Following a six-year run as one of the top snowboard competitions in the world, the Vail Valley Foundation along with their partner Vail Resorts, announced this week that the 6Star Honda Session at Vail has been cancelled for 2008/09.
For the 08/09 season, the Session had been accredited as a 6Star level event on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour for the first time since its foundation in 2003 because of its high standards, innovativeness, media coverage and popularity among the top level riders on the circuit.
“Six years ago, we worked in partnership with the Foundation to create a pro snowboarding event that would help position Vail in the snowboarding world," says Chris Jarnot, chief operating officer for Vail Resorts. “The Session has done a great job of this and we are proud to have been the host mountain for what is considered one of the best snowboard events in the world".
However, according to the Vail Valley Foundation, costs for the production of the event have increased to a level that could not be fully recovered without running a high risk of a financial loss. “While, we regret having to take these steps, Vail Resorts and the Vail Valley Foundation remain committed to the sport of snowboarding and we are actively working to identify a new winter event that will most likely include snowboarding.", explains John Dakin from Vail Valley Foundation.
The cancellation of the Honda Session at Vail yet means another loss of a 6Star event on the top level of the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour, after the recent cancellation of the Air&Style in Munich and the cancellation of the Slopestyle format at the Arctic Challenge in Oslo. “The cancellation of another 6Star event is a setback for the Tour this season but we have already taken all steps necessary to provide the high-level competition environment for riders going after the Tour Champion title that the TTR is known for.", says Reto Lamm, President of the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour.
The news from Vail have resulted in another change on the Swatch TTR event calendar with the Burton Canadian Open being rescheduled from December 3–8, 2008 to February 2-8, 2009. “With the Session no longer happening, it frees up a window in the calendar that we have looked at in the past as strategically beneficial to the event," said Burton Events Director, Liam Griffin. “This week leads up to the FIS World Cup at Cypress in 09, and it also leads up to the Olympics in 2010. Since the Canada Olympic Park pipe was the template that the Cypress pipe was based off of, this gives riders the option to hit two events in western Canada in a row."
Due to the change in dates of the Canadian Open, the Burton European Open (BEO) is now the next event in the Burton Global Open Series. Celebrating its 10th year, the special birthday edition of the Burton European Open will take place in Laax, Switzerland from January 9-16, 2009.
Stay tuned for more news and updates on the Tour, which will see the 4Star Horsefeathers Pleasure Jam kicking the Northern Hemisphere season off this weekend at Dachstein / Austria and Stephan Maurer (SUI) attempting to move into the World No. 2 spot on the TTR rankings.