a unique way to experience the Chamonix Valley, whilst being part of something really special to benefit people living with an unpredictable life-long condition.
Sarah Burgess from Southampton, who took part in Monster Ski in 2014, said “The trip was jam-packed from start to finish, with no time for Glühwein stops or sunbathing! The camaraderie was excellent and everyone returned home feeling accomplished and proud of our achievements. I would certainly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a ski trip with a difference – pushing yourself to the limit on the slopes, whilst at the same time raising money for a great cause.”
This will be the MS Trust’s seventh Monster Ski challenge, and the second in Chamonix, and the charity is looking for 25 skiers and snowboarders to take part. If you would like to get involved, you can register now for just £150, plus a pledge to raise £1,500 in sponsorship.
Included in the price are flights and transfers, accommodation (bed and breakfast), a three day lift pass and ski guides who will lead small groups during the challenge. The MS Trust will provide lots of support and advice to help you raise your sponsorship, as well as putting you in touch with other Monster Skiers so you can share fundraising ideas.
For more information about Monster Ski, please visit the official website or contact Jess Wright at the MS Trust on 01462 476707.
The world's leading freeride events return for the 14-15 season, and we here at SCUK will be bringing you news on the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face all season long. To get you up to speed on the new season, here are all the dates and details of what promises to be another killer year on tour...
Men’s and women’s categories at every event, exciting new venues, and the biggest prize purse yet highlight the upcoming season.
The Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face® brings you further details for the coming season, giving an exciting look at the future of the tour. New events in Andorra and Alaska highlight the revamped schedule, with the good news that both men’s and women’s will be competing at every stop of 2015. In Alaska, FWT management has narrowed the field down to two possible host resorts with the necessary terrain and facilities, and final confirmation of the event’s location will be announced in the coming weeks. With the biggest prize purse ever, the 2015 Freeride World Tour is primed to go off like never before.
The tour kicks off with three events in Europe, first at proven destinations Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, on January 24, and Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria, on January 31, followed by the newly-added Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra, on February 14. Then, on March 14, the tour will make its historic first visit to Alaska, bringing with it a select group of both male and female athletes; the top 16 Ski Men, 8 Snowboard Men, 7 Ski Women and 5 Snowboard Women after the first three events (60% of the total field) secure their spot.
An event in Alaska has long been a fantasy scenario for many tour riders. Freeride World Champion 2013 and 2014 Nadine Wallner (AUT) said, “Alaska is the spot to be for the freeski scene. That’s why it’s supercool that the girls will also participate in the Alaska stage. I’m glad we’ll have four stops before the finals in Verbier take place. I hope it will snow heavily!”
Perennial standout in the women’s ski field, Jackie Paaso (USA) said, “The women have been stepping up the level of skiing on the FWT at every contest, and I’m very pleased with the change to have us at all stops. I really look forward to welcoming back to the tour 2014 Sochi Olympian Janina Kuzma (NZ) and Injury Wildcard Eva Walkner (AUT) -- those ladies always put on a great show!”
After the event in Alaska, qualifying men and women then continue to the always-thrilling world finals in Switzerland, the Xtreme Verbier, on March 28. Additionally, with a smaller group of athletes and one fewer tour stop than past years, the prize purse is richer than ever before, with $400,000 up for grabs throughout the 2015 season.
Burton Snowboards announced today that the 3rd annual Burton High Fives presented by MINI will take place at Cardrona Alpine Resort, located between Wanaka and Queenstown, New Zealand from September 14th–20th, 2014. High Fives is a truly unique, six-day event that will bring together 60 of the world’s top pro and rookie snowboarders for halfpipe and slopestyle contests, along with adventure-filled, top-secret, off-snow team activities
The invitational event marks the first of the multi-stop Burton Global Event Series and the second consecutive year Cardrona will host the competition.
2014 Burton High Fives presented by MINI Competition Schedule
Monday, September 15th: Off-Snow Team Selection
Tuesday, September 16th: Off-Snow Team Activities
Friday, September 19th: Slopestyle Finals
Saturday, September 20th: Halfpipe Finals
This year, the event will start with a team selection party on September 15th. In true High Fives fashion, the details of the team selection will be kept a secret from the riders until they arrive on-site in New Zealand. On September 16th, the newly formed teams will take part in surprise off-hill activities that will take them through the surrounding Wanaka area. The good times will be captured on video so fans can watch all the action at home.
Next up, the classic snowboarding competition portion of Burton High Fives takes center stage with world-class men’s and women’s slopestyle and halfpipe contests on September 19th and 20th. The field will be packed with the sport’s best riders, including Olympians Stale Sandbech, Ayumu Hirano, Jamie Anderson and Kaitlyn Farrington, plus some of the world’s best up and coming rookies. To celebrate and support New Zealand’s homegrown talent, four Kiwi riders will also be selected to compete in this year’s event. The competition format is best of three runs, and judges will focus on overall impression as riders compete for an USD $80,000 purse prize.
The on-snow portion of the event is free and open to the public. A lift ticket may be required for the best viewing location. For those not in New Zealand, Burton High Fives will be available to watch via an exclusive webcast that will be delayed, allowing for optimal airtimes for fans to watch worldwide. Additionally, the competition will be televised worldwide, so stay tuned for those details.
