We're in Saalbach-Hinterglemm for the inaugural edition of the Winter MÄSH - a unique, innovative contest/artshow/party extravaganza dreamt up by the Ästhetiker boys - and it's damned sick. Here's what went down in yesterday's qualifiers...
After announcing a time-out from doing their much-admired Wängl Tängl in Mayrhofen, we were a little bummed that we wouldn't have these Austrian chaps stoking us out with their novel take on how shred contests should be. Not so - a few weeks after announcing the Wängl was taking a hiatus, they broke the news that plans were afoot for an all-new snowboard contest - dubbed the Winter MÄSH - that would go down in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. And now we're there.
As they've been experimenting with over the last few years, the MÄSH is a team event meaning riders hit the course together in teams of two and try to stoke out the judges - or critics as they like to refer to them as here - with a mix of style, imagination, creativity and synchronicity. Runs are scored on overall impression with the judges either showing a green card for 'BOSS' or red card for 'not boss enough'. And, as you see in surfing, if a team lost in the first qualifier it's not straight for an early bath as usual - here they get another shot at it in the losers round, and even if they lose that then there's one more loser losers round to try to make it into the finals. This means not only do the riders have more chances to rip through the sick night park here, the crowd also get to see even more rad shredding.
Up first was the open qualifiers to see who'd get a shot at riding against the invited teams in the nighttime heats.
Fifteen 2-man teams sent it, with Team ‘JoraluluMeatArmy’ (Dominik Metzler and Lukas Ellensohn) won the qualifications, with ‘Chaos Klaus Team’ (Roli Tschoder and Bernhard Kraxner), ‘We don't know’ (Stephan Wimmer and Marcus Bernhard), ‘Team Intim’ (Max Poelzl and Seppl Ramsbacher) and Team `Butch Casedy & the Flowdance Kid`(Wolle Beer and Mike Kluivers) also making it through.
The Quali Teams were facing twelve crews of invited riders in the First Round of the 16-team Head-to-Head Main Event. The Nightpark Hinterglemm saw some tasty tricks traded on Thursday Night and despite freezing temperatures hundreds of spectators came out to watch the show. After the first Round, the Teams ‘Intim’, ‘Fiat Freestyle Team’, ‘JuraluluMeat’ Army’ and ‘We don´t know’ got knocked out. Tonight's Finals will start off at 08.00 p.m. determining the highly coveted podium spots for the 1. Ästhetiker Winter MÄSH presented by G-Shock.
We'll let you know the final results tomorrow. Nice work Ästhetiker. Ëöh!