Chas Guldemond twirls hardest to win the 2012 edition of the Freestyle.CH. Check the full report of today's action in Zurich.
Despite Saturday's washout the Freestyle. CH faithful's spirit refused to be dampened and the 20-odd thousand souls who descended on the Landiwiese on Sunday were rewarded with clear skies, warm weather and banging snowboarding.
Amongst the usual mishmash of sticker crazed teens, blasting beats and an assortment of young stuntmen sending their steeds of choice skyward were the snowboarders, who got busy firing off rounds of doublecork variants, 1080s, 1260s and tweaked out slow spins.
A welcome element of the FSCH format is the required Style jump to break up the barrage of rotations that define contest riding these days - at least in the Semis: for the finals this was dispensed with for some reason, and the number of jumps each rider had was also cut resulting in a slightly anticlimactic climax, compared to the Semis at least.
The battle for the 4 final spots was fierce, and the dudes were sending it hard to advance. Those who impressed most without getting the nod were Eero Ettala who landed his first ever switch double backflip to late switch backside 180 ("I prefer to land a new trick to winning any contest," he stated), Halldor Helgason who seems as surprised as the anyone when he doesn't explode himself - his front 10 double toedeos and double barrel rolls were insane - and Peetu Piiroinen who was also loving a bit of the front 10 dub off the toes.
But for whatever reason these boys didn't make the finals. Ståle Sandbech, Chas Guldemond, Antoine Truchon and Pat Burgener did and, once the downhill bikers had finished flattening their own testicles into pancakes they headed up top for the two-hit final.
Two jumps, both solely scored in an old fashioned manner, meant that the riders had to just concentrate on hucking out their big hitters and this, unfortunately, lead to more slams than stomps. Ståle decided the time was right to unleash the triple but struggled to keep his rotation in check and ended up leaving a couple of hefty craters in his wake. The crowd were willing young Swiss buck Pat Burgener on but sadly there was to be no repeat of the semis, where he'd qualified first, as his usually reliable landing gear let him down, leaving newcomer Truchon to stare down the barrel of Guldemond's heavy contest rep.
He had a good shot at it, his stomped front 10 dub lacked a little pop but it could have been a good foundation for a blunderbuss of a second hit but, after Guldemond had executed a perfect Cab 12, he tried to answer but could only slam, leaving Chuck G able to blur himself through a Cab 1440 ( which he landed but reverted) safe in the knowledge that he'd bagged an unassailable position.
So Chas won his first ever Freestyle.CH crown and deservedly so. His riding might not be everybody's cuppa, his energy drink board a bit of an eyesore, but he seems like a genuine, gracious gent and is certainly knows how to turn it on when it's business time in a contest.
Props, Chas, thanks Zurich, and cheers to the weather for turning it on when it needed to. Till next year.