The Burton High Fives is a World Snowboard Tour 5Star event. For more information, including details on invited athletes, complete television and webcast schedules, as well as daily highlight videos showcasing on and off-snow events, follow the hashtag #BurtonHighFives and go to www.Burton.com/HighFives
After a short break in the 2014-2015 season, the World Snowboard Tour will be back in August presenting the Southern Hemisphere events. Kicking off with the 4 Star Slopestyle Mile High by Carlton Dry August 25th-27th best snowboard action is guaranteed as riders from all over the world are eager to battle over the $15.000,- prize purse in Perisher park. Australia has just seen the best start to a winter in over 10 years with 180 cms of snow falling last week, and more big snowfalls coming.
With the current conditions Australia will see excellent parks built in early July and great spring park sessions going right through till late August. For more details check www.themilehigh.com.au or www.australianslopestyletour.com
“The Mile high is like the perfect session, gift wrapped in a contest setting just the way the riders like it. The riders shred until they feel like the can really throw down and get a scored run on demand; that promotes both progression and style. A truly unique event and one of the best in the industry.” Torstein Horgmo
The week after, from September 1st-3rd the Tour moves on to another great spot in Australia for the second event of the Australian Slopestyle tour; 4 Star Stylewars in Falls Creek, Victoria. Another $15.000,- to battle for. In addition the Mile High winners have a unique chance to start their season with a cash bonus, as main sponsor Carlton Dry introduces the ‘Double Down’. This is a cash bonus prize for any rider who wins both Australian Slopestyle Tour events – The additional cash prize pool is $50,000 and is divided equally between the men’s and woman’s divisions, meaning a potential of $25,000 bonus in both men’s and women’s divisions. Big name acts and parties will support both events to make a visit an unforgettable experience for riders as well as guests.
For detailed information check www.australianslopestyletour.com
On the 5 Star level the tour will continue with the 3rd edition of the Burton High Fives in Cardrona, New Zealand from September 14-20, with Slopestyle and Halfpipe competition for men and women taking place on the last 2 days. The webcast will show the entire competition and will be accessible via www.burton.com/HighFives which is also the portal for the latest details on the event. An $80.000 prize purse will be up for battle. #BurtonHighFives
As announced last Month at the TTR General Assembly in Barcelona, the World Snowboard Tour is currently in the process of updating its structure. The aim is to implement the new 4-tiered system October 1st 2014. All events on the 14-15 Calendar held prior to that date, will still be ran under the current tour structure, with the Star level intact. These events will be converted into the new structure upon implementation. For more information on the World Snowboard Tour and it’s upcoming events check www.worldsnowboardtour.com
Successful collaboration between riders, top events, nations and the snowboard industry makes way for a unified contest series in freestyle snowboarding.
The world of snowboarding is moving closer to a new professional unified tour following the TTR Pro Snowboarding annual general assembly meetings this past week in Barcelona. TTR, a non-profit organization and owner and operator of the World Snowboard Tour, Snowboard Live Scoring System (SLS) and the World Snowboarding Points List, hosted the meeting together with World Snowboard Federation (WSF), an organization comprised of 46 member nations across 4 continents and co-owner of the WCS and SLS. Over the course of two days, 100 participants representing all facets of competitive snowboarding, as well as top international riders like Kjersti Buaas, Torstein Horgmo and Stale Sandbech, met to discuss the future of the World Snowboard Tour and unanimously agreed that the future is now.
For the first time, the world's top riders, event organizers, and major industry representatives, together with the snowboard nations, have agreed on one united concept for the future of the World Snowboard Tour.
With this unanimous decision, the TTR Pro Snowboarding and World Snowboard Tour have created the foundation necessary to build competitive freestyle snowboarding into the pre-eminent global snowboard media and communication platform. By building a mutually advantageous partnership between TTR, the riders, and the events, coupled with a compelling commercialization model, the TTR aims to build snowboarding into the most exciting winter sport and unite the snowboard community under one roof.
Grand support for new World Snowboard Tour 2.0 concept amongst events and riders
Supported by the world's best snowboarders and the foremost international events, the members of the TTR General Assembly approved the creation of an Elite Tour and a World Qualifying Tour. With the new concept, the tour will be reduced from six to four competition levels. The three levels Regional, National and International events, in the categories Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air, will make up the qualifying tour. Riders will actively compete on this level to determine who will move into the Elite Tour. The Elite tour will feature the best events in the world and will host only the top riders.
Further underscoring the support for the new tour proposal, TTR and the events, the top snowboard athletes have expressed their desire to commit to participate at all the World Snowboard Tour's top contests. In an effort to reciprocate such support and highlight the important role that the riders play on the Tour, the TTR formally recognized the newly organized Riders Association, representing female and male Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air riders and lead by an interim board until a full board can be installed, as a formal member of TTR and has been given up to 4 seats on the TTR Board of Directors.
“We are motivated to align to unify competitive snowboarding and create one consistent World Series where all the best riders take part”, says three times X Games winner Torstein Horgmo.
