15/12/2006 | by Onboard
Swatch & O’Neill have announced that they will be joining forces in 2007 to create a brand new ski and snowboard event. The inaugural Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro 2007 will take place in March and promises to revolutionise the world of freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions with its innovative new format.
The competition will start in the picturesque Swiss ski resort of Laax on 1st March and finish in the Austrian city of Innsbruck on 10th March. Sixteen of the world’s best snowboarders and skiers will compete in the event which will host three competition days spread out over three different mountains.
The unprecedented mobile format of the event will guarantee the best possible snow conditions and terrain for the competition. With the vastness and diversity of the European Alps setting the stage for this unique event, the competitors will be offered unparalleled lift and helicopter access to some of the region’s most impressive peaks. Judging one another via video feedback over 3 different kinds of terrain – steeps, cliffs and freestyle-friendly terrain – the competitors will battle it out to earn the respect of their peers and claim their part of the € 60,000 prize.
The competition will welcome the participation of some of the world’s elite boarders and skiers. Confirmed boarders already include 5-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year Jeremy Jones (US), freeriding legend Steve Klassen and Austrian freestyler Stefan Gimpl, voted Rider of the Decade in 2003 at the Air & Style. Confirmed skiers, meanwhile, include Sweden’s Kaj Zackrisson, Canadian freeskier and 3-times IFSA World Champion Hugo Harrison, French daredevil Seb Michaud and Swiss skier Phil Meier.
The competition will be broadcast live over the internet so the action can be witnessed firsthand. Event organizer Nicolas Hale-Woods, is excited and intrigued to see how this original format will translate into mind-blowing action, adding: “We’re stoked to bring the world’s freeride elite together for the first edition of the Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro – with Mother Nature shaping the playground, and the world’s best freeriders battling it out and judging one another, it promises to be the ultimate freeride event.”
For more information about the Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro 2007, including an updated list of confirmed riders, go to www.oneilleurope.com/bigmountainpro