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World Event News
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The 33rd annual Burton US Open presented by MINI announces a packed webcast schedule that will feature four days of webcasts on www.burton.com/USO allowing fans all over the world to watch the action from top pro snowboarders like Mark McMorris, Stale Sandbech, Jamie Anderson, Danny Davis, Kelly Clark, Chloe Kim, Ayumu Hirano and more.
Complete coverage will stream live online at www.burton.com/USO beginning on Wednesday, March 4th and will feature the battle through men’s and women’s halfpipe and slopestyle semi-finals, as well as the world-class slopestyle finals followed by the epic final halfpipe runs. During the US Open webcast, viewers will be entertained by three different commentators, including Snowboarder Magazine Editor Tom Monterroso, veteran snowboarding host for the BBC, Tim Warwood, and pro rider Jack Mitrani.
Complete 2015 Burton US Open Programming Schedule in Global Time Zones*
*Times are subject to change.
Wednesday, March 4th – Men’s and Women’s Slopestyle Semi-Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
9:45am – 3:15pm MST
11:45am – 5:15pm EST
5:45pm – 11:15pm CET (Central Europe)
1:45am – 7:15am JST (March 5th)
Thursday, March 5th – Men’s and Women’s Halfpipe Semi-Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
9:45am – 3:15pm MST
11:45am – 5:15pm EST
5:45pm – 11:15pm CET
1:45am – 7:15am JST (March 6th)
Friday, March 6th – Women’s Slopestyle Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
11:00am - 12:35pm MST
1:00pm - 2:35pm EST
7:00pm - 8:35pm CET
3:00am - 4:35am JST (March 7th)
Friday, March 6th – Men’s Slopestyle Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
1:45pm - 4:05pm MST
3:45pm - 6:05pm EST
9:45pm - 12:05am CET
5:45am - 8:05am JST (March 7th)
Saturday, March 7th – Women’s Halfpipe Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
11:00am – 12:35pm MST
1:00pm – 2:35pm EST
7:00pm – 8:35pm CET
3:00am – 4:35pm JST (March 8th)
Saturday, March 7th – Men’s Halfpipe Finals on www.Burton.com/USO:
1:45pm – 4:05pm MST
3:45pm – 6:05pm EST
9:45pm – 12:05am CET
5:45am – 8:05am JST (March 8th)
For additional details on all things US Open, including a full list of invited riders, concerts, product demos, and the history of the longest-running snowboard event in the world, head to www.Burton.com/USO. You’ll also find highlights of winning runs, full webcast replays, contest recaps and more. Follow and tweet along using #BurtonUSOpen.
Bringing together snowboarders and freeskiers for the Suzuki Nine Knights 2015 is an exciting development making the riders list double as interesting. The infamous “Il Castello” snowcastle on Mottolino Fun Mountain, in Livigno, Italy, will this year also include the unusual element of a skate ramp, stepping up the innovation at the supersession running from the 5th to the 10th of April 2015. As usual, for aspiring knights there are still a few wild cards on offer through the “Wanna be a Knight?” online video competition, as well as, via the slopestyle qualifier event held in Mottolino Snowpark. The day not to miss is the public Big Air contest held on Friday the 10th of April.
The provisional list of snowboarders includes Kevin Backström, Marius Bakken, Sebbe de Buck, Halldor Helgason, Keita Inamura, Sage Kotsenburg, Tor Lundström, Ethan Morgan, Maxence Parrot, Seppe Smits, Sven Thorgren and Sebastien Toutant.
Whilst there's no British snowboarders on the provisional list, James Woods and Paddy Graham are on the ski list.
Seppe Smits 2014 © Klaus Polzer
With five take-offs leading into three landings the main jump of the life size “Il Castello” is set to provide ample opportunity for creativity and progression. The lower section boasts a multifaceted “snow & skate” obstacle, which combines a skate-ramp, wall rides and a hip, offering up the possibility for skiers, snowboarders and skateboarders to ride it at the same time. A handful of skaters will join the session to make for an action packed Suzuki Nine Knights 2015. The skaters will be announced soon along with the 3D designs.
Two ways to grab an invitation to the Suzuki Nine Knights?
Engraving your name on the coveted riders list is still possible. The “Wanna be a Knight?” online video contest is dishing out a few spots, so send in a short video before the submission deadline on the 23rd of March 2015. The rules can be found on www.nineknightssnow.com where you will also see all the entries. There second way to qualify is through the slopestyle competition held on the 28th of March 2015 in the Mottolino Snowpark in Livigno. This event is open to everyone, to participate sign up on www.mottolino.com/en/blog/take-part-into-suzuki-nine-knights-2015
Cheryl Maas (NED) and Eric Willett (USA) have clinched the slopestyle World Cup event of the Sprint US Grand Prix tour, which was staged yesterday at Park City Mountain Resort, Utah. The Dutch veteran who had entered the finals of the top-6 ladies as second best qualifier celebrated a three-peat keeping the momentum from her two wins at Stoneham last weekend.
Earning 87.75 in her first of three runs on a three rails, two kickers course with a boardslide to fakie, switch gap to boardslide, 50-50 to backside 180 out, switch backside 540 nose and backside 720 tail, Maas relegated Karly Shorr (USA, 81.00) and reigning big air world champion Elena Koenz (SUI, 79.75) to the second and third rank.
In the men's final of the top-10, Willett clinched his career's first with 95.25 in his third run consisting of a frontside 180 to cab 360 out off the down flat, cab 270 to regular, boardslide 270 out, frontside 1260 mute and a switch backside 1080 double cork to finish things off.
The 27-years-old led a US podium sweep with Charles Guldemond (92.50) and Eric Beauchemin (87.50) rounding out this season's second slopestyle World Cup podium as second and third.
The FIS Snowboard Freestyle World Cup tour continues Sunday, March 1st, with a halfpipe World Cup event at Park City, UT. Finals are scheduled for 1 PM MST (9 PM CET).
For the UK Rowan Coultas was 13th and Jamie Nicholls was 19th.
[Photos: Sarah Brunson]
One week, one gigantic kicker slash snow castle, four invited photographers, as well as, several film crews combined with some the world’s best female freeskiers and snowboarders make up the Suzuki Nine Queens. The Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski resort in Austria and its perfectly groomed slopes will be reigned by the queens from the 15th to the 20th of March 2015. Sunset and sunrise shoots will take place throughout the week and one winner will be crowned at the public Big Air Contest, on Friday 20th of March 2015, a day not to miss!
Coline Ballet Baz, FRA
Silvia Bertagna, ITA
Emma Dahlström, SWE
Virginie Faivre, SUI
Keri Herman, USA
Devin Logan, USA
Maude Raymond, CAN
Tiril Sjastaad Christiansen, NOR
Zuzana Stromkova, SLO
Katie Summerhayes, GBR
Kaya Turski, CAN
Lisa Zimmermann, GER
Jamie Anderson, USA
Julia Baumgartner, AUT
Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas, NOR
Aimee Fueller, GBR
Anna Gasser, AUT
Jenny Jones, GBR
Elena Könz, SUI
Silvia Mittermüller, GER
Kristiina Nisula, FIN
Silje Norendal, NOR
Christy Prior, NZL
Birgit Rofner, AUT
Olya Smeshlivaya, RUS
Silje Norendal © David Malacrida
The format, as well as, the set up of the event is unique. “I found it a refreshing change, with its mellow atmosphere and creative avenues for both riders and photographers,” comments Jenny Jones, who bagged a cover shot from last year’s event, took 3rd place in the Big Air and landed her first frontside 900. This year she will be joined by her fellow Team GB mates Aimee Fuller and skier Katie Summerhayes, who are sure to shake things up. To the freeski ladies this event will always have a special meaning as it was the first of its kind, offering a platform to progress and to be in the spotlight. Some world firsts have been claimed at the event, such as the one by Kaya Turski in 2011 (CAN). She reminisces, “It was a goal of mine to learn the switch 1080 and when I did, and it was one of my most exciting moments in skiing.”