IMG and TTR to implement extensive development plan
Global sports and media expert, IMG, with which TTR has had a working relationship with over the last 5 years, will launch a profound partnership in marketing, sponsorship and central TV production/distribution, which will set a steady economic foundation for the flourishing of the World Snowboard Tour.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for the sport to move forward from both a commercial and media standpoint. IMG is committed to investing and growing the World Snowboard Tour in both awareness and exposure on a global scale. We plan to enhance the platform we have built over the past five years and maximise the potential the sport undoubtedly has. We see a very bright future ahead for Snowboarding." Adam Kelly, Head of Business Development, SVP, IMG Media.
Board of TTR Pro Snowboarding strengthened
A new board for TTR Pro Snowboarding was elected, adding 10 new international members, with expertise ranging from event organization, marketing and sponsorship, to nation and rider representation.
Reto Lamm, president of the TTR Pro Snowboarding said "All the attendants were aware that the timeframe after the Olympic Games is ideal for the reformation of the World Snowboard Tour. The energy and consistency with which the concept of the World Snowboard Tour 2.0 was developed, discussed and finally decided without any dissenting votes is overwhelming. TTR is strengthening the ties between the events, riders and nations. Never before have such a solid and unified snowboard environment gotten together to shape the snowboarding future.”
The International Ski Federation (FIS) organised World Snow Day has published its results for its third staging which took place on 19th January this year.
World Snow Day is part of the FIS’s ‘Bring Children to the Snow’ campaign which essentially tries to encourage more families and children to try snowsports and then stick with it.
On the day itself hundreds of ski resorts around the world organise fun events, teaching and free or discounted lift passes for kids and families. Many of these services are offered free of charge or at a good saving.
In the end 610 different ski areas, dry slopes, snowdomes and other organisers took part in the third World Snow Day in 35 countries around the world and 549,000 people took part – making it the biggest and most successful yet.
Planning for the 2015 event, which will take place on 18th January 2015, is already well underway with most of those who staged events last year saying they plan to take part again, and new organisers already being added with the likely result that World Snow Day 2015 will be bigger still.
The full report is available download at: http://world-snow-day.com/en/WSD/Final_Reports/2014
Livigno in the Italian Alps has announces a new European Freeride Festival will be staged in the resort from January 31st to February 4th 2015 next season.
Describing the Festival as, “A unique event dedicated to the powder passionate from all over Europe,” Livigno say they have already committed to staging the event for the next three winters at least, to 2017.
Livigno has been moving more and more in to the freeride market, launching the Freeride Project last autumn 2013, and working to significantly strengthened the resort’s offer with more backcountry routes, daily avalanche bulletins, new itineraries for ski touring, heliski services and free workshops with the local Mountain Guides in order to find out more about equipment and the self-help techniques.
“Organising an international event dedicated to freeride is the natural evolution of our effort in this direction,” said Luca Moretti, President of the Livigno Touristic Promotion company.
“Hosting the European Freeride Festival we would like to give everyone the opportunity to approach the freeride world, spreading the culture and awareness of this practice with safety.”
The European Freeride Festival will be open to everyone, say the organisers. Snowboard, ski, telemark, ski touring and further disciplines will be included and everyone from novice to expert will be welcome to take part.
The programme will offer competitive moments with freeride and ski touring contests open to ski, snowboard, telemark, men and women, pro and amateur categories, as well as guided tours on resort itineraries and the possibility of heliski tours for the most experienced.
A Freeride village will be hosted in cooperation with the Pro Shop Test to try all the season tecnhnical products, Freeride Camps for all levels, from basics to advanced workshops with guides and experts to learn how to deal with the most difficult paths. The Freeride Film Festival will enliven the evenings and there will be parties and other social moments to meet other passionates from all over Europe as well as international guests.
The 2015 European Freeride Festival date has been strategically placed between the end of Burton European Open in Laax and the start of ISPO trade-fair in Munich (February 5-8), during the Freeride World Tour European stops, in order to allow the passionate as well as professionals, media and pro athletes to participate. The organisation will offer a bus service from Livigno to Munich on February the 4th to support the sector professionals in their travel to ISPO.
After a grueling season spanning 43 of the world’s premier ski resorts, the 2014 Freeride World Qualifier tour is over. Jaw-dropping action and suspenseful last-minute ranking changes made FWQ 2014 one to remember. After the final event of the year in Big Sky, USA, 16 riders from the four disciplines have secured their spots on the 2015 Freeride World Tour.
Rider ranking on the FWQ is broken into two regions -- Region 1 draws athletes from Europe, Asia, and Oceania, while Region 2 encompasses North and South America. This year the top three ski men, two snowboard men, two ski women and one snowboard woman from each region are advancing to FWT 2015. That is six fewer riders than last year, a sign of the ever more competitive and elite rider pool at the top level.
A record number of events -- 36 -- took place in Region 1 countries this season, offering riders more chances than ever to gain experience, travel and build their ranking. Snowboard Women winner Anouck Mouthon (FRA) worked hard all year, competing in seven events, and she will join her sister Elodie Mouthon (FRA) on the FWT next year. For ski women, Lotten Rapp (SWE) took the overall victory, followed by Silvia Moser (ITA) who will be the first female Italian FWT rider since Giulia Monego.
In Snowboard Men, though Flo Orley (AUT) won the points race, he had already successfully maintained his spot with solid results on the FWT, so the second- and third-ranked riders qualified -- Camille Armand (FRA) and Alexander Hoffman (AUT).
