25/09/2009 | by Tom Copsey
Canadian Seb Toutant wins Stylewars and makes history as youngest ever world number 1 on the TTR World Tour rankings.
Sebastien Toutant from Quebec, Canada, has taken the world number one ranking in the prestigious TTR World Snowboard Tour, thanks to winning the title of 2009 Grandmaster at Stylewars, Falls Creek Australia.
Toutant, 16, has made history as the youngest rider to ever rank number one and is also the youngest rider to ever win the notorious Stylewars snowboard competition, which has been running for seven years.
Toutant has now knocked Mason Aguirre (USA) off the TTR throne and is “super stoked” but will try his hardest to stay on top; “It feels really good to be the youngest ranking number one. I’m leading in the TTR right now, but it’s not to say I will win the TTR.”
In competition, Toutant was in a league of his own, throwing down several Double Cork 10s, and even stomping a flawless Double Cork 12 – his first ever in competition. In claiming the Stylewars Grandmaster title, Toutant takes home a cash prize of $7000.
But judging was not easy, with so much talent displayed from around the globe. However, it was the young riders that really stole the show.
Charles Reid (CAN), 19, last year’s Grandmaster, worked hard to defend his title with an impressive performance including a Michaelchuck on the two-storey high wall ride.
In the end, however, Reid ranked third place overall for the Stylewars event. But formerly ranked third in TTR World Snowboard Tour rankings, Reid has now moved up to world number two.
Second place at Stylewars was taken by Norwegian Mikkel Bang, also 19, who claimed the $1500 prize for Best Trick. He stomped an incredible switch backside 12 over the 80-foot jump, blowing everyone away. Bang keeps his position at number 27 in the TTR tour.
This was a stellar performance from Bang who has recently recovered from two surgeries due to torn ligaments in his foot. He says, “The jump was so much fun, everyone was killing it, and I don’t know what to say. I’m just stoked to win the Best Trick. I was injured for a while and it was wicked to jump switch backside again.”
The 80-foot booter was the first feature in the specially made park for riders to hit. With a steep landing riders were then able to choose from a selection of other jibs and smaller jumps including a unique pole jib, a down rail, a wall ride and a tyre bonk.
After four days of wind-hold which delayed the competition, head judge Mel Simmons commented, “I am so stoked that the weather pulled through for the boys and we were able to come up with a result. They all rode so well, it was absolutely outstanding.”
Representing his home turf, Australian rider Chris DeCampo, 17, rode exceptionally with a mix of stylie 3s and 5s as well as shredding the rails.
Chris Kroell, who came ninth place, was one of three Austrian riders who made it to the event. In his second appearance from his visit in 2006, he said that the jump was even better than the last time he was here. And after four days of waiting for the weather to clear, he was thrilled: “This was definitely worth the wait.
“I think everyone is really happy now that we have finally run the contest. I came here 5000 miles, and it would be a shame to have stayed inside the lodge the entire time. This is what we are here for – for the riding, here for the tour, and to progress. We are really happy. Tonight we will drink!”
It was a long-time coming considering the contest had been on standby for the past several days. Shining star Toutant said “It was fun, we had the best weather of the week and we finally got to hit the jump. It was fun with a two-hour jam, where you can do your best runs at the end, so everyone rode really well.”
Eric Willett (USA), who came in fourth place overall, agreed: “Yeah it was so much fun. With a jam you don’t have to worry about stomping everything every time, you know. You can try something else and do anything you want.” Willett has now moved up an extraordinary 14 places from 18th to fourth place in the TTR world rankings.
Event Director Richard Hegarty said, “I am so happy to be able to come up with a result. The riders were having a great time, and considering the conditions we were dealt, the course was really fun.”
Stylewars 2009 Grandmaster results:
1. Sebastien Toutant (CAN)
2. Mikkel Bang (NOR)
3. Charles Reid (CAN)
4. Eric Willett (USA)
5. Sage Kotsenburg (USA)
6. Matts Kulisek (CAN)
7. Michael Stanschitz (AUT)
8. Keiran McLaughlin (AUS)
9. Chris Kroell (AUT)
10. Chris DeCampo (AUS)