Words & photos by Rom Marcucci
It began as a trickle as the sky began to dim. As dusk fully arrived, the trickle turned into a steady stream. The lights cranked up, and they really started to pour in. By the time skiers were in the start gate for the main act, Northstar was packed. I’m talking people multiple rows deep up and down the superpipe, crammed shoulder to shoulder in the grandstand, and overflowing down the hill toward the gondola.
This crowd was loud and rowdy. During every hit you could hear the hoots echo down the pipe. Snowballs were thrown (in a fun way, not in an X games circa 2008 way), beers were chugged (in a fun way, obviously), cheers and jeers were hollered, and the crowd was amped.
As the riders dropped one by one, the show played out as though scripted. Matt Duhamel, John Strenio, Mike Riddle, Tyler Peterson, Matt Margetts, and Matt Philipi all skied exceedingly well. Their runs were stylish, solid, and great to watch. Unfortunately, they all lacked the difficulty and amplitude to compete with the top dogs last night.
Fun Fact: LJ would have won gold if he hadn’t sagged his goggles so hard
Justin Dorey failed to land his double flip first hit first run, then stomped it on his second. Then the devil on his shoulder said something like this. “Do another, just do it, Do the Dew.” Ok, I take that back, it wasn’t the devil, just effective corporate marketing. He went for second double on the opposing wall and couldn’t put it to his feet.
Dorey kept it mellow to check out this sunset
Isn’t it ironic that one of the most difficult pipe tricks, is also the least photogenic. At the apex of your rotation, it just looks like a faceplant into a snowbank
Xavier Bertoni placed 5th with another standout silky smooth run. His prowess while skiing backwards and spinning both directions on both walls is so impressive. Xavier skis pipe the way a pipe should be skied. Thankfully Kevin Rolland placed 4th, right above his compatriot. This makes it easy to talk about the two. Kevin’s run was in the same French style, just with a double flip added for good measure.
Xavier jumps over the house of seven gables
Colby West stomped his way onto the podium. Solid spins, grabs, and switch tricks got him up there. While the French were buttery smooth like a fine chardonnay, Colby skied strong and his tricks had some bite, like American bourbon.
Remember when skiers wore bandanas hanging from their belts rather than over their faces? That is what Cobly’s bib reminds me of.
In the end, it was once again the classic Simon versus Tanner battle of the titans. Simon dropped first, scoring an 88.25. Tanner dropped second, scoring a 90.25. Simon stewed on this for the entire second round until it was his turn again. He dropped and blew the doors off pipe, which doesn’t make a ton of sense if you think about it literally. Halfpipes have no doors. But Simon was so fired up he blew them off anyway, figuratively speaking, scoring a 92.5.
Of course, Tanner skied into the pipe again. He stomped a 1260, right 9, left 9, flat 3, switch 9. He threw up the claim, and skied down to a very intense looking Simon. There was a silence in the air, as though the producers were holding up quiet signs. When the score finally came out, it was a 93.75. The crowd, and of course Tanner, went bezerk. Tanner took the Dew cup, and the gold. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt some Déjà vu here but just couldn’t place the feeling.
Tanner totally Tuffelmireing
The crowd poured out, the light shut out, then the rain poured in. Today dawned with some of the nastiest skiing weather imaginable: a Noah’s Ark style drenching. The women made the best of the weather though. Jess Cumming threw down the only cork of the day. Angeli Vanlaanen threw a huge 540 off the first hit, but couldn’t hold it together later in the run.
Anais Caradeux placed 3rd with a highly technical run. She threw down left and right 540s, and an alley oop 540. Rosalind Groenewoud also busted out both 5's, but with more amplitude for a second.
Roz in the rain
But the winner of the day was Mirjam Jaeger. Smooth style, spins up to a 7, and large and in charge airs were the recipe for cooking up the gold.
The media storms Mirjam…good verb choice, right
The pot is left to simmer all summer now that the Toyota Championships are over. It is so good for skiing to have such a high level, primetime televised series. Thank you to all the people who put it together, and the athletes who performed so hard over the last few days. We’ve come a long way, and it will be even more exciting to see how much farther we can go next year.
Mountain Dew gave away so much soda and money the couldn’t afford a women’s podium
1) Mirjam Jaeger - 86.75
2) Rosalind Groeneward - 84.38
Anais Caradeux - 83.50
1) Tanner Hall - 93.00
2) Simon Dumont - 92.00
3) Colby James West - 87.00
4) Kevin Rolland - 86.00
5) Xavier Bertoni - 84.00
6) Matthew Philippi - 83.00
7) Matt Margetts - 80.00
8) Tyler Peterson - 78.00
9) Mike Riddle - 67.00
10) John Strenio - 62.00
11) Justin Dorey - 48.00
12) Matt Duhamel - 40.00
Dew Cup Results
1) Tanner Hall - 280
2) Simon Dumont - 260
3) Justin Dorey - 220
4) Duncan Adams - 169
5) Colby James West - 160
6) Mike Riddle - 144
7) Xavier Bertoni - 135
7) Kevin Rolland - 135
9) Taylor Seaton - 126
10) Peter Olenick - 124