29/01/2012 | by Tom Copsey
If reporting from a snowboard contest always meant shredding pow all day and having no access to the internet we would fight over our individual attendance. The O’Neill Evolution 2012 in Davos was such a case, and despite the heavy snowfalls the level of riding was “holy guacamole” according to event speaker Henry Jackson. Here’s the full report and two videos:
The world of professional snowboarding kicked off 2012 with a bang as hard fought O’Neill Evolution victories by Canadian, Mark McMorris, and compatriot, Spencer O’Brien, capped a week of dramatic action in Davos, Switzerland.
Despite significant weather challenges throughout the contest, the first major event on the 2012 TTR World Snowboard Tour once again brought the cream of international riders and the highest level of performance to the picturesque Alpine resort of Davos. Pushing the highest known technical limits, competition was fierce as riders vied for a share of the $125,000 prize purse, TTR Ranking points and seeding into the World Championships.
The Women’s Final was blessed with the best riding conditions of the week, and the eight competitors who made the final took no time in demonstrating massive progression. Despite stiff competition, Spencer O’Brien raised the bar from the outset, and continued to set the standard for the remainder of the 3-run finals.
O’Brien’s first run, a stomped frontside 720 nosebone to gapped lipslide, caught the imagination of the judges and saw her take home $20,000 USD and direct qualifications to the World Championships. Sina Candrian(SUI) was always dangerous, but failed to land her final run leaving her in 2nd place while Anna Gasse(AUT) managed to fend off podium-hungry challengers to secure third.
There was an electric atmosphere enveloping the huge crowd at the foot of the Jakobshorn as an incredible light show welcomed in the 16-man Night Final. Every person present was treated to a rarely seen level of progressive freestyle snowboarding.
The atmosphere intensified as the lead was swapped between Eric Willet(USA) and Mark McMorris. Willet scored what looked like an unassailable 95.30pts with a switch backside doublecork 1260 to lipslide 270 in his second run, only for McMorris to edge in front of him with a score of 95.60pts thanks to an even bigger backside doublecork 1260 to lipslide 270. Seppe Smits(BEL) turned up the pressure, landing a cab 1440 mute to cab 270 fronside boardslide in his final run, but it was not enough to change the order of the podium, with McMorris pocketing a cool $40,000 USD for his efforts.
The results also saw major Tour Lead changes on the TTR World Snowboarding TourRanking system. Eric Willet now moves to the top of the TTR Big Air Ranking, Christian Haller(SUI) moved into the TTR Overall lead while Sina Candrian(SUI) and Seppe Smits(BEL) booked places at the World Snowboard Championships.
In what will be remembered as one of the most incredible O’Neill Evolutions to date, the celebrations are set to start and look certain to go well into the night.