After much anticipation due to the event being postponed three days because of constant snowfall and low visibility, 54 riders were anxious to finally get a chance to drop in to the face this morning from the two start gates – one for women and one for men. The stakes of this event were high and the quality of the riding reflected the intensity of the athletes.
The snowboard men ran last today but also expressed an incredibly high level of riding due to the need to qualify for the fourth event on the FWT. Team USA swept the podium with favorite Sammy Luebke (USA – 1st) once again taking the top position with grab mastery and his trademark smooth riding. Newcomer Jonathan Penfield (USA – 2nd) took second with a solid riding style that he shared with his compatriot Christopher Galvin (USA – 3rd). Ralph Backstrom (USA) did not stay on his feet but will still qualify for Haines along with young Frenchman Camille Armand and veteran Florian Orley (AUT).
It was also an important day in the snowboard women division with former world champion Elodie Mouthon (FRA – 1st ) laying down the highest scoring line of the day with control and amplitude. It was an emotional second place for Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA – 2nd) as she tackled the face with authority, scoring her just above fellow francophone Marion Haerty (FRA – 3rd) who has been impressing judges all season. Notably absent from the podium is favorite Estelle Balet (SUI) whose fourth place finish will still guarantee her spot on Alaska along with Mikela Hollstein (FIN).