Ladies and Gentlemen, are you ready? The Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour is rocketing along to an epic finale for 2008/2009 and with just two 6Star competitions remaining, it is do or die time for the riders. Coming up in Oslo, Norway, February 16th to 21st is the world’s most prestigious contest, The 6Star Oakley Arctic Challenge. As always this Quarterpipe spectacle will pit the world’s premier riders against one another as they battle it out for the $100 000 USD prize purse and 1000 crucial TTR ranking points.
Will Risto Mattila break Terje´s highest air record this year? Photo: Solstad.
Established by snowboard legend, Terje Haakonsen of Norway, the 6Star Oakley Arctic Challenge is without doubt, a pinnacle of competitive snowboarding. Development and progression have been pushed to immense heights by TAC, proving that when you focus on riders, the sky is the limit, as highlighted by Terje himself when he launched 9.8m at TAC in 2007, setting a record that has yet to be broken. Will we see the 10m mark broken by this year’s contingent? With such a stacked rider list and dedicated shaping crew, there’s a good chance that 2009 will be the year it all goes down.
Will Terje break the 10 m-mark this year? Photo: Solstad.
The Swatch TTR Top 10 has been in a state of constant flux throughout the season and it is now or never for competitors to stake their claims for the Title. Finnish powerhouse and current TTR World No.1, Peetu Piiroinen, has been dominating throughout the season and is no stranger to monster Quarterpipes. Piiroinen will no doubt be looking to further his lead in Norway and edge himself closer to theSwatch TTR Title. Also out of Finland, current World No. 3 Risto Mattila will fight hard to defend his rank against 2007 and 2008’s TAC winner and current TTR World No. 6 Kevin Pearce (USA) who, just like the year before, has the chance take over Risto’s ranking position with a good result in Oslo. A win may even push the 07/08 Swatch TTR Tour Champion into World No. 2, an excellent position to chase after back-to-back world titles at the Burton U.S Open in March. Antti Autti who currently sits in World No. 9 and completes the Finnish trio is expected to bring his transition prowess to Oslo, aiming for a spot in the TTR Top 5.
Also watch out for a stack of 3Star Swatch TTR action coming up including the Coors Light Riders Cup in Vancouver, February 21st 2009, the O’Neill Garden Of Roses in Italy and Sony Ericsson Snowboard Fest in Slovakia , February 20th to 21st 2009. Also check out The Mt Hood Revolution Tour, Oregon, USA and the New Star Invitational in Igora, Russia, February 20th to 22nd 2009 for a chance to see the snowboarding superstars of tomorrow fight for their ‘tickets to ride’.