VERBIER RIDE 14 - Event Summary

The Verbier Ride 2014 Ski Slope Style took place in the La Chaux Snow Park, Verbier on the 1st February. Despite some very high winds the event went ahead and a spectacular show was put on by the riders. The competition field was made up of all ages from different countries including Switzerland, France, Sweden and Great Britain.

During the practice session the riders were struggling to make the speed for the kickers because of high winds and the decision was made between the riders, organisers and snow park staff to run a rail jam session on the very creative set up at the bottom of the snow park for the qualification round. If the winds dropped we would run the final to include the kickers.

The qualification session lasted for one hour and gave the riders time to have lots of chances at getting a high score. The judges were rewarding people for their creativity and saw a mix of very technical rail combos and even Rodeos being thrown off the Wall Ride. Out of 21 competitors the judges chose 10 riders to go through to the finals. This meant two judged runs with a little more pressure to perform. The winds calmed down and the riders decided they would like to hit the first kicker as well as the last rail section of the course.

The competition was fierce with a few big crashes and the scores between the top 5 places extremely close. Julian Ball from the Uk finished in 3rd place with a very clean technical run. The pressure was on and he nailed his run second time round being the very last competitor to drop in. With a nearly perfect cork 9 Japan, front side 270 off the cannon rail and then changing sides to a 270 off the kink rail gave him a very strong score of 77.6. Cesar Fabre from France just pipped Julian into 2nd place with an impressive score of 79.6. His switch 9 high mute was big and stylish and his rail skills on the high wall ride consisted of a simple 270 on to 270 off but super clean. Alex Nueurohr from Switzerland took 1st place with a very impressive score. His jumps we incredibly stylish and he seemed to hold his tail grabs for ever! Nailing two solid runs with very high scores his second run just scored slightly higher with a 91! His Switch 7 reverse tail grab, a switch butter 9 over one of the knuckles and a frontside 270 out of the rail made it a great overall run and the judges rewarded accordingly.

We would like to say a big thank you to all the riders for coming to Verbier to compete and to everyone who helped the event happen. From Televerbier, Lionel, Alain and Bertrand and his Park Crew for providing an amazing park set up. Pierre-Andre and Joel Sciboz from Verbier St-Bernard for the funds that secured the CHF10k prize money. Blair from Ski Service, The Farinet, Ben from Verbier Seasonaires, his photographers and writers. All the camera guys and banner people. Big thanks also to Becky, Martin & Andy for judging.

Been great to get the Verbier Ride back on the scene after a few years off. Everybody at Ride Freesport is looking forward to a bigger event next season!

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