When: 19-22 January, 2009
Where: Swatch Snowpark Mottolino in Livigno, Italy
Staale Sandbech – all photos: Leonora Raggie
Norway resulted in the best team and, as it was in past editions, the general level of tricks and infrastructures in this event make it seems more a professional snowboard contest than an international junior meeting: the set up included 3 different lines 3 huge jumps about 20m long while 1080 rotations were the standard tricks of the top 10 riders in the finals.
The event started on sunday’s training in one of the biggest park of the Alps: the Swatch Snowpark Mottolino in Livigno. Since day 1 a high level of riding was showed with sick runs including 7s and 9s from the “big names” of the event: Dimi de Jong, Staale Sandbech, Teddy Koo and many others. At 12.00 a.m. wind stopped the training on the jumps but the rookies immediatly arranged a rail session on the first obstacle of the slope: a huge 25 stairs with straight and kinked rails.
Dimi De Jong
On Monday, 19 January, the judges, including the Pirate rider Joki Koeffler, saw one of the best qualification ever seen in a World Rookie Fest. Joki stated to be really stoked from the level of riding he saw in Livigno. The scandic riders were all extremely good conquering 12 of the 16 spot for the finals, but the dutchs Rocco Van Straaten and Dimi De Jong resulted the best in both Rookie and Grom categories. Rocco hit the pro line with an amazing run including of bs9, cab9 and bs10, while Dimi killed the large line with a progression from 720 to 1080 resulting the best Grom. Alicia Bonnaud from France was the best among the qualifing girls.
Tuesday, 20 January, the finals were postponed because of an heavy snow fall and the WRF crew enjoyed an unexpected day of powder which give even more positive feelings to this event. on Wednesday morning, even if someone didn’t think it was possible to re-shape a park under a meter of snow in only one night, the big line of the Swatch Snowpark Mottolino was ready to welcome the best 16 male rookies, 8 male groms and 8 girls to start the challenge for tickets to Aesthetiker Wangle Tangle Gang Jam in Mayrhofen, the 4star Protest World Rookie Finals 2009 in Ischlg and Protest Surf Camp in Lacanau, France, including 300€ travel budget to reach the famous surf spot.
Obviously the Furius Black Yeti ride with the finalist pushing their level higher than ever to “Conquer the Snowboard Age”: if not for the name of the event, the crows could be sure to see a professional snowboard competition. Instead of best trick (there were to many 1080) the judges nominate a “best combo” from the norwegian Aleksander Oestreng who stomped a double front flip to double corkscrew 1080 obtaining the 3rd rookie place. Kevin Backstrom from Sweden killed the jump line conquering the second place among the rookie category, while the well known norwegian rising star Staale Sandbech resulted the best in the finals with a sick progression from 540 to 1080 on the large kicker line. Among the groms, first place for Dimi De Jong stomped 7s and 9s as they were basic tricks, followed by the italian new comer Marco Grigis and the rasta-swedish Benjamin Koening. For the girls category Michaela Davis-Meehan from Australia who get the first place thanks to 5er spins.
Watch the event’s videos on freecaster.tv: first podcast is already online and other will follows, including a 12 minutes TV show with interview and backstage.
The World Rookie Tour proceeds with 3 stops at 2 star levels that will assign other tickets to the Protest World Rookie Finals in Ischgl and Protest Surf Camp in Lacanau: the North Face Korean Rookie Fest in Phoenix Park in Korea on 4-6 February, the Protest Balkan Rookie Fest in Kopaonic, Serbia on 20-22 February and the Protest East Rookie Fest in Splinderuv Mlyn, Czech Republic on 6-8 March.
GIRLS GROM FINAL RESULTS
Maiocco, Maria Delfina (ITA) *1996
GIRLS ROOKIE FINAL RESULTS
1 Davis-Meehan, Michaela (AUS) *1992
2 Bonnaud, Alicia (FRA) *1993
3 Jones, Maria (NOR) *1992
4 Sittoni, Arianna (ITA) *1992
5 Fazi, Francesco (ITA) *1991
6 Gallo, Giulia (ITA) *1992
BOYS GROM FINAL RESULTS
1 De Jong, Dimi (NED) *1994
2 Grigis, Marco (ITA) *1994
3 Lestage-König, Benjamin (SWE) *1996
4 Hunt, Thomas (GBR) *1994
5 Eigensatz, Leandro (SUI) *1994
6 Mikyska, Martin (CZE) *1994
7 Courtier Jones, Lewis (GBR) *1995
8 Öberg, Tobias (SWE) *1994
9 De Buck, Sebbe (BEL) *1995
10 Hielström, Albin (SWE) 1994
BOYS ROOKIE FINAL RESULTS
1 Sandbech, Staale (NOR) *1993
2 Bäckström, Kevin (SWE) *1992
3 Oestreng Mihailovic Aleksander (NOR) *1991
4 Tonteri, Roope (FIN) *1992
5 Niemela Nuuti (FIN) *1991
6 Bilare, Anton (SWE) *1991
7 Koo, Teddy (JPN) *1991
8 Van Straaten, Rocco *1991
9 Sondre Fossum Tiller (NOR) *1991
10 Solbraa, Even (NOR) *1991