Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Team Europe Takes The Lead In The Swatch Skiers Cup 2015

The score of the Backcountry Slopestyle event ended 10-8 to Team Europe.
On the longest ever Backcountry Slopestyle venue with a vertical drop of 600m (2000 ft), the rivaling teams threw on one duel after another of acrobatic accomplishments and unbelievable balance.
The judges of the Swatch Skiers Cup scored the runs by heats of 2 from a simple scale of win or lose. However lots of details go into the judgment of the overall impression. SSC judge and former pro skier and 2002 X Games bronze medalist Philippe Poirier (CAN) explains: "We look a lot at the style in the air, the composition and fluidity of the run, originality and of course the balance in the landings. Also, even if you know your opponent has crashed, you have to still go for it, so if you come down doing three spread eagles to stay safely on your feet, you still risk losing it".


The difficulty of the First Round is that the skiers have only had a visual check to base their decisions on. They have to rely solely on their feel for the snow and their experience to adjust the speed to the different features. Sam Favret (FRA) started out taking a point for Europe in the first heat by beating Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA) – both stomping their runs but Sam throwing tricks of higher difficulty. The next four rounds would see points going to Team Americas. Both Richard Permin (FRA) and Sven Kueenle (GER) crashed hard in their heats, taking them out for the second round and sending them straight for a medical check-up.
The first round finished of with a duel between the two Team Captains, Seth Morrison (USA) and Julien Regnier (FRA) with the victory going to Julien after Seth had laid out with a Flat3 Japan up top followed by a huge back flip off a cliff earning him the baptizing rights. He just managed to save the landing but then crashed after the next feature.
The first round ended with a score of 5-4 to Team Americas.

HEAT 1 Sam FAVRET (FRA) VS Sage CATTABRIGA-ALOSA (USA)

HEAT 2 Tanner RAINVILLE (USA) VS Nicolas VUIGNIER (SUI)

HEAT 3 Richard PERMIN (FRA) VS Andy MAHRE (USA)

HEAT 4 Callum PETTIT (USA) VS Sven KUEENLE (GER)

HEAT 5 Sverre LILIEQUIST (SWE) VS Rory BUSHFIELD (CAN)

HEAT 6 Cody TOWNSEND (USA) VS Loïc COLLOMB-PATTON (FRA)

HEAT 7 Fabien MAIERHOFER (FRA) VS Dana FLAHR (CAN)

HEAT 8 Logan PEHOTA (CAN) VS Sam ANTHAMATTEN (SUI)

HEAT 9 Julien REGNIER (FRA) VS Seth MORRISON (USA)

The second one is traditionally the round where the riders pull off their best stuff, after having tasted the terrain and felt how much speed is needed to get the air wanted in the first round.
The second round laid out with a duel between duel Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) taking the score even by beating Rory Bushfield (CAN) who almost beat the strong Frenchie by going for the wow factor, opening of the big kicker 4 that none had felt tempted to take in round 1.
Then next many rounds kept the score very close, alternating wins to the two teams all the way up to the much awaited heat of legends: Seth Morrison (USA) versus Sverre Liliequist (SWE). Both guys showed that they are not done playing yet. Seth sent an even bigger back flip than first time off “his” cliff – inspiring Sverre to send an evenly big back flip off another cliff. Both crashed but the wow factor was such that they definitely delivered the highlights of the day. Sverre got the point taking the score to an even 9-7.
Andy Mahre (USA) set up a spectacular second run but not enough to beat Sam Favret (FRA) in this very tight heat. Finally, Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) having stepped in for Sven Kueenle (GER) in the heat that showed the highest level of the day against Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA).
Sage won the heat with probably the most creative line of the day, including combination of a man-made and natural feature into a double up top and opening up a new air.

HEAT 1 Rory BUSHFIELD (CAN) VS Loïc COLLOMB-PATTON (FRA)

HEAT 2 Fabien MAIERHOFER (FRA) VS Callum PETTIT (CAN)

HEAT 3 Cody TOWNSEND (USA) VS Sam ANTHAMATTEN (SUI)

HEAT 4 Julien REGNIER (FRA) VS Dana FLAHR (CAN)

HEAT 5 Logan PEHOTA (CAN) VS Nicolas VUIGNIER (SUI)

HEAT 6 Sverre LILIEQUIST (SWE) VS Seth MORRISON (USA)

HEAT 7 Andy MAHRE (USA) VS Richard PERMIN (FRA)

HEAT 8 Sven KUEENLE (GER) VS Sage CATTABRIGA-ALOSA (USA)

HEAT 9 Tanner RAINVILLE (USA) VS Sam FAVRET (FRA)

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