For ski men, Léo Slemett (FRA) took a well-deserved tour victory, capped with a win at the 4-star event in Nendaz, Switzerland. Slemett originally qualified for the FWT by a third place at the FWQ in 2012, lost his FWT spot after 2013, and will now be back in the big leagues in 2015 after his stellar performance this year. “I took my FWT experience back to the FWQ and that really helped me progress. But the level on the qualifier tour is really impressive! The riders give 100% because they have nothing to lose – if you’ve never seen an FWQ 4-star even you have to go,” said Slemett. He was closely followed by Fabian Lentsch (AUT), whose insane winning run at the event in Obergurgl quickly went viral online. Jordan Bricheux (FRA) took the third and final spot.
Difficult conditions in the Americas saw a handful of cancelled events, making the seven remaining events especially intense for Region 2 competitors. For Women Snowboard, Mary Boddington (USA) turned in a convincing victory, only entering three events but winning every one, beating her nearest challenger by 1,600 points.
Ski Women champion Hazel Birnbaum (USA) started her winning campaign back in August when she won the first 4-star event of the year at El Colorado, Chile. Ashley Maxfield (USA) took second, regaining her spot on the FWT after losing it in 2013.
The Snowboard Men winner was Colin Boyd (USA), a 2014 FWT rider who placed below the FWT cut, but re-won his spot by winning two consecutive late-season events in Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra and Telluride, USA. Galvin Christopher (USA) secured his spot with a second place finish at the final event of the year in Big Sky, USA.
Kyle Taylor won Ski Men, capping off a hard-fought season featuring a victory at the 4-star Crested Butte, USA event and a second place at the finale in Big Sky. Juan Bergada (ARG) will join fellow Argentine skier Nicolas Salencon on next year’s tour. 21 year-old George Rodney (USA) rounded out the qualified men and will be one of the youngest riders on next year’s FWT.
There seems to be no limit to the FWQ -- the level of riding continues to reach unbelievable heights and more events are added every season. From Switzerland to Chile to Canada to Scotland – the list of host countries and partners continues to expand. And with the infusion of talent, passion and energy that the FWQ riders bring to the FWT, the sport looks to continue on its upward trajectory. Stay tuned, the show is just getting started!
Sunset, lifestyle and helicopter shoots, as well as, jib sessions and a fantastic contest day all added up to a great introduction of snowboarding to the 2014 Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill in Livigno, Italy. Get a piece of the epic action in the snowboard edit, which celebrates the awesome riders such as big air contest winner Elena Könz (SUI), the “Best Overall” snowboarder Isabel Derungs (SUI), “Style Queen” Klaudia Medlova (SVK) and many more.
Here's the Nine Queens snowboard video edit.
The Monster Energy Shred Show continued yesterday under bluebird skies at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival with the snowboard Slopestyle in the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb Mountain. In the best of three run format it was Kyle Mack who took the top spot on the podium, Sebastien Toutant in a close second, and Matts Kulisek rounding out the podium in third.
The Shred Show Slopestyle is a 5 Star invitational event on the World Snowboard Tour drawing some of the top snowboard athletes from around the globe. Kyle Mack (USA) landed his second podium of the Shred Show after a second place in the Big Air on Saturday night. Mack’s picture perfect first run, including a 50/50 pole jam frontside 180 to switch 50/50 to switch 180 out, backside lipslide, frontside 360 tail grab nose tap, frontside 900 tail grab, switch backside 1260, and a backside double cork 1080 japan grab, resulted in a score of 86.50, keeping him in the lead for the rest of the competition and earning him the $15,000 grand prize.
Canadian Sebastien Toutant pulled out his best in his third and final slopestyle run for a score of 85.22 earning him second place and $6,000 in prize money. Toutant’s run included a backside lipslide, frontside boardslide down the kink to fakie, cab 360 boardslide, cab double cork 1260, frontside 1080, to a backside double cork 1080.
Finally, Canadian Matts Kulisek rounded out the podium in third place with a score of 82.33, earning him $4,000 in prize money. Kulisek’s run consisted of a frontside tailslide 270 out, gap to backside lipslide, frontside 540 nose tap, cab 1080, switch backside 900 late cork, to a frontside 1260.
Complete results from the Monster Energy Shred Show can be found online at: www.worldsnowboardtour.com
Photo Credit: Patrick Hui
The Monster Energy Shred Show kicked off the sporting events at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival last night with the snowboard Big Air in front of a huge, energetic crowd at the base of Whistler Mountain. Max Eberhardt (CAN) was able to start the Shred Show off on the right foot taking first place followed by Kyle Mack (USA) in a close second, and Justin Morgan (USA) in third.
The Shred Show Big Air is a five star invitational event on the World Snowboard Tour and attracted some of the top big air athletes this year. All 24 riders dug deep into their bag of tricks, impressing the crowd over the 70 foot jump with 10 moving through to the Super Final. Throwing down a perfect backside triple cork 1440 mute grab on his second hit for a score of 95.33, Eberhardt was able to hang on to first place to take home $15,000. With a score of 93.55, Kyle Mack’s also pulled out the backside triple cork 1440 mute grab, putting him in second place to earn $6,000. Justin Morgan took third place and $4,000 in prize money with his stylish switch backside double cork 1260 stalefish grab and a score of 92.00.