Elena Könz & Isabel Derungs © Klaus Polzer
9 Numbers from the Suzuki Nine Queens. Did you know that…
Silje Norendal © Klaus Polzer
Wanna Be A Queen? – Wild Cards On Offer
The online video contest is running till the 23rd of February 2015. Find out how you can win a wild card to Suzuki Nine Queens on www.ninequeens.com
Follow us on social media @ninequeens
Klaudia Medlova © Klaus Polzer
The competition making it up for the Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler-Alpen stop was staged in Vallnord-Arcalis today on a windblown Baser Negre face powdered up with a 15-20 cm layer of fresh snow. While enough to soften up most of the landings it provided good grip on most of the face, but also some traps that saw some of the favourites getting challenged on balance. This opened up for new faces on the podium keeping the suspense of the overall standing till the end. With this contest all riders have completed their qualification for the next stop of the tour, which will only include the top 7 women skiers, top 5 women snowboarders, top 16 men skiers and top 8 men snowboarders.
1. George Rodney (USA) 88.67
2. Wille Lindberg (SWE) 78.67
3. Felix Wiemers (GER) 77.73
1. Jonathan Charlet (FRA) 86.67
2. Colin Boyd (USA) 85.33
3. Ralph Backstrom (USA) 85.00
1. Estelle Ballet (SUI) 74.33
2. Nicola Thost (GER) 62.33
3. Anouck Mouthon (FRA) 60.00
It took a Jonathan Charlet (FRA) in great shape to get ahead of two hungry Americans on the podium today. With a 2nd win in a row today, this begins to look like a fantastic come back season for Charlet. He rode fast and action packed as usual, cramming in multiple highlights with a 360, an exposed double and a huge bottom feature with nose grab giving him a score of 86.67. He was happily surprised that all his action worked out with no mistakes, just like last week: “I didn't think I could repeat last weeks performance this well again, but it went well. I'm really stoked to be going to Alaska. I hope we will have great conditions and I'm really motivated!”
Colin Boyd (USA) took the 2nd place opening a new, very original and technical line. He connected the features and couloirs very well starting off with a 360 and ending with a very fast double shooting down through a narrow opening where a butt touch probably cost him the first place.
Ralph Backstrom (USA) also showed good use of the terrain, taking the top feature over the longest part and going bigger and bigger as he came further down. He was scored 85.00 putting him into 3rd place in today's competition as well as in the current ranking.
The top 8 men snowboarders qualified for Haines, Alaska
1 Charlet, Jonathan FRA 5840.00
2 Orley, Flo AUT 5635.00
3 Backstrom, Ralph USA 5250.00
4 Luebke, Sammy USA 4965.00
5 Boyd, Colin USA 4720.00
6 Rizzuto, Jamie CAN 4265.00
7 Galvin, Christopher USA 4040.00
8 Hamm, Sascha GBR 3715.00
The harder landings on the face today caused trouble for many of riders and it was no different for the female snowboarders. Estelle Ballet (SUI) understood to take advantage of this. With a solid run, sprayed with smaller airs all along she kept a good flow, taking home another 1st place with a score of 74.33. This puts her in a comfortable lead of the current standing. Estelle is thrilled about her lead and going to Alaska: “It’s a really good day for me! I was starting the day in a bad way this morning and was worrying about the contest, but finally I really enjoyed it and rode exactly the line I wanted to. I am qualified for Alaska now, I can’t wait to be riding there!” she commented after her run. Underscoring the big theme of the day, she went on to celebrate with her good tour buddy, Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA), who crashed in an audacious line today but made the cut being in 4th position of the current standing.
Newcomer to the tour Nicola Thost (GER) took 2nd place in today's competition with a score of 62.33 giving priority to speed over air. Not riding in Chamonix however, this was not enough to make the cut for this former queen of boardercross. Anouck Mouthon (FRA) stepped it up with her first FWT podium today and a score of 60.00 giving her a 3rd place, just front of her sister, Elodie Mouthon (FRA), who chose a more risky line with bigger features, but made a mistake after one of her airs. With her 3rd place today, Anouck just made the cut in the hot seat and moves on to the next stop together with her sister and the four riders currently ahead of her. Last year's overall champion, Shannan Yates (USA) can see herself moving down into 3rd place in the current standing very close behind Elodie after a rare crash from the otherwise very consistent rider today.
The top 5 women snowboarders qualified for Haines, Alaska
1 Balet, Estelle SUI 6800.00
2 Mouthon, Elodie FRA 5980.00
3 Yates, Shannan USA 5935.00
4 Marxer, Anne-Flore SUI 5290.00
5 Mouthon, Anouck FRA 4890.00
To conclude this event the FWT General Manager, Nicolas Hale-Woods (SUI) said after the competition: “With the challenges we have met from Mother Nature this year, it has been quite a fight to make sure that all riders got in three results to base the qualification for the next stops on. The riders have shown fantastic action and I wish to the organizers in Fieberbrunn, Kappl and Vallnord-Arcalis for showing outmost flexibility, hospitality and not least willingness to help make this possible!”
The Burton US Open presented by MINI announces a world-class field of riders slated to compete in Vail, Colorado from March 4–7th. Confirmed riders for this year’s event include 2015 X Games gold medalists Danny Davis (USA), Mark McMorris (CAN), Chloe Kim (USA) and Silje Norendal (NOR); four-time Olympian Kelly Clark (USA), 2015 Burton European Open slopestyle gold medalist Stale Sandbech (NOR) and halfpipe Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano (JPN). As the grand finale of the competitive snowboarding season, the legendary US Open gives riders one final chance to take home a major title, and spectators get to watch all the action for FREE.
“The US Open is one of those events that everyone respects and looks forward to,” says back-to- back defending US Open slopestyle winner Mark McMorris. “There’s such good vibes and it really wraps up the year for me.”
The 33rd annual US Open kicks off on Wednesday, March 4th with men’s and women’s slopestyle semi-finals featuring defending US Open champion Mark McMorris (CAN), 2015 X Games silver medalist Stale Sandbech (NOR), Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson (USA), 2014 Olympic silver medalist Enni Rukajärvi (FIN) and 2015 X Games gold medalist Silje Norendal (NOR), along with Maxence Parrot (CAN), Roope Tonteri (FIN) and Darcy Sharpe (CAN).
Next, the highly anticipated halfpipe semi-finals take place on Thursday, March 5th in Vail’s 22-foot superpipe featuring back-to-back X Games gold medalist Danny Davis (USA) and seven-time US Open champion Kelly Clark (USA). Brothers Ben and Gabe Ferguson (USA) as well as Olympic gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) and Olympians Christian Haller (SUI), Ayumu Hirano (JPN) and Greg Bretz (USA) are also set to compete in this legendary event steeped in snowboarding history.
Kelly Clark is really looking forward to the Open and says, “The US Open is one of the best events of the season—everyone has been riding all season and they get to showcase their efforts. If there ever was a peak in riding during the year, it’s at the Open.”
Then on Friday and Saturday, it all comes down to the finals when 10 men and 6 women compete for equal prize money in slopestyle finals on March 6th followed by halfpipe finals on March 7th.
In addition to world-class competition, there’s also plenty of action to enjoy off the hill, with three nights of live music on the Solaris Concert Stage, including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros following slopestyle finals on Friday, and Girl Talk following halfpipe finals on Saturday.
