16/03/2011 | by Tom Copsey
A truly spectacular performance was witnessed by the three thousand spectators gathered for the biggest Slovakian snowboard contest, the 4Star Sony Ericsson Snowboard Fest on Saturday 19th of February 2011.
The freshly upgraded 4Star big air event had attracted local superstars, as well as, a strong Swedish and Czech representation to Driencia, the Slovak resort, and a high level of riding was seen throughout the day. Isak Björnström (SWE) took the title leaving countryman Felix Mobärg in second and Jan Nečas (CZE) in third. Isak took home 500 Swatch TTR Ranking points and a mighty share of the $20 000 USD prize purse.
The 17-meter flat kicker was in perfect shape and liked by all the riders, and the warm and slightly slushy conditions during the day let riders in the qualifying rounds fly by with a smile on their face. The unique qualification format was one part of the day that made the event memorable and maximised the riding done by the riders. In the first qualification round a minimum of 540 rotation was required to move on, and semi-finals saw a one hour jam session with 2 scored runs where tricks had to be called before dropping in.
The evening brought some gusts of wind, but that did not stop the ten qualified riders from putting on a killer showdown in the three jumps, best two counts final. Winner Isak Björnström (SWE) stomped a huge and clean switch backside 900 in the first run, and polished off the victory with a frontside 1080. He was stoked to take his career’s first 4Star title and said, “It’s the first time I’m here in Slovakia and it was a really great day today. The jump was perfect and with really good riders here, everyone had fun. I came here with couple friends and I’m super happy now.”
Felix Mobärg (SWE) who rose to second place landed a backside 720 and a frontside 1080, and Czech ripper Jan Nečas who placed third threw down a crowd pleasing double back flip and a frontside 1080 and moved up into the World No. 57 in the Swatch TTR tour rankings. Alessandro Boyens (GER), who has previously bagged the Sony Ericsson Snowboard Fest title three times in a row, was not able to repeat his performance. He placed tenth and now sits just outside the TTR World Top 100.
For more info go to ttrworldtour.com