The Monster Energy Shred Show continues on Sunday with the Slopestyle, also a five star invitational on the World Snowboard Tour, and on Monday with the Boarderstyle event. Both events will run in the Nintendo Terrain Park at Whistler Blackcomb.
For complete results from the Shred Show please visit: www.wssf.com/event/shred-show
Photo Credit: Michael Overbeck
An article on NBC Sports has suggested slopestyle could be dropped from the Winter Olympic line-up because the injury rates are unacceptable.
Might slopestyle’s first Olympics have been its last?
Ski and snowboard slopestyle have “the potential” to be dropped from the Olympics if they don’t lessen “unacceptably high” injury rates, said an International Olympic Committee official who monitors Olympian injuries.
“Right now the injury rate as it was in Sochi was too high to be a sport that we have in the Olympics,” said Lars Engebretsen, head of scientific activities at the IOC’s medical and scientific department, according to The Associated Press.
Engebretsen said ski and snowboard slopestyle injury rates were “much higher than any other sport in Sochi.”
Shaun White pulled out of snowboard slopestyle one day before the competition, citing injury risk. Another medal threat, Norway’s Torstein Horgmo, broke a collarbone in a training crash in Sochi and withdrew. Canadian favorite Mark McMorris suffered a broken rib at the Winter X Games on Jan. 25 and won bronze in Sochi behind American Sage Kotsenburg.
“I can say what I feel: That sport should change, otherwise we shouldn’t have it. But the IOC may not follow that,” Engebretsen told the AP in Monaco, calling slopestyle “problematic.” “Something has to be done with that sport.”
Another new Olympic sport, ski halfpipe, had seen more major injuries among its elite competitors in the months and years leading into the Olympics, but Engebretsen focused on slopestyle.
“Slopestyle is exciting,” Engebretsen told the AP. “But it’s just become, right now anyway, too exciting.”
The final day of the 2014 VÖLKL WORLD ROOKIE FINALS (WST 3 star) proved that the future of snowboarding is in good hands. The world’s best young snowboarders presented an amazing show at the snowpark Ischgl showcasing an impressive level of riding. For the first time in the history of the tour, the title of the World Rookie Champion is going to Japan conquered by Keita Inamura.
We were on our way back from the Brits when we heard from Hamish McKnight that unless the judges had got it horribly wrong, Katie Ormerod had just won the World Rookie Tour finals. And so it was, 16 year old Katie from Great Britain topped the podium in first as best Rookie girl.
The contest format was judged in an overall impression – the best of three runs counts for the final ranking.
Katie Ormerod (GBR) grabbed the female World Rookie Champion title impressing with a Cab 180 Indy and a cool Backside 720 Mute on the first two jumps followed by a 50-50 to Boardslide, another 50-50, a super stylish Frontside Boardslide before closing off with a Nose Bonk on the pinkball.
The UK's Rowan Coultas finished in 5th overall in the Rookie Boys, so some great results for UK snowboarding.
Katie Ormerod © Gustav Ohlsson
More photos on Facebook.
Keita Inamura (JPN) ended up as the best rider of the day killing it with a massive ride that would have placed well in an adult high class comp. The 17-years old shredhead went all out in his third run performing a Backside 1260 Melon and a Switch Backside 1260 Melon on the kickers, entering the jib-area with a Lip to Front Boardslide Gap 50-50 followed by a 50-50 Frontside 360 out and a Backside 360 on the pinkball - a solid basis for the young rider who received a wild card to the first edition of the Air & Style 2014/15.
The Japanese wings were flying high this year: on the Groms’ front it was Kaito Hamada (JPN) who took home the title of the best Grom with a huge run that would have placed him at fourth position in the Rookie category: Cab 900 Melon, Backside 900 Melon, Cab Hardway in Gap to Boardslide followed by a Front Boardslide 270 out and leaving the jib-area with a Bonk 720 on the pinkball.
Best Grom girl is Elli Pikkujamsa (FIN) who showed a Cab 540 Tail Grab and a Backside 360 Indy in the jumps, a 50-50 Ollie Tailbonk out, then a 50-50 Frontboardslide followed by a 50-50 Frontside 180 out and a Half Cab on the pinkball.
The Rookies and Groms took home prizes for an overall value of 20.000 US Dollar: 2 all-inclusive trips to the 2014 South America Rookie Fest in Chile, a wildcard to the first edition of next season’s Air & Style, a filming session with Pirate Movie Productions, an Onboard photo-shooting, the Golden Ticket to all World Rookie Tour stops 2014/15, a couple of invitations to the 2014 World Rookie Tour events in Livigno, Monte Bondone and Ischgl, and many other prizes by the sponsors of the event - Völkl , Red Bull, Ischgl, Blue-Tomato, Pieps and Kopfarbeit.
There are many reasons to celebrate the weeklong Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O'Neill that took place in Livigno, Italy.
We already know that the UK's Jenny Jones came 3rd for example.
In addition to the big air contest winners, the peer-voted awards determined the “Best Overall” skier and snowboarder, as well as, who had the "Best Style” and the "Best GoPro Shot”. An integral part of the event concept has always been the photo contest and this year saw the spotlight aimed at the people behind the lenses once again. The success of bringing together the ski and snowboard female pro’s for the first time shows in this amazing highlight edit.
