The 13th edition of the Nissan El Dorado Freeride (EDF) took place last weekend in the Arcalis sector of Vallnord (Andorra). El Dorado is the main extreme competition in the South of Europe and the first freeride competition of the Pyrenees that has been selected by the Freeride World Tour (FWT) as a Freeride World Qualifier event (FWQ). EDF was born in 1998 when some Riders contended the first extreme competition of ski and snowboard ever held in the Pyrenees. This first edition was celebrated in Vall de Núria on the 14th and 15th of February 1998.
In addition to the FWT four stages -Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch (Sochi, Russia), Nissan Freeride of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (France), Nissan Tram Face (Squaw Valley, USA) and the Nissan Xtreme by Swatch (Verbier, Switzerland)-, for the 2010 ranking, there are 18 independently organised Freeride World Qualifier events (FWQ) around the globe, all certified by the Pro Freeriders Board, using the same judging and points system as the Freeride World Tour events. The FWQ events allow younger talent and new nationalities to progress in the sport and eventually earn one of the desired slots of the World Tour. "The Freeride World Qualifier events are great for the development of the sport. Younger talented riders with new style see their chance to advance to the World Tour, pushing the sport to new dimensions", said skier Ane Enderud (NOR), Freeride World Champion 2009, who had a steep progression curve last season, advancing from winner of the FWQ 2008 to winner of the FWT 2009.
The growth in the number of FWQ events has been rapid and this will continue as resorts look to capitalise upon the explosion of interest in freeriding, and the next generation of freeriders seek the opportunity to compete with the current elite.