Windbuff, carnage and triumph at FWT Chamonix 2014
The second stop of the 2014 SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) went down yesterday in the center of the ski universe; Chamonix, France. The event was hosted on the steep and playful Aiguille Pourrie face above La Flégère ski area. There was sun and pow to be had, but high winds the night before the event made for some unpredictable conditions and a lot of crashed. (Main image FreerideWorldTour.com / D. Daher)
“Today was a bit tough for everybody because the face got some wind overnight. That’s why we saw a lot of crashes. It made it a bit easier for the judging but a lot tougher for the riders,” said Head FWT Judge, Whistler’s own Hugo Harrisson. “But we saw a lot of good skiing and lines. Freestyle made the difference to the judges. For example, the first place male skier, Loïc, he showed good freestyle and that he’s the guy who can do it all. That’s the kind of style, which is going to win these events more and more these days. Jackie Paaso had an air just as big as the guys. Such great charging from the girls!”
In the men’s ski category it became clear that Loïc Collomb-Patton is a true contender for the 2014 FWT Championship. Collomb-Patton, a new rider on the tour, repeated his victory in Courmayeur by securing the top score in men’s skiing of 83.50 and winning first place. Collomb-Patton’s run was hard charging and technical. He wowed the crowd and judges with an enormous left side 360 off a consequential cliff perfectly executing the landing.
“This is incredible! I was a bit stressed at the top about my run but I thought it was a beautiful day and decided I should just have fun,” exclaimed an ecstatic Collomb-Patton. He also dedicated his run to his father.
Another first year FWT skier landed in second place as well. Garrett Altmann of the United States chose a very difficult line featuring a gigantic double cliff drop in extremely technical terrain. The judges awarded Altmann a score of 81.50. Rounding out the podium, a third FWT rookie Mickael Bimboes of France, had a solid run with many features including a steep straightline through a chute heading right into another air feature. Bimboes earned a scored of 77.75.
This was the first competition of the season for the female skiers. Jackie Passo, of the United States, executed one of the most daring moves of the day with incredible control on the take-off and a stomped landing. This move combined with her solid ski technique throughout the venue earned her a score of 80.50 and first place.
“I was debating whether or not I should choose to hit such a large cliff at this event but was advised by some of the male skiers that I could be successful with it,” said Paaso.
“Fortunately, it worked out perfectly and I am so excited to have won the competition today. It’s a great way to start the season.”
Following Paaso in second place, Matilda Rapaport of Sweden had a creative line utilizing many terrain features with little hesitation. Rapaport earned a score of 75.00. In third place, Lorraine Huber of Austria was the first woman to ski and went huge with her airs. Huber’s score was 68.00
For more information on the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® and Freeride World Qualifier events, visit www.freerideworldtour.com.
Each event of the FWT will be broadcasted live on freerideworldtour.com