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Drew Tabke Cracks the Top Five in Haines Freeride World Tour
Posted on March 25, 2015

Drew Tabke masters the AK transitions on his fifth place run in the FWT Haines. Photo: DAvid Carlier

Eddie Bauer skier and two-time world champ Drew Tabke (USA) stepped up to the legendary AK spines and landed solidly in fifth place after the Freeride World Tour stop in Haines, Alaska. Tabke earned a fifth place finish with a super smooth, super fast and super floaty run that launched between transitions, threw deep powder spray and stuck a solid, stylish and substantial (or just simply “huge”) 360 off the mushroomed cliff in the middle of the high-powered run. Throwing down a clean stomped leg-burning run in the burliest arena of the Freeride World Tour season, Tabke slid into a final fifth place finish with a score of 76.75 amidst strong competition on a striking, towering massif of the The Venue in SEABA Heli terrain.

The event in Haines, Alaska was a true show of freeride at its best. It was a nine-day wait for the weather to cooperate but the riders and organizers had a sense that the first ever FWT event in the largest freeride mecca in the world would be worth the shutdowns, misfires, long weather delays and big bar tabs. The setting was like an Alaskan postcard with fresh knee-deep blower powder under a clear blue sky and a big glacier as a backdrop, allowing the best freeriders in the world to test themselves in the steep, gnarled, spine-riddled and cliff-peppered 2,300-vertical-foot venue.

FWT15 – Run of Drew Tabke (USA) Swatch Freeride… by FreerideWorldTourTV

The skier in the golden bib, George Rodney (USA) was charging this face like there was no tomorrow, using his floating features to reposition himself so as to keep the control without ever having to turn his skis more than 45 degrees to the fall line despite the sustained extreme pitch of this face. His gutsy run earned him a score of 87.75 and his second win of the season, though this was a completely different animal than the more closed face in Andorra. One of the highlights of his run was his fast reaction of pointing everything in the fall line in the steepest part of the face to save an imbalance.

“I can’t believe it – that was the coolest run I’ve ever done in my life,” he said at the bottom. “It’s the best face I’ve been on. It is like two venues.” Jérémie Heitz (SUI) put anyone believing that he would actually slow down to shame, showing his usual mach-3 skiing style on The Venue in Haines. Despite the many blind sections on the double roll-over face he sent it directly, aggressively and with perfect fluidity, putting his more difficult airs in at the top and then focusing on speed like no other rider. This tactic put him in 2nd place with score of 81.00. Close behind and in 3rd place was Kevin Guri (FRA) who scored 80.00 with a high paced run including an impressive cliff band.

Tabke, who qualified for Haines after a podium finish in Chamonix and an overall ranking this year, elevated his FWT ranking four places due to his strong skiing in Haines. This rise puts him one place out of a podium finish for the overall Freeride World Tour and qualifies him for the FWT finals at the Xtreme Verbier, which kicks off Saturday in Switzerland and can be seen live on

The suspense for the overall world titles three categories is still intact as the Freeride World Tour moves into the final event.  The athletes delivered mind-blowing performances, whether fighting to grab the title or simply attempting to qualify for the last stage of the season in Verbier (SUI) on March 28. It was indeed the full AK experience for the riders on the Freeride World Tour.

 Images Courtesy of Freeride World Tour/David Carlier

Drew Tabke launches in Haines. Photo: David Carlier

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Author: - Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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