07/04/2009 | by Onboard
The 5th edition of the four-star TTR contest gathered the highest level of international snowboarding ever seen in the Pyrenees!
Ville Uotila – photo: Alex Gosteli
Ville Uotila (FIN) has won for the second time in a row, the GrandValira Total Fight Title, followed by Pål Sörensen (NOR) and Gerome Matthieu (FRA).
Ville won with an impressive run with a switch BS 900, FS 540 and a huge switch BS 700. He then went on to meet his fellow countryman, Janne Lipsanen (FIN) who laid down a smooth BS 540 but bailed on his second jump trying a BS 900. Ville’s response to this was a huge switch BS 900, FS 540 and a gigantic switch BS 180, earning him top scores and sealing his second Total Fight victory. Second place went to 21 year old Pål Sörensen (NOR) whose run in the second round included an solid Cab 900 and FS 540 which moved him up to World No.52.
Grandvalira’s-El Tarter snowpark gathered an impressive audience of locals who supported and cheered the international selection of riders from Finland, Norway, Andorra, Austria, Germany, France and Russia. This years snowboarding has been described by organiser Enric Bonvehi as the highest level and most technical snowboarding ever seen in GrandValira, consolidating Grandvalira Total Fight as the biggest freestyle event in southern Europe.
Riders and audience enjoyed a bright sunshiny day in Andorra during Friday’s qualifiers. Unfortunately, Saturday saw the arrival of a heavy snow-storm, forcing the judges to stop the competition at semifinals. Prizes where then based on results to that point.
The format for the finals was a brutal head to head match-up, or “Total Fight”. Riders had to battle against each other, with the top qualifier taking on the previous qualifier. The riders and event organisers together decided to finish the finals early due to heavy snowfall which was slowing the course down, meaning the winners were decided based on their riding in the second round.
Vile Uotila was one of the favourites as he had already won last years edition of Total Fight. Not only did he earn a nice EUR 6000 purse, the TTR points obtained thanks to his victory earned him the 23rd place in the TTR World Tour. All eyes were on Burton’s new big talent Seppe Smits, who unfortunately fell ill and couldn’t match Ville Uotila. In Ville’s words: “Seppe was sick so I got through the first round pretty easy. I had nothing to lose so I just went for it on my next run and it went pretty well. It’s pretty cool to get so many TTR points as it should bump me up in the rankings, I’m thinking now that maybe I should have gone to the US Open and I might have had a chance to beat my last year 13th position”.
Every evening, locals and visitors enjoyed the 5th edition of the Photo and Video Festivals that gathered the best snowboard movie productions. Hits such as Travis Rice’s That’s it that’s all, Absinthe’s Ready or the local crew BQP with their latest movie Stress were shown at Nemo’s, Andorra’s meca of Freestyle parties. Also the best snowboard photographers of Spain including Marc Gasch, Jesús Andres Fernandez and Antxon Epelde presented their best works.
As usual, the party went off on saturday night. The music festival started with the band Freak Selecor who made the croud dance and bang their heads with their oldschool rock’n’roll tunes, their rockstar attitude and loud guitars. Later on, as the locals started to arrive (followers of spanish traditions and times), the Barcelona based crew YALL brought their mad electronic sound and visuals that made everyone dance and sweat till the sun came up.
SNOWBOARD TOP 16:
1. Ville Uotila (FIN)
2. Pål Sörensen (NOR)
3. Mattieu Gerome (FRA)
4. Victor de Le Rue (FRA)
5. Jaakko Ruha (FIN)
6. Rudi Kroell (AUT)
7. Janne Lipsanen (FIN)
8. Joachim Krogstie (NOR)
9. Herby Thaler (AUT)
10. Sami Saarenpää (FIN)
11. Michael Stanschitz (AUT)
12. Sondre Hylland (NOR)
13. Chris Kroell (AUT)
14. Nuutti Niemelä (FIN)
15. Ruben Verges (ESP)
16. Benjamin Mosl (AUT)
16. Seppe Smits (BEL)