When: Sat 14th of February 2009
Where: Kleinwalsertal, Austria
This is snowboarding: long days in deep powder and an exciting night on rails!
Unknown rider. Picture: Stefan Eigner.
After a 5 hours drive that normally takes 2,5 hours (three words: snow. heavy snow), we finally arrived in Kleinwalsertal Friday night – just in time for the main course in the Walserhaus, an excellent fusion food restaurant. Great success! Next morning was even a greater success as it hadn´t stop dumping for the whole night so we went shredding and shredding and shredding – in waist deep powder. Actually so much shredding that we almost missed the event…
But those organizer guys are smart. They know that February is a snowy month in the resort of Kleinwalsertal, a small Austrian valley that is only accessible through Germany. So the Iron Night, the third stop of the Suzuki Wir Schanzen 2009, just started in the late afternoon and so we were almost in time when we got to the Crystal Ground snow park at the bottom of the Kanzelwand. The shapers had done a magnificent job: Due to the heavy snow falls the days before, they had to reshape the park every day and again started working at 7 a.m. on the day of the contest. I guess they would have rather joined us shredding pow pow but the high level riding rewarded them for their efforts as the park set up was challenging but smooth to ride.
2000 spectators, part of the set up and a bloody skier who must have sneaked in hehe… Picture: Stefan Eigner.
After the missed qualifications (sorry but the snow was just too good) the night with temperatures around minus 13 degrees set it and the semi finals started. The riding level was the highest in the Iron Night history: Girls like German Steffi Hamann and Andrea Lucht showed 50-50 to fs boardslides to 270 out and 5s on the kicker so it was no surprise that both advanced to the finals. But Steffi, leading the Wir Schanzen ranking, probably had too many warm up powder runs in the morning as she slammed on the straight rail, lost the head to head finals against Andrea and didn´t proceed to the super finals which were a close call but in the end Andrea became first leaving Stephie Nagel the second place.
The men were batteling equally hard: 17 years old Paul Dreher from Dornbirn (AUT) deserved the first place with perfect nosepress boardslides on the high rail and a stylish 720 on the kicker. Local hero Dominik Schuster from Mittelberg became second being the only one whoo used the Best Trick obstacle (a steep upbox). Third place went to Michael Öfner from Sellrain.
The Best Trick obstacle. Looks smoother than it was… Picture: Stefan Eigner.
After the regular contest the spectators entered the centre of the snowpark and gathered around the massive centrepiece for the Red Bull Best Trick Contest. Besides an awesome upbox to drop, also a gapbox, a kink rail as well as a picnic table were waiting for the riders. One man stood out: Crazy Sascha Vossen from Neuss tried his switch one footed 50/50 to drop on the upbox, slammed three times (the drop was more than 3 meters!) and landed it perfectly the fourth time. I hope his ACLs are still there…
After the award ceremony the crowd moved to the casino, only 200 meters away from the park, where the legendary Funk Food after show party opened its gates to condignly conclude the Iron Night 2009. Sorry that you don´t get any party report but I have to admit that it was not a hard decision chosing between a party and a perfect bluebird day with 20 cm fresh powder the next morning (when we left the contest site it started snowing again!)…
The detailed results, the preliminary ranking of the Suzuki Wir Schanzen as well as the tour stop videos and pictures can be found on www.suzuki-wirschanzen.de.
They told me the party was a s good as the next day´s powder. If that is true it was a blast! Picture: Chris Smit
There are still two events where the riders can ean some precious points for the main ranking of the Suzuki Wir Schanzen 2009 presented by Quiksilver:
14.03.2009 Big Bäng Bolsterläng Bolsterlang (GER) / Swatch TTR one (1) Star Event
04.04.2009 Night on Snow Kempten City (GER) / Swatch TTR two (2) Star Event
17.04.2009 End of tour party Kempten, Parktheater