The “Best GoPro Shot” saw a collection of insane shots. Two rippers who were set on nailing the shot were skiers Grete Eliassen and the UK's Katie Summerhayes, who used all the skills they learned in the GoPro workshop at the start of the week. The ambitious camera toss from Greta to Katie while on the GoPro axe box impressed fellow riders. The girls got 2000$ from GoPro!
Also, check out the photo contest results from Nine Queens, which saw this cracker of the UK's Jenny Jones from photographer Eleonora Raggi.
www.ninequeens.com and www.facebook.com/ninequeens
Taking place at Keystone Resort April 5th will be Community Cup 2014 (CC14), www.community-cup.com, presented by Volvo. CC14, a women’s snowboard and sustainability-focused zero-waste event, will be comprised of (30) professional snowboard athletes from around the globe, including fifteen 2014 Sochi Olympians competing in Slopestyle and Big Air for a prize purse of $25,000. A sustainable Community Village, celebrating through art and music and helping to bring more awareness to big dreams and small footprints, will also be a part of the event. Rounding out the afternoon will feature music by bands, Paperbird out of Denver, and Boulder’s own crooner Jeff Brinkman hosted on the Clean Water Tour stage. A fundraising organic lemonade stand –non-alcoholic and options to ‘spike’ are compliments of Breckenridge Distillery along with a beer tent offering responsibly brewed local beer with proceeds going to High Country Conservation for the 2014 Greenhouse at Colorado Mountain Project installation College facility in Breckenridge.
Chanelle Sladics, a former pro snowboarder herself, derived and created the event. “I just didn’t see any events out there that truly recognized and moved women’s snowboarding in the most progressive manner possible,” says Sladics. “The creation of the judging promises to showcase women’s talents far beyond what normal events demonstrate and athletes will be able to manifest their talent and execute their best tricks at this event!”
As the only event in the world recognized as a 5 Star women’s snowboarding event, Community Cup 2014 presented by Volvo, will feature pro snowboarders Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson, along with Great Britain’s bronze medalist Jenny Jones, and fellow Olympian contenders Kjersti Buass, Sarka Pancochova, Silje Norendal, Cheryl Maas, Christy Prior, Anna Gasser, to name a few. Athletes will be able to bring their semi-final scores into the finals and build off that score –with three additional runs for optimal progression. The event takes place at Keystone Resort in A51 Terrain Park starting on Saturday at 10am.
Gregor Hembrough, Vice-President of Volvo Western Region states, “Volvo Cars of North America is proud to sponsor the Community Cup 2014, joining with its organizers who share our core values of sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Volvo continues its focus on environmental sustainability through our new Drive-E Engine family, by lowering emissions and
providing both class leading Fuel Economy and Power for a superior driving experience, this event is truly a great fit for us.”
Community Cup 2014 will showcase professional athletes and Olympians competing in a friendly, progressive atmosphere. The whole event is executing a sustainable approach to food, water, reusables, festivities, recycling and utilizing recycling/organic materials in all Community Cup-specific banners and competitors’ bibs.
Sponsors of the Community Cup 2014 include Volvo, Keystone Resort, Go Pro, Kicker Audio, Clean Water Tour, Goal Zero, Kleen Kanteen, Transworld Snowboarding, GNU, Simply Straws, Breckenridge Distillery, Atayne, Monocera, Keystone Hospitality, and Aosa Printing. Community Cup has aligned with the following non-profits: B Corporation, Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, Protect our Winters, 1:1 Movement and High Country Conservation.
For event schedule and more information go to: www.community-cup.com.
For World Snowboard Tour Event Profile go to: http://www.worldsnowboardtour.com/events/community-cup-2014/
For daily event action go to Transworld Snowboarding: twsnow.com/communitycup.
With finals cancelled due to gale-force winds, yesterday's qualifying results stand.
Norway's Torgeir Bergrem was crowned winner of the tenth edition of the Grandvalira Total Fight earlier today in the El Tarter snowpark. Bergrem's was the highest-scoring run of Friday's qualifying session and, after today's finals were cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, it was enough to earn him the win, followed by Canada's Tyler Nicholson in second and Sean Ryan from the USA in third.
Torgeir Bergrem"I feel great, I'm very happy I won an event like this. Yesterday we had a really good day even though it was pretty windy, but I did my best and the judges liked my run, so I'm really happy," said Torgeir Bergrem after being declared winner of the Grandvalira Total Fight.
The Oslo local also mentioned "the quality of the course and features, and the excellent organization of the event."
Tyler Nicholson from Canada was hyped on his second place finish: "This is awesome! I came to Total Fight last year and ended up fifth, but getting on the podium this year is amazing."
A sunny day with light winds set the stage for Friday's qualifying session at the 10th edition of the Grandvalira Total Fight, the most prestigious slopestyle event in Southern Europe and a 5 Star World Snowboard Tour stop.
