22/04/2013 | by Youri Barneoud
Riders from all over the World flocked to Andorra this weekend for the ninth Edition of the Grandvalira Total Fight. This year the Total Fight upgraded to 5 stars on the World Snowboard Tour making it one of the season’s most anticipated slopestyle events.
[Qualification highlights - Finals video to follow.]
This year’s slopestyle started off with a rail zone which consisted of a choice between a 6 metre rail or a rail king, followed by a down box with a 5 metre gap or a wallride, followed by the line of three kickers. All the riders had to show their best skills on the varying spring conditions to win the final prize.
The weather was temperamental for today’s finals; a mixture of snow, rain, wind and sun accompanied the riders throughout the day. The 24 finalists were pitched against each other in pairs, with only two rounds to prove their skills and knock out their rivals. The pairing, which depended on the previous day’s scores, went as such: Janne Korpi against Seth Hill, Tor Lundstrom against Brage Richenberg, Jon Versteeg against Eric Willett, Jeremy Thompson against Charles Reid, Marco Grigis against Aleksi Partanen, Simon Gruber against Ville Uotila, Tyler Nicholson against Spencer Link, Ian Thorley against Eric Beauchemin, Peter Horak against Mans Hedberg, Robby Balharry against Nuuti Niemela, Kevin Backstrom against Simen Neraker and Kevin Kok against Markku Koski. The 12 riders who made it to the final were: Seth Hill, Brage Richenberg, Eric Willett, Charles Reid, Aleksi Partanen, Ville Uotila, Tyler Nicholson, Eric Beauchemin, Mans Hedberg, Nuuti Niemela, Kevin Backstrom and Kevin Kok.
Thanks to mother nature’s shaky mood today, the weather got wilder and wilder making the visibilty close to zero, meaning that, despite the shapers hard work, the slopestyle was getting slower and the finalists couldn’t make it to the jumps. Just as it looked like the weather was getting her way and ending the Total Fight prematurely, the sun came out and the competition continued. Unfortunately, the tardiness meant that the judging system had to be changed and the 12 finalists only had two rounds to win the competition.
This year’s hands down Grandvalira Total Fight 2013 winner was the Canadian Charles Reid, who won with a spectacular round which started off with a Gap Front 270 Front Board followed by a Gap Front Boad to Fakie, Cab Double Cork Mute 900 and sweetly polished off with a Back Rodeo 5 Melon.
The American Willett came close to the Canadian with a round that started off with a Front 270 Front Board followed by a Front Board, Front Mute and finished by a Back Rodeo 5 Melon. Swedish star Kevin Backstrom came third with a solid run: a Gap Front Lip followed by a Backside 50-50 Front 180 Off, Cab 900 Melon and finished by a Back 720 Mute.
22-year-old Charles Reid, a resident of Mont-Tremblant (Quebec, Canada) said:
“It feels pretty good to get up on the podium and win first prize, even more so when it’s a TTR event like this. I didn’t expect to win the competition but I had a lot of confidence in my tricks. The circuit was incredible, you could get a lot of speed, it was really good. I’ll be back next year for sure!”
The first fifteen winners shared 40.000 € of cash between them. The first three won 15.000 €, 10.000 € and 5.000 € respectively.
NAME / COUNTRY / SPONSOR / HIGHEST SCORE
1 – Charles Reid / CAN / Oakley / 84.67
2 – Eric Willett / USA / Vans / 82.33
3 – Kevin Backstrom / SWE / Nike / 73.33
4 – Eric Beauchemin / USA / DC / 69.00
5 – Tyler Nicholson / CAN / Lib Tech / 65.00
6 – Nuuti Niemela / FIN / Smith / 58.67
7 – Aleksi Partanen / FIN / Koli / 55.00
8 – Ville Uotila / FIN / Dye / 52.33
9 – Kevin Kok / ITA / Burn / 46.00
10 – Seth Hill / USA / Sims / 39.67
11 – Brage Richenberg / NOR / Sabotage / 31.67
12 – Mans Hedberg / SWE / DC / 28.33