And if you can’t experience the US Open in person, catch all the action online via the live webcasts at www.Burton.com/USO. And be sure to tune in to the men’s and women’s slopestyle and halfpipe competition live shows on FOX Sports 2. Check out the complete broadcast schedule to get air dates.
Ale invite is a Big Air contest in Ale, only 20km north of Gothenburg and will take place for the first time on the 28th of February 2015.
Some of the best snowboarders on this planet will fight for the $20,000 prize purse. It's not only a snowboard contest; there's live bands playing on stage, Burton Riglet Park and a smaller Big Air Jump in the kids corner, local food, drinks and a hell of good atmosphere. And the best part of it all, IT'S FREE, so just bring your friends, family and a big smile. Check out riders and artists in the menu above.
We a proud to be one of the International stops of the World Snowboard Tour.
The WST has grown into the strongest international snowboarding tour representing the most important snowboard events in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Oceania.
The whole FWT staff has been working extremely hard for the last few days to find the optimal competition face to resume the Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler-Alpen competition that had to be stopped already twice in the last 2 weeks.
The challenge has been to solve the puzzle of fitting the contest into the existing FWT calendar, on a day and venue with conditions that allow for a fair and safe competition that lives up to the standard of FWT.
After several attempts with Mother Nature not quite playing along, it is now confirmed that the event will happen on Wednesday February 18th. The start for the first rider to drop in has been set to 9.30am (CET). The event will be broadcasted live on www.freerideworldtour.com
The start order will be the same than originaly planned in Fieberbrunn, with the same starting order:
The women's skiing category will not compete as they already completed this stage on Saturday January 31st.
The competition will take place on the face of Baser Negre in Vallnord-Arcalis in Andorra. The venue has been used for the finals of the FWQ 4-star event, Eldorado Freeride, last year and was originally planned to be used for the third stage of the FWT 2015 event last week, but strong winds made it unusable forcing organisers to seek for a plan B.
FWT head guide and former competitor, Jérôme Ruby (FRA) reports from the terrain that the face looks very good: “A 10-15 cm fresh snow cover has provided much better conditions than last week, only we will not use the very top where the snow has been blown away.”
As for the athletic characteristics of the face, Jérôme states that: “It is a playful face with lots of opportunities, both to go off big cliff bands and to do freestyle. One of the challenge will be to read the snow well.”
The competition in Vallnord-Arcalis yesterday was held under blue skies but in tricky snow conditions. The chosen venue in Andorra was characterized by an unprecedented density of features on the face and a great variety of lines. With this contest the women skiers have completed their qualification for the next stop of the tour, which will only include the top 7 women in the overall ranking. The other categories only have two results so far. They still have the possibility of getting in a third result counting for the Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler-Alpen stop, restaged here in Andorra within the competition window ending on Thursday.
1. Estelle Balet (SUI) 83.00
2. Elodie Mouthon (FRA) 79.50
3. Shannan Yates (USA) 76.75
1. Hazel Josie Birnbaum (USA) 78.75
2. Eva Walkner (AUT) 75.00
3. Francesca Ace Pavillard-Cain (USA) 72.25
1. Jonathan Charlet (FRA) 90.00
2. Flo Orley (AUT) 86.50
3. Ralph Backstrom (USA) 83.75
The UK's Sascha Hamm was 13th.
1. Sam Smoothy (NZL) 91.25
2. Jeremie Heitz (SUI) 82.00
3. Reine Barkered (SWE) 81.25
The women's skiing category was particularly exciting today, because it was decisive of who is qualified for the next stop which will take place in Haines, Alaska (USA) on March 14th. Two Americans, Jackie Paaso (USA) and Hazel Birnbaum (USA) were in the “hot seat” ranking 6th and 7th respectively, and both made it in. Hazel showed a very decisive run today with great action earning her the top score of 78.75 and her first FWT victory. “I was pretty nervous coming in to today. I fell in the last event. I really wanted to go to Alaska and represent our home country,” Hazel said at the bottom. “I just wanted to stay on my feet. Last time was a pretty big ego-crash. I can't believe I won. Now I'm going to celebrate with my friends - I'm going to my home state of Alaska!”
Eva Walkner (AUT) continued her streak of podiums with a second place and a score of 75.00, laying out hard, dropping aggressively into the steep part, almost using the features to steer her down the steep top section. The 3rd place was taken by Francesca Pavillard-Cain (USA) who started out with a nice big air off the top lip, continuing playfully with a traversing air towards the skiers left and putting another good size air into the middle section. A solid run scoring her 72.25 out of the 100 points possible.
The top 7 women qualified for Haines, Alaska
1. Eva Walkner (AUT) 6900.00
2. Silvia Moser (ITA) 5230.00
3. Hazel Josie Birnbaum (USA) 5020.00
4. Lotten Rapp (SWE) 4930.00
5. Jaclyn Paaso (USA) 4545.00
6. Francesca Ace Pavillard-Cain (USA) 4500.00
7. Lorraine Huber (AUT) 4055.00
The man of the day was Sam Smoothy (NZL) who scored an impressive 91.25 and took the 1st place in men's skiing. He picked the skiers right of the face as one of the only riders, linking the spread out snow pads with big air in excellent flow, keeping breath-taking action all along the face. A happy Sam, who sees his possibilities of qualifying for Alaska re-opening, found confidence to send it in the conditions that he said were close to what he knows from home in New Zealand: “Going into Andorra, I really needed a good result. I just felt right at home here. I'm super psyched – it was an all-or-nothing run and it worked for me.”
With bib number 2, Jeremie Heitz (SUI) set the standards for the day right off the bat with a score of 82.00. He laid out a fast, fluid run starting with a very technical jump into the steep couloir, impressing the judges right away. Only Sam's spectacular line could beat that and left him with the second place.
Finally the stomp master, Reine Barkered (SWE), confirmed his podium from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc with a line close to Jeremie's, giving him a score of 81.25 squeezing him in just ahead of Rodney George (USA) who had a score of 81.00 in a very tight top field.
Reine is now leading the current standings and said he is feeling more relaxed about the upcoming events: “Today I was actually not nervous at all in the beginning – and then I got up to the start and got really nervous for some reason. Surprised though, I had a pretty straightforward line I think – but of course you don't know if you are going to ride it well. Snow was okay and I got most of my features in and landed clean I think and it went really fast so I'm super happy with a 3rd place here today. This of course, puts me in a really good position now for the Tour with a 2nd and a 3rd place it should be really good – I think – so it definitely takes a lot of pressure off for the upcoming events opening up so I can really go full charge, with a no holding-back-kind of riding.”
The snowboarders put on an impressive show taking advantage of the diversity of options on the face and showing mastery of their technical skills. Jonathan Charlet (FRA) received the highest score of the day with 90.00. He dropped into the steeps with a perfect 180 off the wind lip up top and continued down the in beautiful fast-paced turns, making the steep part look very easy before making an exit jump out of the couloir. He spiced up the middle section with a feature pulling a grab, finally ending his spectacular line stomping a playful bottom air and yelling with happiness, claiming it, as he went through the characteristic black Swatch arch into the Finish.
“I'm absolutely stoked! I felt great coming down. Snow had turned good and I had perfect grip. I took all my airs as I wanted,” he explained, calming down his excitement a bit before talking about the continuation of the season: “I stay calm for now while hoping to obtain that ticket to Alaska.”
