Thursday, November 13, 2014

Alaska Stop For The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face 2015 Announced

The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face  (FWT) announces that Haines - Alaska has been selected as its fourth stop of the coming season. Since the launch of FWT in 2008, it has been a goal to organize an event in the epicenter of big mountain freeriding. Haines – Alaska is the realization of this dream and will be a highlight of the FWT season.
On March 14, the FWT will make its historic first visit to Haines, Alaska, bringing with it a select group of both male and female athletes; the top 60% of the total field secure their spot (16 Ski Men, 8 Snowboard Men, 7 Ski Women and 5 Snowboard Women after the first three events).
"Alaska has long been recognized as one of the best locations in the world for skiing and snowboarding", says General Manager of the FWT, Nicolas Hale-Woods (SUI). "And Haines is known as one of the premier locations in Alaska. We are very excited to be able to name this location as our 4th stop this year. It is fantastic working with the community there and we expect this event to be one of the highlights of the season".
For freeriders around the world, Haines, Alaska is seen as the Mecca of the sport. For an event organizer such as the FWT, this spectacularly remote area provides exciting challenges. Wild and unpredictable weather, massive storms and the raw nature of Alaska means that flexibility and creativity are needed to execute an elite FWT event. In this regard, the FWT is announcing a extended "weather window" for Alaska - Haines, allowing the contest day to be moved to ensure the best possible conditions.
There is no doubt this event will stand as a landmark in the history of the sport for both the athletes and the fans. The athletes agree that this is an event not to miss out on. As 2013 FWT Champion, Drew Tabke (USA) says: "Exploration and discovery is a huge part of the freeride experience, so going to new locations is really exciting".
"For freeride of skiers and snowboarders around the globe Alaska has always represented a dream destination,” adds FWT Americas Manager, Tom Winter (USA). “Haines represents the best the state of Alaska has to offer and I’m extremely excited that the FWT’s elite athletes will be able to experience this legendary location".
The season ends with a special anniversary: the 20th edition of the Xtreme Verbier. Only the top riders in each category will have a chance to ride in this prestigous FWT final event. The total prize money for the season is a record high just above 400,000 USD.

Event calendar

1. Swatch Freeride World Tour Chamonix-Mont-Blanc By The North Face
Date: Jan. 24, 2015; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

2. Swatch Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen By The North Face
Date: Jan. 31, 2015; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, AUT
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

3. Swatch Freeride World Tour Vallnord Arcalis / Andorra By The North Face
Date: Feb 14, 2015; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, AND

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

4. Swatch Freeride World Tour Haines Alaska By The North Face
Date: March 14, 2015; Location: Haines, Alaska
Disciplines: Men’s Ski and Snowboard

5. Swatch Xtreme Verbier By The North Face
Date: March 28, 2015; Location: Verbier, SUI
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years shows that the base of the sport is growing exponentially. 
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

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