26/08/2010 | by Tom Copsey
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The World Rookie Tour headed down under for the first ever Australian Rookie Fest, which went off on July 31.
Check out the next wave of talent from down under having it. Here’s what went down:
Billy Hayman wins Australian Rookie Fest in Thredbo
Fifteen-year-old Billy Hayman is the debut champion of the Australian Rookie Fest in Thredbo thanks to a sick run that included some stylish front and back 720s with a myriad of jib tricks to match. Next week will take place the South America Rookie Fest in Valle Nevado, Chile, as the last stop for the Southern Hemisphere for the World Rookie Tour 2010.
Despite an unseasonal downpour of rain the day prior, Thredbo’s terrain park crew soldiered on to tirelessly put together a stellar looking slopestyle course. The set up included a 30 stair set complete with both round and flat bar options into a 6 metre box to cliff drop landing. Next was the jump line consisting of a 35ft jump into a 40 ft jump to finish. With the smooth take offs and landings, 540′s and 720’s quickly became the standard tricks of the top 5 riders in the finals.
Thursday’s rainfall meant the cancellation of the planned air bag session and practice on the slopestyle course. But not ones to let a bit of bad weather sour their moods, the kids remained high-spirited and confident they’d get to shred on the planned competition day on Friday.
The weather co-operated on Friday as the judges, including Australian Olympic halfpipe rider Ben Mates, witnessed some of the best qualification runs ever seen in an Australian junior competition. In what was a difficult field of riders to split, the male rookie group was narrowed down to a five rider final. Billy Hayman’s run of front board down the staircase, back tail to same way 270 off the cliff box into a frontside 720 mute and then backed up by a backside 720 Japan was enough to earn him the nod from Jesse Kennedy and Hugh Marsden.
In the female rookie division Lauren Staveley’s combination of 50-50s with back and front 360s earned her the win. While in the grom division, Henry Bessell impressed with a winning run of 50-50 down the staircase into another 50-50 to backside 180 out off the cliff box, followed by a cab 540 into a backside 360. Billy, Henry and Lauren all secured themselves an all-inclusive entro to the Livigno World Rookie Fest in Italy and maybe the World Rookie Finals in Ischgl, Austria in the hope of securing the title of World Rookie Champion, an accolade once captured by Australia’s own Michaela Davis Meehan in 2009. The prize includes registration, accomodation, meals and lift tickets, while Male and Female rookie winners also won a ride in the Red Bull stunt plane.
Billy Hayman 1st Male Rookie
Lauren Staveley 1st Female Rookie
Henry Bessell 1st Rookie Grom