Flo Orley (AUT) showed some of his best action ever in a very original line. He started out with a big, highly exposed air crossing over to a very narrow couloir before hitting more big airs. A line that showed a complete repertoire of skills and gave him a score of 86.50. “I'm super stoked to be here in Andorra – the mountains look very much like home. The terrain in the area where I went is just like my home mountain and the snow softened up so I could do what I wanted. When I saw the score I was like the happiest man on the planet,” said the experienced rider showing that he is still able to send it big time.
The third podium place went to Ralph Backstrom (USA) who received a score 83.75 with a line similar to Jonathan's at the top and playing it a little more safe at the bottom,”putting another result in the pocket to get to Alaska” as he said was his game plan.
The female snowboarders seemed to enjoy the many smaller features cramming in good action throughout the face. Most impressive today was Estelle Ballet (SUI) who showed both very technical turns in high speed up top in the steep section, and fun action playing with the features on the lower part. She got a high score of 83.00 putting her in 1st place. “I'm really excited and I had a lot of fun competing today! I rode just like I would have, when I'm out with my friends - no pressure!” she said. With regards to Alaska, Estelle continued: “Of course I feel more and more confident about the continuation of the season and Alaska which is getting closer!”
Elodie Mouthon (FRA) successfully linked her turns and smaller features in good control, earning her a score of 79.50 and a 2nd place. Shannan Yates (USA) took almost the same line putting in few but strategically well-chosen airs. She obtained a score of 76.75 and the 3rd place, thus keeping the lead of the current standing.
A great debut promising for the future
Today's event in Vallnord-Arcalis was the first time that the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face® had a competition stop in Andorra. The local FWQ rider Dani Fornell-Prat (AND) competed on a host's wild card and was thrilled to be a part of this: “We are really proud to host the Tour here. Five years ago this was inconceivable and here we are. The media have been talking about this for months and months. Everybody here wanted for all these 'animals' to come and compete here.”
Dani didn't let down his local fans, putting down an absolutely spectacular run with a huge air going into the face and sending it almost into orbit on the bottom, being drawn down in the score only by a few small control issues in the middle. With a score of 71.75 he placed 12th in today's action packed event.
All together, this was an extremely successful event for Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra. A great debut as an FWT host and a stop that the riders will definitely look forward to coming back to next year!
Photos: David Carlier
The Swatch Freeride World Tour by the North Face® stop in Vallnord-Arcalis (AND) is confirmed for Friday 13th 2015 with first start at 10am (CET). The event has been re-scheduled one day ahead to make sure the competition can happen in the best possible conditions for the riders.
You will be able to watch it LIVE on www.freerideworldtour.com
This week is the first time the Swatch Freeride World Tour by the North Face® stops in Andorra and the riders are waiting impatiently for the competition face to be revealed. The name of the face will be announced at tonight's riders meeting at 8pm where the riders will see the official photo of the face for the first time. It will be announced online immediately after. Tomorrow they will be able to check it out for themselves with their binoculars and take their own photos to study in order to pick the line they wish to ride.
Due to adverse weather conditions the Halfpipe competition at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mt. had to be cancelled. The decision regarding the Pro Series Halfpipe ranking is currently pending.
On-going wind gusts and heavy snowfall forced the event organizers of the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix to cancel the Halfpipe event at Mammoth Mountain today, after rescheduling Qualifiers earlier this week.
“It was a tough week with the weather. Mammoth did such an incredible job building and getting this event ready, but unfortunately when weather comes in like this it’s something that’s out of your control. The event organizers did the best job they could making the right decision for the riders. You hardly ever see event organizers do what’s in the best interest of the riders and for snowboarding. But today they did that. They weren’t going to force us to go in conditions that weren’t safe and weren’t going to showcase the best of our efforts.” – Kelly Clark
The decision regarding the WST Pro Series Halfpipe ranking, is currently being evaluated. World Snowboard Tour will announce further proceedings as soon as possible.
All upcoming events of the World Snowboard Tour 2014/15 including the WST Pro Series can be found on www.worldsnowboardtour.com/wst-calendar
Four weeks from now riders will gather at the third and final event on the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series, the highly anticipated Burton US Open presented by MINI in Vail, CO. As one of the most outstanding events on the tour calendar and with a great history within competitive snowboarding, the Burton US Open presented by MINI will showcase the grand finale of the World Snowboard Tour once more. For the first time ever the WST Pro Series Champions in Slopestyle and Halfpipe for both male and female will be crowned in Vail. World-class snowboarding, international top riders and several side-events will make this event a must-see on this year’s tour. For those who are not able to be at the event in person, the Burton US Open will stream live on burton.com/USO
All upcoming events of the World Snowboard Tour 2014/15 including the WST Pro Series can be found on www.worldsnowboardtour.com/wst-calendar
Slopestyle finals at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain were held on Wednesday, after incoming stormy weather forced the organizers to change the contest schedule of the week at short notice. Thrilling finals under challenging conditions defined the second Slopestyle event on the World Snowboard Tour (WST) Pro Series. Hailey Langland (USA) and Eric Beauchemin (USA) took home their first victories on the new Pro Series, mixing up the new WST Pro Series ranking, which will determine this year’s Pro Series Champions in both Slopestyle and Halfpipe. Smart contest riding was key today, dealing with strong winds and slow speed at times. While the ladies decided to have their qualifying scores count as the final results, the men were able to put down some solid runs, closing out finals at one of the biggest events worldwide.
Weather conditions was the biggest challenge the riders faced today, strong winds announcing incoming storms in the next days, persuaded the organizers to hold Slopestyle finals today, originally scheduled for Friday. Qualifying from a final start field of 34 competitors in eliminations taking place in the morning, the top 10 men battled it out for the top spot of Slopestyle finals at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain. Determining who will take home not only a piece of the USD 42,000 prize money, but also valuable points for the new WST Pro Series ranking, defining this years Pro Series Champions. In his third and final run, American Eric Beauchemin was able to score a strong 88.26 with a run of a Switch Tailslide 270, Cab 270 in 450 out, Cab 180 Backside 540, Cab 1260 Indy and a Frontside 1080 Mute, overtaking Yuki Kadono (JPN), qualified first and was leading throughout the finals, but ended up a close second in the end. Canadian Sebastien Toutant scored marginally behind the Japanese finishing in third.
While the men were able to hold finals, the ladies decided to call it a day after struggling with the strong winds in qualifiers and the finals training session. All six finalists, coming out of a total field of 19 athletes, agreed to have their elimination scores count as the final result of the event. 14-year old Hailey Langland from the U.S., earning her spot at the Grand Prix Mammoth coming from the Revolution Tour, was able to score her first victory at an Elite Level event of the World Snowboard Tour with a run consisting a Boardslide, Nosepress Tail Grab out, Backside 180 off the pole jam, Cab 540 Underflip Stalefish and a Backside 180, scoring a total of 79.78 points. Austrians favourite Anna Gasser came in second, Enni Rukajärvi from Finland landed again on rank three, after receiving bronze at the Burton European Open as well.
The Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mt. is the second event of the WST Pro Series, final results of the event will count towards the current WST Pro Series ranking, which only includes results from the WST Elite Level events and will determine the Pro Series Champions for this season. The WST Pro Series combines the best riders in the world with the three most relevant snowboarding events on the planet. After today’s finals Enni Rukajärvi takes the lead in the Pro Series Slopestyle ranking by finishing third on both Pro Series events so far. Hailey Langland ranks fifth, followed by Anna Gasser in sixth. On the men’s Slopestyle ranking, Tyler Nicholson (CAN) currently stands on the top with a 7th place at the Burton European Open and a 4th place at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, followed by Niklas Mattsson (SWE) after a 4th place in Laax, Switzerland and a 9th place at Mammoth Mt. California. Eric Beauchemin currently ranks third following his victory today and finishing 18th last week. As the two best results of the Pro Series will count for the final standings the Pro Series rankings are not yet final – so stay tuned.
