With only a matter of weeks to go before the start of the inaugural edition of the O’NEILL EVOLUTION, O’Neill and the Swiss resort of Davos are gearing up to host what will be one of only six 6-star freestyle snowboarding events on the 2006/07 Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour.
With the New Year celebrations still ringing in everyone’s ears, the O’Neill Evolution promises to prolong the festive spirit when competition gets underway on 3rd January 2007. A world-class event infrastructure, massive prize purse of US$100,000 and highly coveted TTR ratings points have all combined to attract many of the planet’s best freestyle snowboarders to the picturesque Swiss resort.
Riders confirming their attendance ahead of the cut-off date already include none other than 7 of last year’s top 10 ranked TTR riders including 2005/06 Champion Mathieu Crepel and Finnish foursome Risto Mattila, Anti Autti, Janne Korpi and Olympic bronze medalist Markku Koski. In addition, transition-master Nicolas Müller and former Olympic Champion and O’Neill team rider Gian Simmen are also confirmed. Last year’s crème de la crème from the TTR World Snowboard Tour will also be joined by the 2 current ratings leaders after the X-Trail Jam in Tokyo, Japan. Other riders fighting it out in qualification will be local lads Christian Haller and Markus Keller as well as super-scanners Fredrik Evensen and Thomas Harstad. Meanwhile, confirmed wildcard entrants include snowboarding legend Terje Haakonsen and Norwegian headbanger Eirik Haugo. On the women’s side of things, confirmed riders include current TTR Champion Cheryl Maas, US rider Jamie Anderson and France’s emerging talent Caroline Beliard. The first women’s wildcard has been allocated to Norway’s Olympic bronze medalist Kjersti Buaas.
The competition will set the stage for these formidable riders to strap in and compete in two official TTR contests. Jam session formats allowing maximum room for expression, creativity and freedom will create an awesome arena for the world’s best to showcase their riding ability and claim their part of the spoils.
Shaped by Claes Hogstrom, the gigantic Quarterpipe will be built on a 20mx10mx8m scaffolding monster with lateral landing zones for enhanced safety, and will be incorporated into the new TTR Quarterpipe Project led by Terje Haakonsen himself. With qualification spots to The Arctic Challenge event up for grabs, you can count on the riders to throw down their heaviest tricks. Lying at the foot of the Jakobshorn, the world-famous Davos Superpipe – including special features – will see competitors boosting out of the U-tube with high altitude technical tricks. Meanwhile, a slopestyle layout, sitting outside of the TTR structure, will feature two of the biggest hits of the winter and play host to intoxicating expression sessions.
For all those unable to make it to Davos, live TV and internet broadcasts over 5th and 6th January will allow a global audience to dial in and witness the Swatch Highest Air Sessions and all semi-finals and finals – and quite possible the dawn of a new era in competitive freestyle snowboarding.
With thousand of spectators expected to attend the event and supported by Davos, Bergbahnen Davos Klosters and Swatch, the O’Neill Evolution is ready for blast off!
LIVE WEBCAST SCHEDULE
14:30 – 15:30 Swatch Highest Air Session Superpipe
16:30 – 22:15 Semifinals & Finals Superpipe (Men & Women)
14:30 – 15:30 Swatch Highest Air Session Quarterpipe
16:30 – 22:15 Semifinals & Finals Quarterpipe (Men & Women)