The El Tarter snowpark was flawless, thanks to the amazing job by the Coliflor Freestyle team, which gave the competitors the chance to showcase their best tricks. The course started off with two options, a pole jam to barrel or a down bar, followed by a gap to flat bar, into the jump section with two 18-meter kickers and ending with this year's new addition, with two options: gap to wallride or gap to ball bonk (aka the Döner Kebab), which was easily the most technical feature on the course.
Forty riders took part in today's qualifying session, from several countries including the USA, Canada, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, UK, Italy, Holland, Argentina and Spain. The four World Snowboard Tour judges divided the qualifying session into two heats of 20 riders, each of which had 3 runs to qualify for Saturday's final. The top 8 riders in each heat made it through to tomorrow's final.
Torgeir Bergrem qualified first with the highest-scoring run of the day, his run in Heat B included a cab 270 boardslide, switch boardslide, Frontside 1080, Backside 1080 and a Frontside 360 bonk.
In Heat A, Tyler Nicholson qualified first with a cab 270 Backside Lipslide 270 out, Backside Boardslide 270 out, Backside 1080 Double Cork Mute, Frontside 1080 flat spin and Frontside 360 Nosebonk.
Based on weather forecasts before the start of the event, the organizers, along with the World Snowboard Tour committee and the riders decided on modifying the contest format to include 3 runs in Friday's qualifying session as Saturday was looking extremely windy. This led to a highly charged qualifying session, with riders throwing their best tricks and not holding back at all, to the delight of the crowd in attendance. The forecast for Saturday turned out to be spot on, unfortunately, and after waiting for a few hours for any change in the gale-force winds, the riders and organizers decided to cancel the finals after all.
The total prize purse at Grandvalira Total Fight was US$ 50,000, with Torgeir Bergrem taking home US$ 20,924 (15,000€) for first place, US$ 13,939 (10,000 €)to Tyler Nicholson for second and US$ 6,975 (5,000 €) to Sean Ryan for third place.
Amongst the local Spanish riders, Nacho Pérez finished 25th, Rubén Vergés in 26th, Espadaler Vila 31st and Bernat Ripoll in 33rd.
Rubén Vergés, one of the top qualified Spanish riders, said he was "very happy to come out to an event like this, with so many good riders. It was a lot of fun, too bad I didn't make the cut, but we all saw who really rips on their snowboard at the Total Fight this year."
1) Torgeir Bergrem (NOR) 91.50
2) Tyler Nicholson (CAN) 91.25
3) Sean Ryan (USA) 90.25
4) Ulrik Badertscher (NOR) 89.50
5) Markus Olimstad (NOR) 87.50
6) Antoine Truchon (CAN) 86.00
7) Brage Richenberg (NOR) 83.25
8) Kyle Mack (USA) 83.00
9) Kalle Järvilehto (FIN) 78.50
10) Eric Beauchemin (USA) 77.50
11) Nuutti Niemela (FIN) 75.75
12) Kevin Kok (ITA) 69.25
13) Silas Moran (USA) 66.00
14) Billy Morgan (GBR) 64.50
15) Marco Grigis (ITA) 64.25
16) Ole Hagen (NOR) 64.00
The afterparty went off on Saturday night at the Electrosnow Festival, with some of the world's biggest EDM acts on stage.
Grandvalira Total Fight is sponsored by Andorra Turisme, San Miguel, Burton, Red Bull and Buff.
Time may be running out for some Olympic Winter Games host locations – including the 2014 host, Sochi (Russia) – according to an article in Current Issues in Tourism.
The article’s authors have analysed two climatic indicators – minimum temperature of ≤0°C and snow depth of ≥30cm – both from a historical point of view and using future projections. They find that only 10 of the 19 previous host locations for the Winter Games are expected to remain suitable in the 2050s, and as few as six by the 2080s. This will have a major impact on where – and how – future Winter Games can be staged.
Average February daytime temperatures of Winter Games locations have steadily increased, from 0.4°C in the period 1920–1950s, to 7.8°C in the twenty-first century. Given these trends, not all previous locations are likely to be suitable hosts for the Winter Games in future years.
The study focuses on two specific conditions to assess the suitability of host locations, namely the probability that minimum daily temperatures will be 0°C or lower, and the probability that the snow depth will be 30cm or more (with snowmaking capacity). They classify each of the 19 previous host locations for three time periods: baseline (1981–2010), 2050s (representing 2041–2070) and 2080s (representing 2071–2100). They consider low- and high-emission scenarios for the two future periods. On the basis of how often these conditions were, or are expected to be, fulfilled, locations are classified as climatically reliable, marginal/high-risk, or unreliable.
In a high-emission scenario, less than a third (6 out of the 19) of the previous host locations are projected to be climatically reliable by the 2080s. This raises a number of issues for organisers of the Winter Games. Over the next two decades there may be a greater impetus to award the Winter Games to locations that are expected to become unreliable by the 2050s. If fewer regions of the world are climatically suitable, other regions that have not previously hosted the Games may need to be considered.
“In a substantially warmer world, celebrating the second centennial of the Olympic Winter Games in 2124 would become increasingly challenging.” Organisers of the Games need to consider changes in the scale and format of future events, and investigate technologies that can overcome climate vulnerabilities,” report co-author Daniel Scott concludes.