Big snowfalls in the past week and a sunny weather forecast for this Saturday February 7th promises well for the Mora Banc Freeride Junior World Championships in Grandvalira, Andorra this weekend.
Freeride Junior World Championships 2015 Teaser by FreerideWorldTourTV
The event will take place on the Pic Alt de Cubil, in the sector of the Encamp de Grandvalira. The recent snowfalls in Andorra have conveniently covered this spectacular freeride venue - the stage where the young world class riders will battle to be the one to take home the title of Junior World Champion 2015.
Watch the event live on www.freerideworldtour.com on Saturday, February 7 (weather permitting – check final event schedule online).
The juniors have already had a few competitions leading up to these championships and the level is higher than ever. Thrills and emotions are assured as these impressive young champions will be charging down the face with pace and playfulness that most adults can only dream of.
The event today has been stopped after a slab has been triggered by French rider Julien Lopez (FRA) who started with bib number 2 at the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR FIEBERBRUNN KITZBÜHELER ALPEN BY THE NORTH FACE®, staged in Kappl/Tirol.
Today's contest started in cold, sunny conditions, but short after Julien Lopez (FRA) entered the middle section of the face with bib number 2, he triggered a slab (50cm by 40m wide and 100m long), as he was hiking back up to get his skis lost in a crash. Julien, being caught in the middle of the moving snow, reacted well by pulling his ABS Airbag system. He suffered only minor bruises to his right leg and ribs. The rescue team was with him seconds after the snow stopped moving. Julien was able to ski down to the finish coral where the event the medical staff immediately checked him.
Despite all possible precautions being made by organizers to secure the face, “risk zero” doesn't exist in the mountains. That is why the FWT has a crew of professional guides who follow the evolution of the snow on a competition face from long before validating the venue. On this particular face, the guides mined the venue on Monday, at D-1, just after the latest snowfalls. A bomb was launched 5 meters away from the boundaries of this slab. This shows how unpredictable the snow layers can be.
At each FWT event, a medical helicopter is always on stand-by together with a full rescue team in case the unforeseen should happen despite the constant evaluation of the conditions.
As for the riders, they all carry a mandatory avalanche airbag system, transceiver, shovel and probe as well as back protection and helmet. They are trained professionals and are given safety workshops by FWT before the beginning of each season, so they are optimally armed for the risks of the sport.
“We are glad Julien is safe and we hope this incident serves to remind freeriders and all off-piste enthusiasts to always carry their safety equipment and to know and train the procedures in case of an avalanche,” says FWT General Manager Nicolas Hale-Woods (SUI) after announcing the decision to stop the event. “It is our duty to serve as role models regarding risk management. FWT cannot emphasize enough that safety comes first. This is why we decided to stop the competition today.”
Yesterday's Halfpipe finals at the Burton European Open presented by MINI made a great finish of the first World Snowboard Tour (WST) Pro Series event of this season. Kelly Clark and Iouri Podladtchikov secured themselves the top spots of the Halfpipe finals in the all new Superpipe in Laax, Switzerland, putting them in the lead of the new WST Pro Series ranking, which will determine this year’s Pro Series Champions. With an overall total of five Swiss riders in the finals, a massive crowd up on Crap Sogn Gion enjoying the Burton European Open presented by MINI and its fun Hawaiian theme, this year’s event was another one for the books. Now the World Snowboard Tour heads over to the U.S. for the second Pro Series event of the season.
Full men's finals on the BBC with Ed Leigh.
Watch the top 5 men's runs at Onboard.
Unsettled weather conditions, an exceedingly high riding level and five Swiss riders in the Halfpipe finals of the men and women at the 16th Burton European Open presented by MINI in Laax, Switzerland, made the last day of the event a true highlight for all participants. The all-new Superpipe with a total length of 200 meters gave the riders the opportunity to step up their game, showing a larger amount and bigger variety of tricks in one run. Each rider had three runs, best one counts, deciding who will take home the victory of this year’s Halfpipe event and therefore become the leader of the brand new WST Pro Series ranking, defining this year’s Pro Series Champions later in the season.
The top six ladies, defined by eliminations earlier this week, were pleasing the crowd throughout all of their runs, despite challenging weather conditions. BEO veteran Kelly Clark underlined her outstanding competition experience showing a solid first run including a Frontside Air, Backside 540 Mute, Frontside 720 Indy, Cab 720 Indy, Crippler Stalefish and a stylish Method Air, grabbing another victory in Laax on her behalf. Joining her on the podium are 14-year old Chloe Kim (USA) and Swiss local Nadja Purtschert (SUI) ranked second and third.
Just in time for the men’s finals of the top ten, including four Swiss riders, the sun came out, turning the event site on Crap Sogn Gion into a true snowboarding arena, with the crowd going wild, while the riders stepped up their tricks each round. In his first run, the defending BEO Halfpipe champion Iouri Podladtchikov was able to pull out a nearly perfect run with a Method Air, Frontside 900 Tail Grab, Backside 900 Mute, Frontside 1080 Tail Grab, Cab Double Cork 1080 Indy and Frontside Double Cork 1080 Truckdriver, securing him a massive score of 90.25, which was not to be beaten by any of the other finalists. Switzerland’s favourite clearly enjoyed his victory run, mixing stylish Air’s with some classic crowd pleasers. 16-year-old Ayumu Hirano (JAP) came in second, Swiss young-gun David Habluetzel scored his first medal at the BEO main event on rank three.
Find the full results and more information on the Burton European Open in the new BEO App.
As the first event of the WST Pro Series, the final results of the Burton European Open presented by MINI determine the current WST Pro Series ranking, which only includes results from the WST Elite Level events and will designate the Pro Series Champions of this season. The WST Pro Series combines the best riders in the world with the three most relevant snowboarding events on the planet. After todays Halfpipe finals Kelly Clark and Iouri Podladtchikov are leading the Halfpipe ranking, just before the WST is on its way to the next two stops of the Pro Series: The Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in Mammoth, California and the Burton US Open presented by MINI in Vail, Colorado.
Off to the States for the second stop of the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series
Immediately after the Burton European Open presented by MINI in Laax, Switzerland, the WST Pro Series will continue with its second stop at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in Mammoth, California, U.S. With an exceedingly large rider field of just under 160 competitors, the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix is one of the most important events for the top international Slopestyle and Halfpipe riders and it marks the first Pro Series event on the North American continent. For those unable to become part of this highly esteemed competition in the world-famous Unbound Park, Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix will be streamed live, presenting finals of both Slopestlye and Halfpipe on Friday and Saturday next week.
All upcoming events of the World Snowboard Tour 2014/15 including the WST Pro Series can be found on www.worldsnowboardtour.com/wst-calendar
After two days of variable and stormy conditions, Laax woke up to a stunning bluebird day for the Men’s and Women’s Slopestyle Finals at the Burton European Open presented by MINI. Christy Prior (NZL) and Stale Sandbech (NOR) went away as the 2015 BEO Slopestyle Champions and US$ 15,000 richer.
Since eliminations were cancelled both Thursday and Friday due to weather, today meant all invited riders had their chance at the title. 16 women and 32 men had two runs to impress the judges with their best tricks on the pristine SnowPark course.
It was Christy Prior from New Zealand who put together a beautiful first run complete with a frontside 540 nosetap to half Cab, frontside 50-50, straight air to frontside 540, Cab underflip melon, frontside 720 melon and a backside 540 indy, scoring an 84.00. Prior went away with the BEO slopestyle title at her first time at the event. “I am super stoked!” said Prior. “It’s my first time here, and I had a great week riding fresh powder, and today with bluebird skies—it’s been awesome.”
