Today, the 6Star Oakley Arctic Challenge kicked off with the ‘Highest Air’ format, a separate contest allocated only to straight Airs and does not account for Swatch TTR points. Daniel Josefsen (NOR) and Shayne Pospisil (USA) became the riders of the day in Linderudkollen, Oslo, both jumping 6.8m in front of over 1000 enthusiastic spectators and taking home $6000 USD each. Before the event, speculation was flying that Terje Haakonsen’s (NOR) 9.8m record could be broken by the heavy hitting field consisting of Pearce (USA), Sorsa (FIN), and Mattila (FIN), however, unfavourable weather conditions were conspiring against the new world record being set.
“It is difficult to adjust the speed in this weather, so the level of riding is not as good as the two previous days. When you ride that fast into a transition all the details count, so the weather was definitely an important factor this time", said competitor and event organiser, Terje Haakonsen.
While riders at Quarterpipe events on the Swatch TTR Tour are usually judged on their trick variation and amplitude, today, judges were mainly looking for height. Riders dropped down a 130m in-run at speeds of over 80km/h, launching themselves off the scientifically shaped 10.6m Quarterpipe. Josefsen and Pospisil came like freight trains at the giant wall of ice, consistently hovering over 6m. Pospisil was pumped after becoming the joint winner with Josefsen and looking forward to the main event. “I hope it will just turn out as good as last year but today was a good start to the Arctic Challenge and I am really looking forward to Saturday", he said
The day began with 22 aspiring riders seeking to make it through to the 12 man finals. Pospisil and Josefsen, along with Terje Haakonsen and Arthur Longo (FRA) were dominating over the rest of the competition. These four riders kept upping the ante, pushing each other to go higher but in the end Pospisil and Josefsen prevailed with Terje Haakonsen and Arthur Longo sharing third place. Although the main focus was the Highest Air, also a prize of $2000 USD for Best Style was awarded to Josefsen for a sweet BS 360 Indy.
Since its creation in 1999, The Oakley Arctic Challenge has become one of the most respected contests on the Swatch TTR calendar and still holds values such as independence, creativity, progression and environmental responsibility in high regard. A true contest for riders by riders, which has seen two world records broken and increased snowboarding’s profile positively also among a broader audience. In the spirit of progression this unique Highest Air format was introduced to keep pushing the limits and development of the snowboard sport.
Saturday’s traditional Quarterpipe format will see riders go head to head in pursuit of a $100,000 USD prize purse and some of the last remaining 1000 Swatch TTR ranking points of the season. Stay tuned to www.ttrworldtour.com as Swatch TTR brings you fresh news, blogs and video updates from the Oakley Arctic Challenge. Information about the event can also be found on www.t-a-c.no and you can watch the live webcast right her on Onboardsnowboarding.com.
Results from the Oakley Arctic Challenge Highest Air
1 POSPISIL Shayne USA 6.8m 1 JOSEFSEN Daniel NOR 6.8m 3 HAAKONSEN Terje NOR 6.0m 3 LONGO Arthur FRA 6.0m 5 PEARCE Kevin USA 5.9m 6 SÖRENSEN Pål NOR 5.5m 7 MATTILA Risto FIN 5.3m 8 AUTTI Antti FIN 5.2m 9 KVAERNBERG Christopher NOR 5.0m 10 GITTLER Olivier FRA 4.9m 10 JOERGENSEN Len Roald NOR 4.9m