Style and innovation were the judging criteria for the Big Air contest that took place on the 29th of March 2014 in Livigno, Italy for the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill. After many days of shooting at the colossal castle the invited snowboarders where amped to push the level of riding in the jam session. Spectators basked in the sun on Mottolino Fun Mountain cheering while the girls sent it. Elena Könz (SUI) came out on top with her two best tricks, a lofty frontside 720 melon and backside 540 mute, followed closely by Jessika Jenson (USA) in second place. Tied in third place were Jenny Jones (GBR) and Isabel Derungs (SUI).
1) Elena Könz (SUI) (frontside 720 melon, backside 540 mute)
2) Jessika Jenson (USA) (cork backside 720, backside 540)
3) Jenny Jones (GBR) (frontside 720, frontside 900) and Isabel Derungs (SUI) (backside rodeo, cork backside 720)
Jenny JonesIt was a day of personal firsts. Elena Könz brought it home with technical riding and style, “All the girls riding together, the amazing weather and the awesome setup, I loved it. The kicker was challenging, but once I got the hang of it, it was super good,” said winner Elena Könz, “I was really stoked on my laid-out backflip, I did it for the first time and it just felt so nice.” US ripper Jessika Jenson received a last minute invitation to the event with her “Wanna be a Queen” video clip and she didn’t fall short of expectations with a second place in the competition. Her best tricks in the four-run final were a stylish backside cork 720 and backside 540. A first ever photo shoot experience for Jessika, she was all smiles, “I'm just stoked to be here in Livigno and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I can't wait, tomorrow is gonna be my first ever heli-shoot!“
Big Air competitions specific for the female riders are a rarity indeed and one who didn’t waste this opportunity was Jenny Jones. “It’s not often there is just a big air, so I was pleased,” she beamed at the end of the day. The Brit pushed herself throughout the week and brought the progression game to the table with her frontside 720 and moving on to a frontside 900. “I’ve always tried it a few times, but never quite got it. Then in the qualification round I got a decent 900 with a tiny hand-drag, so that was cool.“ Unfortunately she was unable to land it cleanly in the finals “I’m just glad I tried it.“
Snowboarder extraordinaire Norwegian Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas had a go at judging for the first time and saw the action up close from the table of the kicker. “Seeing everyone going huge, and stomping was great, riding with good friends and giving high-fives at the top makes this one of the events that is really connected to the core snowboarding philosophy of having fun and being together. This is when you start to see progression happen.” To her Elena was the undisputed champ of the day, “So many technical tricks, all different direction spins, poking out her grabs, and she sent her frontside 720 far down the landing holding the grab all the way. With layback backflips in between, just having a good time while she is progressing.”
Rounding out the five-woman final was Klaudia Medlova (SVK), who alongside Isabel Derungs has been perfecting her steezy backside rodeos. Another rider worth a special mention is Dutch shredder Charlotte Van Gils who got all the riders, the audience and judges cheering for her frontside 1080 attempts, which she unfortunately was unable to stick. Overall, it was awesome day and the perfect introduction for snowboarding to the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O’Neill.
Find further details about the event on www.ninequeens.com and on facebook www.facebook.com/ninequeens
A once small Turkish ski area will, as of the 2014-15 ski season, become the country’s largest with 150km of piste, according to reports from the country.
Mt Erciyes, 40 minutes from the city of Kayseri and its airport will offer 160 kilometres of interconnected ski slopes next winter, over taking the long-standing Turkish number one ski area, Uludag, and the more recent Mt Palandoken, which was a recent host of the World Student Winter Universiade.
The ski area’s growth is largely thanks to the Kayseri mayor, Mehmet Özhaseki, who gained control of the ski slopes in 2005 after a change in the management structure. He credits an early conversation with the wife of a Dutch journalist who skied the old Mt Erciyes and didn’t like it, as the basis for his complete overhaul of the resort, which has seen €120m invested so far.
Famed for its heli-skiing and high altitude slopes year round snow cover, the area currently has 11 modern lifts operational but a further nine are due to be operational as of next winter, for a total of 20. It is reported to have some of the lowest priced skiing in the country, thanks to a municipal subsidy and is close to the famous beehive caves of Cappadocia for a further tourist attraction.
The second day of the Suzuki Nine Queens presented by O'Neill started with a happy surprise as bluebird conditions met the riders heading up to the "il Castello" on Mottolino Fun Mountain. Throughout the day snowboarders rode side by side with their new freeski buddies sessioning one feature after the other. The level is already pretty insane and adjustments had been made to all the obstacles after the first day's feedback, and everyone was stoked on it!
Check out the GoPro Course Check video with Possum Torr and Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas, if you did not see it.
After the first day's speed checks and test runs the girls were throwing down in the kicker photo session that continued well into a beautiful sunset which lit up the Livigno sky. Jenny Jones (GBR) stomped a massive frontside 720 while Isabel Derungs (SUI) was working on her stylish backside 720 and Spencer O'Brien (CAN) impressed with some super nice backside 540s. Some picturesque images were also captured at the quarter pipe where the girls were all trying to better one another's hand plants. Join us for the contest day Saturday 29th of March 2014 to see the progression of the last few days.
Another sunset shoot will take place today so stay tuned for images and videos from Livigno!
For more info go to www.ninequeens.com and www.facebook.com/ninequeens
Photo credits: David Malacrida and Klaus Polzer
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