Holding strong behind Prior, was 2014 Slopestyle Olympic Gold Medalist, from South Lake Tahoe, CA, Jamie Anderson. Her run, consisting of frontside 360 nosetap to backside 180, switch tailside 270 out, switch straight air to Cab 360 out, Cab 540 mute, frontside 720 mute and a backsid 540 indy, scored her a 78.55. Coming in third with a 75.20 was Finland’s Enni Rukajärvi, stomping a clean second run including a backside 180 tailtap to half Cab, tail press backside 180 out, switch straight air to switch backside 180 out, frontside 720 mute, backside 540 stalefish and a Cab 540 mute.
The men lined up after the ladies, and they were ready to throw down for the BEO title. It was anybody’s game up until the final few runs when Stale Sandbech (NOR) and Mark McMorris (CAN) went head to head. While McMorris held on to his first run score of an 85.60 settling into the top spot throughout the finals, Sandbech came back with a flawless last run, scoring a 91.40. McMorris was last to go, but couldn’t hold on, settling in second with an 85.60. Sandbech’s run included a frontside 540 nosetap to Cab 540, frontside blunt 270 out, double crippler indy, backside 1260 mute, Cab 1260 melon and a frontside 1080 indy, landing him his first BEO Slopestyle win. “I wanted to be on the podium so bad and I knew it would be hard with so many good riders,” said Sandbech. “Laax is a very special place for me because I had my first international contest here years ago.”
McMorris’ run was solid as well and included a Millerflip to backflip 1080 indy, hardway Cab 270 on, half Cab to backside 540 indy, switch backside 1260 mute, frontside double cork 1080 mute and a backside double cork 1080 indy.
Torstein Horgmo (NOR) also had a solid run score of 83.25, locking in a switch Millerflip to Cab 540, fronstide 270 on, alley-oop 540 nose, Cab double cork 1080 melon, switch backside 1260 melon and a frontside double cork 1080 mute, which was enough for third.
BEO 2015 Women’s Slopestyle Finals (Top 10)
1. Christy Prior, NZL, ROCKSTAR, 84.00
2. Jamie Anderson, USA, OAKLEY, 78.55
3. Enni Rukajärvi, FIN, BURTON, 75.20
4. Cheryl Maas, NED, ROCKSTAR, 70.10
5. Ty Walker, USA, RED BULL, 68.55
6. Silje Norendal, NOR, NIKE, 66.40
7. Yuka Fujimori, JPN, BURTON, 63.65
8. Sina Candrian, SUI, LAAX, 59.40
9. Aimee Fuller, GBR, ROXY, 57.80
10. Elena Koenz, SUI, VOELKL, 49.05
BEO 2015 Men’s Slopestyle Finals (Top 10)
1. Stale Sandbech, NOR, OAKLEY, 91.40
2. Mark McMorris, CAN, BURTON, 85.60
3. Torstein Horgmo, NOR, DC, 83.25
4. Niklas Mattsson, SWE, ROME, 80.85
5. Peetu Piironinen, FIN, GIRI, 80.75
6. Sven Thorgren, SWE, OAKLEY, 80.35
7. Tyler Nicholson, CAN, ROCKSTAR, 79.80
8. Kyle Mack, USA, OAKLEY, 78.50
9. Jamie Nicholls, GBR, NIKE, 77.15
10. Marcus Kleveland, NOR, VOLCOM, 76.45
The Burton European Open kicked off the new World Snowboard Tour Pro Series. The final results determine the current WST Pro Series ranking, which only includes results from the WST Elite Level events and will designate the Pro Series Champions of this season.
The final day of the BEO continues tomorrow with Men’s and Women’s Halfpipe Finals beginning at 10:30 CET. Catch the action live on www.burton.com/beo and the broadcast on Red Bull TV online.
For more information head to www.facebook.com/BurtonEurope and check out the BEO App.
The ladies including the UK's Aimee Fuller who finished 9th in bib 6
After a morning of weather delays yeserday due to wind and snow, riders took to the largest halfpipe in the world, at the 16th annual Burton European Open presented by MINI in Laax, Switzerland. Jake Pates (USA) and Queralt Castellet (ESP) were the top qualifiers during today’s eliminations. The halfpipe finals conclude on Sunday with the top 10 men and six women going for the BEO crown.
Measuring 200 meters (60 meters longer than before), the pipe built with a new specially customized “LAAX Edition” pipe machine, gave riders a good six to seven hits, while they pushed through the stormy conditions.
Colorado’s Jake Pates stomped a solid first of two runs, consisting of a backside 900, frontside inverted 720, Cab 1080 Double Cork, air to fakie, Cab 1080 and frontside 900, scoring an 84.50. 2014 Olympic Halfpipe Gold Medalist, Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI), took the second spot scoring an 82.50, and kept it fun, wearing a straw beach hat over his helmet to go with the Hawaiian event theme. 21-year-old, Taylor Gold (USA), went away in the third spot, with an 81.25.
The ladies were next with Queralt Castellet (ESP) dominating with a run complete with a backside tailgrab, frontside 900, method air, lien air, backside 540 and frontside indy, scoring a 71.25. 31-year-old pipe ruler, Kelly Clark (USA), came in second, with a 68.75. And 14-year-old 2015 Winter X Games gold medalist, Chloe Kim (USA), came in third with a 67.50.
BEO 2015 Men’s Halfpipe Eliminations
1. Jake Pates (USA), ROCKSTAR, 84.50
2. Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI), MONSTER, 82.50
3. Taylor Gold (USA), MONSTER, 81.25
4. Arthur Longo (FRA), VOLCOM, 80.75
5. Tim-Kevin Ravnjak (SLO), OAKLEY, 77.50
6. David Habluetzel (SUI), BURTON, 77.25
7. Jan Scherrer (SUI), NIKE, 75,75
8. Christian Haller (SUI), BURTON, 74,75
9. Ayumu Hirano (JPN), NIKE, 73,50
10. Seamus O’Connor (IRL), RIDE, 73,25
BEO 2015 Women’s Halfpipe Eliminations
1. Queralt Castellet (ESP), YONEX, 71.25
2. Kelly Clark (USA), BURTON, 68,75
3. Chloe Kim (USA), BURTON, 67,50
4. Nadja Purtschert (SUI), NITRO, 67,00
5.Mirabelle Thovex (FRA), PROTEST, 66,75
6. Holly Crawford, AUS, 63,75
All riders through to slopestyle finals
For the second day in a row, men’s and women’s slopestyle eliminations were cancelled due to variable conditions. All 32 men and 16 women will move on to today’s finals and get their chance for the coveted title.
The BEO continues today with Women and Men’s Slopestyle Finals beginning at 10:30 CET. Catch the action live on www.burton.com/beo and the broadcast on Red Bull TV online.
For more information head to www.facebook.com/BurtonEurope and check out the BEO App.
The Swatch Freeride World Tour by the North Face® stop in Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen (AUT) is confirmed for Saturday 31st, first start at 8.00am
Watch the second competition of the FWT15 LIVE on www.freerideworldtour.com
Snow has finally arrived by the tons in the Kitzbüheler Alpen and the good news is that the event is confirmed for both the Pros (FWT) and the Juniors (FJT) in Fieberbrunn on Saturday.
There will however be some modifications as it has been decided to split up the FWT field on two separate faces. The women categories and the snowboard men will be competing on the Marroka; a face never used before in the Swatch Freeride World Tour by the North Face®. This face is located to the lookers left of the Wildseeloder. The men's skiing category will compete on the Wildseeloder with a start from the summit.
