The third European stop of the Freeride World Tour has just wrapped in Kappl, Tirol, Austria after a last minute venue change due to challenging conditions. Eddie Bauer skier Drew Tabke finished 14th in the finals in a stacked field of international talent including winner Sam Smoothy from New Zealand, second place finisher Nicki Salencon and Mad River Glen’s finest, Lars and Silas Chickering-Ayers, who both cracked the top ten. The full report from the FWT dispatch is below.
Challenging snowpack in Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen caused organizers to move the third SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR (FWT) 2014 stop to Kappl, which is also in the Tirol region of Austria. FWT and the Fieberbrunn local organizing committee are very grateful for the immense support provided by Kappl to hold the competition on such short notice. The start gate perched atop 2,800-meter (9,186-foot) Quellspitze. Variable snow conditions made landings tricky and required riders to execute impeccable control. The pressure to become a 2014 FREERIDE WORLD TOUR champion is surely increasing.
In the men’s ski category, Sam Smoothy of New Zealand screamed down the fall line with a super fast and high-energy run. He managed both a double and triple cliff drop. His excellent technique throughout the venue pleased the judges resulting in a score of 86.50.
“I am always excited to be out riding these mountains with a bunch of really cool people,” beamed Smoothy. “I was inspired to ride fun flowy lines and had a good time. It was a massive bonus to take a win here, I couldn’t be happier.”
The second place male skier, Nicolas Salencon of Argentina, was one of the only competitors to successfully land a 360 off the most popular air-feature of the day. Salencon creatively linked many features together and earned a score of 80.75. Finally, Swiss skier Richard Amacker charged hard down the venue with two large airs. His score was just behind Salencon at 79.75.
The FREERIDE WORLD TOUR continues its competition schedule in Kirkwood, California on March 1 and in Revelstoke, Canada March 10 where the final athlete cut will be made for the Xtreme Verbier final championship competition in Switzerland on March 22. The remainder of the schedule includes both men’s and women’s ski and snowboard competition.
A quick recap of the venue switch to Kappl from the Freeride World Tour Journal:
And, again, a short review of the FWT so far—with a great Drew Tabke interview at three minutes in:
The Austrian Alps from Kappl, Austria.
Photos courtesy of Freeride World Tour
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