When: Fri 23rd of November 2007
Where: Graz, Austria
I always thought of Austria as being so small in comparison to Germany (of course only in a geographical matters!) but after five hours of driving from Munich to Graz I was convinced that it is not!
The reason for our geographical excursion to the middle of Austria was the very first Nutcracker Railjam! 32 snowboarder had already started with the qualifications when we arrived at the Karmeliterplatz, in the old part of the city of Graz, where three rails and a still hidden obstacle waited to be attacked. And that is what the riders really did for hours - the level of riding being more than good!
But actually this was no surprise as Austria´s finest jibbing selection was on location: Rising star Marc Swoboda (despite he had a broken finger from the Pleasure Jam two weeks ago), „Mr Love“ Seppi Scholler, the twins Fips and Paz Gruber, Ästhetiker Mone Monsberger, Crazy Chris Cab, Roli Scharmer, German Benny Deeg and many more...
To be honest: I can´t remember how many and which of those crazy, freaky-deeky, „270 boardslide to 50-50 to 360 out“ rail tricks the guys showed but it was amazing and some heavy slams including some eyes to be stitched, proofed their commited riding. In between the different qualification heats, the Quiksilver Money Shot on the hidden obstacle (it turned out to be a Graffiti style Alfa Romeo) was held and after 30 minutes the car didn´t look like a car anymore – Roli Scharmer (AUT) took home a Quiksilver Surfboard for the best overall shot.
The semi-finals were really close and the judges (with Steve Gruber as „special guest“) had a hard time deciding. The final was a 30 minute jam session and standing on the steps leading up to the ramp, we could see the riders sweating like Fins in the Sahara on the way up – all of them were highly motivated and pushed it to the limits. Especially Greg Maxwell who wasn´t tired to run up for a hundred times and showing massive transfers over the kinked box - it looked like suicide!!!
At 9.30 p.m. it was done: Atomic rider Tadej Valentan (SLO) and Herby Thaler (AUT) came both first and Paz Gruber third! Vera Jansen shouldn´t be forgotten as she was the only girl riding and got a special price for this - she didn´t get it because she was the only girl but because she was riding as hard as the boys!
Results 1st Nutcracker Railjam:
1. Tadej Valentan (SLO) & Herby Thaler (AUT) 3. Paz Gruber (AUT)
Winner of the Quik Money Shot: Roland Scharmer (AUT)
Special Award: Vera Jansen (only female rider)
To see more pictures go to www.nutcrackerrailjam.com