Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Kicks Off In Vallnord Arcalis (Andorra)

In two weeks on January 23, 2016, the finest freeriders in the world will head to Vallnord Arcalís, Andorra for to commence their journey to be crowned world champion of the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT).
As the snow begins to fall across the Northern Hemisphere, athletes across the world are preparing for another season of exciting action on the prestigious freeride tour. The 2016 edition of the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) is destined to be one for the history books as it will host the most talented freeriders on the planet competing on legendary venues across the world for a total prize purse of 467,000 USD.
With a total of 62 athletes representing 14 countries, this diverse assembly freeride athletes is composed of 27 male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers, and 7 female snowboarders. Some of the most recognized names in their respective disciplines will face-off during the five competition stops over the 2016 season. These finely tuned athletes will test their limits after putting in countless hours of physical and mental preparation over the summer months. Athletes will attempt to secure their name in freeride history as they push the limits of the sport on the road to the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland.
As the sport of freeride grows by leaps and bounds every year, the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) is proud to welcome Peak Performance as the Outerwear Partner for the tour this season. Founded in Åre, Sweden in 1986, Peak Performance develops gear as a result of an organic process marrying function with fashion.

Event Calendar and Cut
Few people have even heard of this hidden gem deep in the Pyrenees mountains straddling the France-Spain border – but that doesn’t mean that this ski resort in Southern Europe isn’t gaining a reputation among hardcore freeriders for having incredible terrain and a welcoming alpine culture.
Famous already since 1998 for organizing extraordinary freeride events, the Vallnord Arcalís in Andorra is originally known for the ‘El Dorado Freeride’ – a popular stop on the Freeride World Qualifier. For the second time, the organizers will welcome the athletes of the Freeride World Tour in 2016.

Date: Jan. 23, 2016; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, AND
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

FWT16 - Teaser Vallnord Arcalís par FreerideWorldTourTV

The legendary alpine playground with a rich history of alpinism and freeride will once again welcome competitors to the Mont Blanc massif. With stunning vistas in every direction and a population of hardcore mountain enthusiasts, Chamonix is guaranteed to deliver an exciting event.

Date: Feb 6, 2016; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

Anyone who has been to the Austrian Alps know that mountain culture runs deep in the Tyrolean Pillerseetal valley. Fantastic terrain combined with a legendary event village and warm welcome from the local community is a treat for athletes and spectators alike.

Date: March 6, 2016; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, AUT
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

The following cut takes place after event NO. 3:
- Top 14 Men Ski (from 26)
- Top 7 Women Ski (from 14)
- Top 7 Men Snowboard (from 14)
- Top 5 Women Snowboard (from 8)
Are qualified for FWT Alaska and for FWT17

Descending the impossibly steep and aesthetic terrain of the Alaskan mountain is every freerider’s dream. This dream becomes reality in one of the most unique venues in freeride history. Take a ride on the wild side as riders push their limits on the most revered lines in the world, far from any ski resort or chairlift.

Date: March 17, 2016; Location: Haines
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

The following cut takes place after event NO. 4:
- Top 12 Men Ski (from 14)
- Top 6 Women Ski (from 7)
- Top 6 Men Snowboard (from 7)
- Top 4 Women Snowboard (from 5)
Are qualified for FWT Verbier

For over 20 years competitors have given their most astounding performances during the Xtreme Verbier. It’s a place where legends are made and broken on the most committing and infamous venue of the tour: the Bec des Rosses. The intimidatingly exposed pyramid-shaped peak has long challenged top riders to face their fears and put everything on line to the seek the glory of victory on the definitive grand finale of the tour.

Date: April 2, 2016; Location: Verbier, SUI
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

The Swatch Freeride World Tour (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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