Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face have announced the details of the 2013-14 season schedule. Following the tremendous success of the inaugural globally unified Freeride World Tour (FWT), athletes and fans alike are eagerly awaiting next season’s competition to unfold live via webcast of all six stops on freerideworldtour.com. Over 637,000 viewers tuned in during the 2013 season to watch the world’s top freeride skiers and snowboarders compete on the most impressive terrain on the planet.
"To me, the 2013 season has marked a turning point for the FWT and for our sport. Freeride has achieved a certain maturity after existing for 20 years through competitions, and its legitimacy has been proven" said FWT Europe Region General Manager Nicolas Hale-Woods. "Its future is promising and we can even tell you now that the 2014 season is going to be awesome with 6 stops in the world’s most famous mountain resorts. The always growing list of FWT qualification events proves that young people’s interest for freeride is increasing".
"This past season was an incredible achievement for everyone involved on the Freeride World Tour", said FWT Americas Region General Manager Adam Comey. "Finally, we have crowned four true world champions in both men’s and women’s freeride skiing and snowboarding. This achievement represents the necessary progression of the sport and foreshadows even greater visibility for the sport to come".
The 2013-14 FWT will take place at the same six stops as the previous season. Each stop has a five to eight day weather window designed to provide optimal competition conditions. The tour will start at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, CAN (Dec. 18, 2013) and then cross the Atlantic to Courmayeur, ITA (Jan. 18, 2014) and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA (Jan. 25, 2014). From there, the tour will continue in Europe at Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT (Feb. 1, 2014) before returning to North America at Kirkwood Mountain Resort (March 1, 2014). After the Kirkwood stop an athlete cut will be made determining which riders will advance to the Swatch Xtreme Verbier by The North Face (March 22, 2014) and compete to be the new Freeride world champions. Additionally, the tour is thrilled to have the continued support of its title sponsor, Swatch, and presenting partner, The North Face.
Carlo Giordanetti, Creative Director at Swatch, said, "Nothing compares with the thrills and excitement of freeride skiing and snowboarding. We’re delighted to be the title sponsor, for the third year running, of this most spectacular freeride event. As a global brand, we help promote worldwide visibility for the sport as the Freeride World Tour jumps from one spectacular venue to the next. We are proud to support these amazing athletes, as they represent Swatch values at their best: dynamism, youth, provocation and the wish to go beyond the limits! They are a real expression of freedom and beauty".
In addition to top tier Freeride World Tour competitions, nearly 50 Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events ranging from one to five stars will take place around the world providing opportunities for talent to develop and emerge. The first FWQs will take place in the Southern Hemisphere in New Zealand and Chile. Riders participating in FWQ events throughout the season will earn points, which could potentially advance them to the 2015 FWT.
"After the very successful 2013 edition of the newly unified Tour, both in terms of the level of the competition itself and the communication with an everyday growing audience for the sport, we are very excited to confirm our support to big mountain freeriding and the entire The North Face team is very much looking forward to a second edition that will surely bring us again amazing riding and new heights in engagement with the fans", said Eric Pansier, VP Marketing EMEA The North Face.