Crichton and Woods Victorious at VT Freeskiing Open --Inaugural Event Rocks At Stratton--- Stratton, VT-- Some of the world’s top Freeskiers from all over the US and Canada converged on Stratton Mountain this past weekend for the inaugural VT Freeskiing Open, sponsored by Dynastar, Smith, Giro, Powerbar, and Coca-Cola. When the snow settled, Dynastar athletes, David Crichton and Andy Woods walked away with victories and a lion’s share of the $17,000 purse. Saturday’s Slopestyle event featured what many riders and judges considered to be one of the most amazing courses ever built for a slopestyle event, with 70-90 foot tabletops, big, varied rails and an enormous channel gap to finish things off before the final trapezoid rail. In spite of some “challengingâ€? Vermont fog and drizzle that severely impeded visibility, the competitors stepped it up with Crichton putting together dominant runs that included one-footed 50/50 rails and a huge zero spin off the massive third jump to win. Fellow Dynastar skier, Liam Downey, from nearby Arlington VT, continued his streak of great performances with his signature style to finish 2nd, and Quebec’s Charles Gagnier took 3rd. For Downey this was the first event of the season he had not won, but the ever-gracious Liam conceded that losing to Crichton is nothing to be ashamed of. The victory was particularly rewarding for Crichton since he had missed the winter’s other big events, the Winter X Games and the US Freeskiing Open where he was expected to be a favorite. The Manotick, Ontario native injured a knee while filming rails in December, but had shown signs of complete recovery and a return to his amazing form in March. On Sunday, with the fog and drizzle departed, the competitors launched into the enormous pipe that Stratton had also built for the US Open snowboarding event held earlier in March. The riders responded by going big and throwing down their best, with Scott Hibbert, Peter Olenick, Ritchie Paradise, and Jon Solberg turning in great runs. By the finals, though, it was looking like a two man race, as Dynastar teammates Andy Woods from Georgia, VT and Dave Crichton separated from the rest of the field. On the last run, Woods sealed the deal with the biggest, smoothest run of the day…just enough to deny Crichton his 2nd win of the weekend and claim the $5000 winner’s check. The victory by Woods came as no surprise. After finishing a strong 5th at the US Open halfpipe, Andy had been skiing exceptionally well during the month of March. According to Dynastar Team Manager, Josh Novotny, “I’ve never seen Woods ski pipe as well as he did at our team photo shoot two weeks ago…he was SO on it.â€? The inaugural VT Freeskiing Open was a huge success. With Stratton’s impressive commitment, it promises to be one of the world’s premier freeskiing events in the years ahead. Judging from the debut, it already is.


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