The contest starts at 8.00am with women's skiing, followed by women's and men's snowboarding respectively. There will be a short break before moving on to men's skiing on Wildseeloder.
The monumental arena for spectators unique to Fieberbrunn has been built as usual on top of the Lärchfilzkogel gondola. From this amazing vantage point, freeride fans who wish to cheer for their favorite riders will be able to enjoy live commentating, giant screen with Live broadcast, music, drinks and a festive atmosphere. After the competition is over, Austrian legendary pilot Hannes Arch will throw an acrobatic FLIGHT SHOW above the Spectators Area.
For those who cannot join the party in the snow, a live web-streaming will be available www.freerideworldtour.com
The 16th annual Burton European Open presented by MINI is now underway in LAAX, Switzerland. A live webcast of the slopestyle and halfpipe competitions will be available on www.burton.com/BEO with the slopestyle eliminations starting at 09:30 am (CET) on January 29th, followed by halfpipe eliminations on January 30th, slopestyle finals on January 31st and halfpipe finals on February 1st. For viewers, the webcast will include live scoring, real-time standings, run replays, rider interviews and bios, as well as a live webcast schedule and full replays for on-demand viewing.
The top-notch riders field includes Olympians, world champions and BEO champions like pipe specialists Kelly Clark, Chloe Kim, Danny Davis (all US), Ayumu Hirano (JPN), Christian Haller, Iouri Podladtchikov and David Hablützel (all SUI), that can’t wait to start in the brand new superpipe at Crap Sogn Gion. Also in the slopestyle contest there will be some of the world’s best riders competing for the top spots like Jamie Anderson (USA), Enni Rukajärvi (FIN), Silje Norendal (NOR), Spencer O’Brien (CAN), Mark McMorris (CAN), Alek Oestreng, Stale Sandbech, Torstein Horgmo (all NOR) and Roope Tonteri (FIN).
The entire event goes LIVE with webcasts on www.burton.com/BEO during the following times, additionally the finals on Saturday and Sunday will broadcast on Red Bull TV online:
29 JAN 2015: 08:30 – 14:15 slopestyle eliminations Women & Men
30 JAN 2015: 08:30 – 14:15 halfpipe eliminations Women & Men
31 JAN 2015: 09:15 – 11:00 slopestyle finals Women
31 JAN 2015: 11:45 – 14:00 slopestyle finals Men
01 FEB 2015: 09:15 – 11:00 halfpipe finals Women
01 FEB 2015: 11:45 – 14:00 halfpipe finals Men
The World Rookie Tour earlier in the month showcases the future of snowboarding as well as searching the stars of tomorrow.
In the tenth year and the biggest edition ever, the event program of the World Rookie Fest in Livigno combines a freestyle slopestyle contest, with many other social and lifestyle activities, offering a unique experience for all the participants.
For former participants Seppe Smits (BEL), now one of the best snowboarders, it was an honour to come back to the World Rookie Fest in Livigno again, the starting point of his career.
Today’s world best pros like Roope Tonteri (Silver medal winner World Championships 2015), Peetu Piiroinen, Gjermund Braaten and Sven Thorgren have been World Rookie Champions in the past.
The riding level was extremely high, it was insane. Jumps like the Double Back Cork 10, a Switch Backside 9 over the XL jump of 19 metres and stylish jibbing down the perfectly shaped Mottolino Snowpark were made by the snowboarding talents.
Mikko Rehnberg from Finland, born in 1997, took the first place among the male rookies, followed by Haakon Kjoll Eilertsen (Nor) and Erik Bastiaansen (Ned).
Mikko Rehnberg © Fizza
The Swiss Ranona Petrig earning the highest step and finished first in the women rookies category.
For the UK, Fin Bremner finished 4th in the Rookie Men and Maise Hill finished 13 in the Grom Girls.
The first stop of the 2015 SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) concluded today. The competition was held at the Brévent ski area on the Chamois face just in front of Europe's highest mountain, the Mont Blanc.
1. Sammy Luebke (USA), 87.80
2. Sascha Hamm (GBR), 85.50
3. Flo Orley (AUT), 79.80
1. Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA), 92.75
2. Reine Barkered (SWE), 89.25
3. Drew Tabke (USA), 86.25
1. Shannan Yates (USA), 75.00
2. Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI), 70.50
3. Elodie Mouthon (FRA), 67.75
1. Eva Walkner (AUT), 73.00
2. Christine Hargin (SWE), 72.50
3. Silvia Moser (ITA), 70.00
Live Webcast (Replay) from FWT15 Chamonix Mont... by FreerideWorldTourTV
The contest went well and was followed by 106,000 viewers via the live streaming on the web – despite tricky conditions with clouds just below the face constantly threatening visibility on the Chamois competition face.
The face is mostly east-facing and feature packed. Good visibility and dense powder snow provided reliable conditions for riding with good flow, playfulness and pulling tricks off the features. As the day moved on the snow got a little crustier with the sun getting lightly veiled. Male and female skiers and snowboarders competed in the event representing fifty-nine of the world’s best freeriders with the male snowboarders opening the ball.
The slightly convex start out off start number 1 had riders choosing this start, drop “blind” into the face, obliging them to trust 100% what they saw in their inspection from the bottom for orientation. “Sharks” (hidden rocks just under the snow surface) and wind-affected snow added to the challenge up top. The reward was great snow and good take offs for the rest of the face with some low-snow management needed in the landings of the bottom airs. The conditions on the slightly more southwest-facing part of the face under start number 2 involved good dense snow, provided that one stayed out of chunks and debris from avalanches blown for safety earlier in the season.
The competition began with the men’s snowboard division. Sammy Luebke (USA) chose a freestyle line taking advantage of the good snow conditions in the morning and putting some extra features in. His playful run gave him a first place and a score of 87.80. He was very happy and relieved at the bottom: “I finished off my season by mid-season last year – hurt my knee. I didn't know what it was going to be like coming into Chamonix – and when they picked this face I was really happy because there's a lot of places to go freestyle and the snow was excellent in there.” Sascha Hamm (GBR) finished second going freestyle as well earning him a score of 85.50. FWT veteran, 39-year old Flo Orley (AUT) demonstrated that he can still keep up with his younger peers, placing 3rd with a score of score of 79.80.
Next up, was the men’s skiing category where the defending FWT Champion, Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) set the tone with a score of 92.75 after a longer break in the contest due to low hanging dense clouds interfering with safety helicopter logistics. He stomped a huge air right off the top – apparently bigger than what he had anticipated. Experience whispered to him that it would be enough if he could keep it together in a strong style for the rest of his run, leaving out a planned 360 on the second air: “I'm happy with my run – I was going to do a 360 in the middle but since I really went huge on the top air – I thought, I must have scored on that one - better to be smart and safe,” he commented at the bottom. He revealed that he does feel that pressure is higher this year: “I was really, really under pressure and tense all morning – sure of my line – but under pressure from having won here last year and having won the overall title. Once I got in the start gate I only had one thing in my head, stomp it all, stay on your feet, no backslaps and let's take it all the way to the bottom!”
Reine Barkered (SWE) showed that he is still right up there – despite the compact nature of this face not being advantageous to his fast riding style. He placed second with a score of 89.25
Drew Tabke (USA) on the other hand looked like he was right at home on the face, choosing an easier but very playful freestyle line including a Lincoln off a lip, giving him a score of 86.25 the 3rd place.
