[Photos: Alex Roberts and Pat Vermeulen]
The overnight snowfall left a dusting in town, but the bad weather continued up top this morning. Fortunately, though, visibility was fine despite the continual snow and the young bucks and buckettes set about making their mark on the snowboard world.
Unfortunately, the snowfall had taken a chunk of speed out of the pipe but nevertheless the youngsters made the most of it in a pipe that for many of them is at least five times their own height. In this age category, it always is the case that whatever the technical ability of a rider, a major deciding factor is the rider’s physical maturity – the smaller, lighter riders can never get the height of the bigger folk and it was true again this year, though some of the smaller kids were showing some major promise with their style. Hell, most of these mini folk ride better and have better style than I do despite being alive for way less time than I’ve been snowboarding. A sobering thought for an old fucko.
For the boys, Olivier Gittler looked to be the MVP, with runs that would give more than a few of the seniors a run for their money, and, to no one’s surprise, Finnish imps like Petja Piiroinen were looking good. Others that demanded attention were Slovakian Luka Jeromel and Japan’s Eisuke Siguira who span like hell and went big-up massive respectively, but in the end we will have to wait till tomorrow to see what the outcome is as the fog moved in shortly after the girls’ contest was completed and, with the judges unable to see the full length of the pipe, the only thing was to postpone the boys’ final to the following day where, hopefully, conditions will improve.
The junior girls, though, faired better with the weather and their final was able to be completed to give the BEO its first result of the week. Battling with the slow conditions combined with their lighter weight, it must have been challenging to get out of one of the world’s biggest U-jumps but some of the girls stepped up and did just that. And not only that. Girls’ winner Mirabelle Thovex (yes, the sister of crazy ski dude Candide) was linking fs 5 to bs 5 combos and showing some good style too.
So that’s how the day ended. Fogged off for the boys but the girls got their moment on the podium after the Onboard crew had bagged their own moment of glory. Shortly before the girls took their bow, the TTR’s Drew Stevenson challenged the kids to pelt him with snowballs and, frankly, got totally fuckin’ nailed by the little ankle biters. By the time he managed to crawl away from the incessant barrage he was, indeed, the Abominable Stevensonman, beard, face and no doubt every major orifice plugged with Ullr's white love.
So, anyway, waffle over. Here’s the results
Halfpipe Final Girls
1 – Mirabelle Thovex FRA 2 – Emilie Aubry – SUI 3 – Silje Norendal – NOR
Halfpipe Girls Youth Final
1 – Silje Norendal NOR 2 – Alicia Bonnauld FRA 3 – Melanie Camastral SUI
Update tomorrow after the seniors’ pipe training and junior boys’ pipe final, weather permitting. Oh, it’s now dumping outside. Happy days. Ish...