Guerlain Chicherit & Crystal Wright Win Redbull Powder Disorder
Last week athletes from around the world made the pilgrimage to Las Lenas, ARG for the first stop of the Freeski World Tour – The Redbull Powder Disorder. Las Lenas is the August hotspot for big mountain skiing where the rollovers are blind, the couloirs narrow, the vertical endless and the fun to be had is alltime – in other words it’s the perfect place to start the 2012 season. In an effort to stay up-to-date with the sport event producers worked with input from key athletes to build jumps on the venue. The first of three jumps was mandatory and many althetes chose to build additional jumps. While Las Lenas is known for its epic terrain its major disadvantage is the wind. And it howled. Day 1 conditions were plagued with hardpack, wind & rain crust. With window panes rattling Day 2 turned into a weather day and on Day 3 the event was called – results from Day 1 would stand.
Coming out of semi-retirement, Guerlain Chicherit (FRA) dominated the men’s field with a huge front flip off the mandatory top air, landing perfectly on his feet, before heading to a 30-foot cliff drop and a front flip off the bottom kicker and into the finish line with a 38.27, the top score of the day.
“I am here to win,” said the former champion Chicherit, “But that is not my only motivation. Now I want to be with my friends and my sport. I love skiing and have missed it very much”
On his heels, John Collinson (USA) delivered his best ever competition run (31.23 points), with a left side 3 off the mandatory top air, a straight air off the second official jump, and smooth 3 off an athlete-made kicker, known as the Pepsi-Cola jump because they marked take-off with said soda.
Putting Collinson in a French baguette sandwich, FWT veteran Julien Lopez (FRA) finished third, stomping his line like an American football linebacker: backflip off mandatory air, mute grab off second official air, stomped 30-foot cliff drop (same as Chicherit’s), and three more airs in the bottom section.
The women of the FWT also made history today, stepping up to man-made booters, sending them into fields of hard-pack chunder and handling it with grace.
Crystal Wright (USA), in her first competition since a broken fibula, proved with her strength, that even though there was a focus on jumps and tricks, that fast and fluid still wins the game (29.47 points). “I know that it always goes back to the basics and conditions and to not slow down on the entire venue,” she said.
Angel Collinson (USA), 2011 overall FWT winner, applied a similar approach. Starting with a spread eagle crotch grab – a la judge Brant Moles circa ’97 – Collinson laid her signature picture perfect turns down the huge Eduardo’s face, dropping airs all the while (27.50).
Rebecca Selig (USA), known in the past for her aggressive style that often ends in dramatic crashes, held it together like the pro she is, sliding into third (26.07 points).
1 Crystal Wright USA 8 29.47
2 Angel Collinson USA 5 27.50
3 Rebecca Selig USA 9 26.07
4 Louise Lintilhac USA 7 25.77
5 Ingrid Backstrom USA 4 25.53
6 Clare Burns USA 6 24.53
7 Sonja Lercher CAN 10 23.47
8 Ashley Maxfield USA 2 21.67
9 Sole Diaz CHE 13 19.33
10 Maria Jose ARG 3 16.80
11 Jacqui Edgerly USA 17 13.60
1 Guerlain Chicherit FRA 36 38.27
2 John Collinson USA 29 31.23
3 Julien Lopez FRA 20 31.17
4 Willie Schneider USA 12 31.10
5 Richard Permin FRA 16 30.17
6 Josh Daiek USA 27 29.50
7 Leo Ahrens USA 18 29.30
8 Drew Tabke USA 35 28.67
9 Facundo Aguirre ARG 33 28.33
10 Kevin O'Meara USA 31 26.67
11 Silas Chickering-Ayers USA 30 26.33
12 Lars Chickering-Ayers USA 40 26.13
13 Gustavo Rossi ARG 24 24.30
14 Connery Lundin USA 23 24.20
15 Mathew Jackson USA 34 23.67
16 Santiago Guzman ARG 14 23.33
17 Zach Halverson USA 28 22.90
18 Spencer Brinson USA 26 20.07
19 KC Deane USA 41 19.87
20 Tom Runcie USA 38 19.73
21 Chopo Díaz CHE 42 19.10
22 Mathieu Imbert FRA 21 18.27
23 Jordi Tenes ARG 37 17.97
24 Ticiano Maniero ARG 19 15.70
25 Griffin Post USA 11 14.40
Posted by Kasie Stroshin. Contributions by Sonja Lercher & FWT.