Few names are synonymous with big mountain snowboarding like Shannan Yates (USA) who swiftly won her division with a very strong and smooth run down the fall line. Yates’ nice inclusion of technical features earned her a score of 75.00. “Today I picked a line that didn't get touched the whole run – no competitors went before me there – and it worked out perfect for me, fresh pow turns all the way down.” FWT winner 2011 – and birthday girl - Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI) got a little caught in some tracks after her first air but managed to stay on her feet pulling it back together and make a nice big air at the bottom to take a score of 70.50 and the second place of today. In 3rd place, Elodie Mouthon (FRA) received a score of 67.75 for her fluid run.
Finally, by the time the women skiers had the chance to drop into the Chamois face, they light had become a little lower and a small crust had formed on the snow, calming things down a little. Eva Walkner (AUT) stood for probably the most emotional moment of the day, coming back after two years fighting with knee injuries: “Two years, so many surgeries, pain coming back – it's been a horrible two years for me honestly and today I put myself under so much pressure at the start. I was so nervous – I didn't know where I stand and if I'm good if I can still hold the level or not... It was an easy line, I think all the girls chose a little bit more easy because of the sharks and everything. I missed one cliff so I wasn't sure at the bottom but my goal was to finish without crashing, stomping all my things", she said modestly after a solid run that took her to first place with the score of 73.00. “That I would win – it's a dream!” Christine Hargin (SWE) followed Eva in second place with a nice line down the middle of the face with little hesitation, earning her a score of 72.50. In third place, was the young rookie Silvia Moser (ITA) who showed that she is right in the heels with her risky line, giving her a score of 70.00.
The Burton European Open (BEO) presented by MINI is set to take place January 29th to February 1st 2015. Europe’s leading freestyle destination LAAX is once again the host for the most important snowboard event in Europe’s mountains. A field of approximately 100 riders from around the globe will be competing and wowing spectators with their latest slopestyle and halfpipe tricks in an effort to earn their share of the US$ 160.000 prize purse. To get ready for the event check out the latest event teaser featuring Roope Tonteri.
Top Riders In Slopestyle And Halfpipe
The top-notch riders field includes Olympians, World champions and BEO champions including halfpipe specialists Kelly Clark, Chloe Kim, Danny Davis (all US), Ayumu Hirano (JPN), Christian Haller and David Hablützel (both SUI). The competitors have the brand new Superpipe at Crap Sogn Gion to look forward to. The slopestyle field also includes some of the world’s best riders competing for the top spots including Jamie Anderson (USA), Enni Rukajärvi (FIN), Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN), Mark McMorris (CAN), Alek Oestreng, Stale Sandbech (both NOR) and Roope Tonteri (FIN).
Get On Board
In addition to the competitions, spectators can look forward to exciting activities on all four event days. The Burton Test Center will offer visitors the opportunity to demo the latest Burton equipment for free, encouraging riders to conquer the slopes or the mini-pipe themselves. LAAX offers the perfect terrain for all riding levels. Crap Sogn Gion likewise offers numerous progressive public parks for all levels of visitors to ride throughout the BEO. Also, mini-shredders from 3 to 6 years of age are invited to the Burton Riglet Park at rocksresort in the valley to experience snowboarding for the first time in an exceptional learning environment.
MINI Partner Activities
MINI and snowboarders share a passion for mountains and snow, as well as passion for creativity. To celebrate these shared interests MINI and the American artist Geoff McFetridge are joining forces to generate unique signage for the slopes of LAAX during the BEO. This „MINI in the MOUNTAINS“ open-air art exhibit will be viewable by visitors throughout the event.
Creativity carries through into the “MINI Feature Award”, which once again will feature the innovative park shaper crews of the BEO and the US Open competing against each other. Last year’s winner Snowpark LAAX is challenging Vail’s Snow Park Technologies to see who can build the most creative element for the slopestyle course and take home the US$ 5.000 prize money. And finally visitors who love to drive are invited to experience the handling of MINI. The entire MINI family, from the MINI Hatch to the MINI Countryman, will be available to drive at the MINI Test Drive Center at rocksresort.
The BEO also features great entertainment throughout the weekend at the event-village in rocksresort, at Indy Bar, and Riders Palace. Saturday night will feature an extra-explosive musical mix starting with Funkanomics on the turntables, followed by the French electronic dance duo Dirtyphonics. The after show party will be headlined by Dub Pistols frontman Barry Ashworth, who’s guaranteed to excite the crowd with a thrilling DJ set.
Mons Roisland took first place at the 13th Red Bull Nanshan Open today as the event was graced with great weather, great vibes and great riding! With the field of 16 narrowed down to six following the morning’s finals, it was the last run of the competition that saw Mons top the podium taking home a cool USD20,000.
Mons was excited not just to win, but on the whole competition experience, saying “It was so much fun just putting it down on the last run - this competition is insane, it’s just like a bunch of friends hanging out, we experienced so much Chinese culture by going to the Great Wall, Silk Market and a water park, it's the coolest trip ever!” The Norwegian’s final victory lap run consisted of a Switch BS1260 melon, FS720 nose/tail double, FS180 on switch BS360 out on the up-flat, and a switch blunt 270 out on the down rail.
Eric Beauchemin and Rowan Coultas rounded out the remaining podium spots with second and third place. Eric showed great flow throughout the park, while Rowan was pumped on his third place, starting his run off with a perfect cab900 double cork - “I got 8th last year, and then to get third this year with a way better run, I am so stoked to be on the podium!”
He Wei was the highest ranked Chinese rider in 12th, earning the respect of both the crowd and local fans with a solid run throughout the park.
With the snowboard side of the trip over, the riders now get to enjoy one last Chinese-style after party at Tube Station Pizza before venturing off to their next adventure. Zaijian and Ganbei!
Final results of the 13th Red Bull Nanshan Open:
1. Mons Roisland (NOR)
2. Eric Beauchemin (USA)
3. Rowan Coultas (GBR)
Once again the Air + Style is back after a creative break in 2014. 16 world class athletes who qualified for the main contest yesterday at the Air + Style Innsbruck – Tirol 2015 presented by Opel. 10.500 fans were fascinated by the action packed snowboard contest.
Stale Sandbech celebrated his first victory at the Air + Style final at the Bergisel stadium leaving Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) and Yuki Kadono (JPN) in second and third place.
The contest started with some exciting head to head duels at 3pm. Stale Sandbech defeated the American Eric Willett in Round 1 and was one step ahead of Niklas Mattsson (SWE) in a Scandinavian battle. He wins with a massive 81.89 points with 2 amazing jumps, a Backside Triple Cork 1440 Indy and a Frontside 1080 Indy. “I am really happy to win the Air + Style for the first time. The conditions with intensive snowfall were not that easy, but the crowd was amazing” says the lucky winner who walks away with a major share of the 100.00 US-$, a brand new Opel ADAM ROCKS and he also qualified for the big Air + Style Tour final in Los Angeles. Peetu Piiroinen (79.39) finishes in second place with a Backside 1620 Mute and a Cab 1260 Double Grab. The third place goes to Yuki Kadono (72.22) with a Backside 1620 Mute and a Backside 1260. The Austrians Mathias Weissenbacher and Werner Stock could not make it through yesterday's qualifying.
The UK's Billy Morgan finished in 9th place.
The biggest band-line-up in the history of Air + Style provided the perfect sound. After a brilliant start of Rakede, Shaun Whites Band Bad Things got the party started. “The new Air + Style Tour combines snowboarding and music in an absolutely unique way and brings the freestyle spirit to the people.
After two successful contests in Beijing and Innsbruck I am excited for the first Air + Style in my country Los Angeles” says Shaun White – Snowboard legend and new Air + Style owner. Berlin Hip Hop legend Kool Savas, Germanys most successful rapper CRO and electronic sounds from the London Band Modestep completed the music part of the event.
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