With snow falling and a fully loaded rider field, the scene was set for a highly competitive first day of the 2012 Swatch Freeride World Tour. The North Bowl in Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC, Canada provided the world's best riders with their first major challenge of the season.
Much was expected from the North Americans and they didn't disappoint. In the men's skiing Canadian Kye Petersen leads going into Sunday's Final with Americans Drew Tabke and Oakley-White-Allen just in behind. Petersen at just 21 years old is already a Freeride icon. He started with a double-cliff, skied fast and aggressively through the open bowl area and landed two huge 360's towards the end of his run. "I had a solid run, I landed everything and I hit the line I wanted to hit, I added a few little things at the bottom and pulled it off. I felt good about it", said Kye.
European riders struggled to shine with only Germany's Sebastian Hannemann (video attached) in the top ten: "I jumped a big double, probably the biggest double I have ever jumped. The landing was not totally clean but I didn’t crash and I am happy with my run", explained Basti.
Reigning Freeride World Champion Aurelien Ducroz sits back in 20th place. The top 25 men quality for Sunday's Final.
The story was similar for the women, a North American one, two, three. Going into Sunday's final on top will be American Ashley Maxfield with Canadian Nicole Derksen in 2nd place and Angel Collinson third. An elated Ashley said: "On my run I chose a line I have been eyeing the last few days. When I sent it off the first drop I went bigger than I thought but as soon as I landed on the second pillow I knew it was easy from there on out. I had so much fun skiing the fresh snow and when I went off my last air I just thought have fun. It was one of my favourite competition runs I have ever had".
Leading European riders Eva Walkner and Lorraine Huber both fell effectively taking them of contention.
The 2012 Swatch Freeride and Freeskiing World Tour at Revelstoke Mountain Resort continues Saturday with Snowboarders from The Swatch Freeride World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, competing on Mac Face for a one-run final. The Final day of the Swatch Freeskiing and Freeride World Tour is currently scheduled for Sunday, January 8.