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Collinson and Diaz Win Argentinean Freeskiing Championships

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With barely 50cm of base and some bullet proof conditions leading up to Stop #2 on the Freeskiing World Tour in infamou Las Lenas, Argentina, skiers and competitors alike were wondering how the comp was going to be pulled off.

Luckily with a few inches of new snow and warmer temperatures, athletes were in great spirits and put on a fantastic show on Eduardo's– the massive, 2,500-vertical-foot venue at the Argentinian Freeskiing Championships presented by The North Face. Still, due to unseasonably low snowpack, this was definitely a different type of competition, not focusing so much on big airs, but technical lines and controlled fluidity. Probably time for the really technical skiers to shine, and the huckers to just cross their fingers or play it safe.

Athletes from nine different countries enjoyed the near hero snow conditions on yet another stellar South American freeskiing venue.

"Even with just three inches of new snow, it skied like fresh pow," said women's winner Angel Collinson of Snowbird, Utah.

Collinson skied an aggressive, fast line, demonstrating her strong ski racing background. She nailed a few small airs, but respected the sketchy snow pack and focused on skiing a more technical line.

Men's winner Chopo Diaz from Chile, skiing on rental boots, demonstrated his local knowledge. "Chopo chose a creative line with numerous features," said announcer and event coordinator Rodrigo Medina. "From top to bottom, he showed everyone that he was really just enjoying the skiing. He read the terrain of the mountain differently than his competitors, making his run really stand out."

"Overall, we were so impressed with the skiing today," said Head Judge Jim Jack. "Everyone respected our desires to run a safe comp and picked lines that were within their comfort zone and in line with the snow conditions. It was a different competition to judge because there were not many line variations, but there were a few features that stuck out and tricks always stick out. All and all it was awesome to see athletes ski aggressive and have fun with the conditions."

Las Lenas Resort Marketing Manager Sofia Fernandez Madero was ecstatic about the event. "Las Lenas is so happy to have been able to host this amazing event," Madero said. "All of the athletes performed so well and we're just so happy they were able to come to South America and experience our mountain and the surrounding culture."

There is always a sense of camaraderie on the tour and today was no exception. Julien Lopez dedicated his run to friend and fellow competitor Arne Backstrom, who passed away in a mountaineering accident earlier this summer in Peru.

"I dedicated my run to Arne and the entire Backstrom family today," said Lopez. "We are going to give this bib (bib #1) to his family because he was number one. He passed away in mountains not too far from here, not too long ago. We miss him here on the tour with us."

Following the raucous awards ceremony at the Doma in the Las Lenas Village, Argentina's premier reggae band rocked the party with their stylish reggae beats. Then, in classic Argentinean style, the athletes, event organizers, and sponsors partied till the wee hours of the morning, celebrating this successful international event.

For a complete schedule of events and to register, please visit www.freeskiingworldtour.com

2011 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Schedule of Events

  • August 17-21, 2010 – The North Face South American Freeskiing Championships, El Colorado, Chile
  • August 25-28, 2010 – Argentina Freeskiing Championships, Las Lenas, Argentina
  • January 2011 – The Canadian Freeskiing Championships, Revelstoke, Canada
  • February 2011 – Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Qualifier, Location TBA
  • February 2011 – Subaru US Freeskiing Championships, Crested Butte, CO, USA
  • March 2011 – Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships, Kirkwood, CA, USA
  • March 2011 – Subaru Freeskiing World Championships, Snowbird, UT, USA

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