Words & photos by Dan Brown
Video by Alex Knuuttunen
The final day of the Killington stop of the Winter Dew Tour is now complete. After three days of events, sponsored parties and typical New England cold, the tour now heads to Ogden, Utah for the Toyota Championships, taking place on February 10th through the 13th.
Finishing off the weekend was the Men's Slopestyle Finals, which took place earlier this morning and will be broadcasted later tonight on the USA Network at 2:00 am EST. Brew some coffee or crack open an energy drink, it's going to be a late one.
Today's finals started once again under a blue sky, and for anyone familiar with the winter weather in the Northeast, consistent clear skies is a blessing. The course, unchanged since the previous days prelims, consisted of a top rail section into three large jumps. One change of note was that the judging platform adjacent to the second rail feature was replaced by one of NBC's massive broadcast cameras, allowing the judging to take place via a live camera feed. After an hour of practice and a 15-minute course maintenance period, skiers began gathering at the top of the course in anticipation. As cameras moved into position, the first skier was ready to drop in. At 10:45, things got rolling.
The first skier to drop in was Park City, Utah's Alex Schlopy, who put together a solid run through the top half of the course before dipping from view into the jump line below. Moments later, production radios crackled to life with reports of a camera malfunction. "Well that's a great way to start the day," came from Windell's Academy and starting gate fixture Keri Miller. Apparently a cameraman didn’t have his camera ready, leading to the judges missing a portion of Schlopy's run. Ferried back to the top, Schlopy once again dropped into the course but unable to finish clean. He'd have to wait for a third run to make his mark on the course.
With the production mistakes out of the way, the rest of the pack filtered through the start order and sent it down the course with mixed results. In a similar performance as the previous night's superpipe finals, the big names in slope went for broke and got taken to the cleaners and the winner of today's event wasn't decided until the very last run. Previous Dew Tour winner Alexis Godbout was absent from the competition due to a knee injury sustained earlier in the day during practice. Oregon's prodigal son Sammy Carlson, who finished 3rd in Breckenridge, was unable to put down a clean run.
Drummondville, Canada's JF Houle got off to a slow start, but took the 5th place spot with some solid offerings in the rail section, particularly on the cannon box, which was the popular feature of the day. Alex Schlopy, despite the false starts, was able to end up in 4th.
In the end, it was newcomer and 16-year-old Nick Goepper, of Lawrenceberg, Indiana's run, which included a dub cork 12, taking the 3rd spot on the podium, while Swiss superstar Elias Ambuhl scored 2nd place with a series of left and right dubs.
But today belonged to Breckenridge, Colorado's Bobby Brown, who claimed the top spot on the podium on the last run of the day after crashing on his first. His run included a front side switch-up, switch 270 on to blind swap to 270 out on the flat-down to a switch on, 630 out of the cannon, followed by a switch left double cork 9 on the first jump, dub cork twelve mute on the second and a switch right dub cork 9 on the money booter at the bottom.
This concludes our coverage on the second stop of the Winter Dew Tour in Killington, Vermont. Congratulations to Kevin Rolland and Bobby Brown, big thanks to everyone at Killington and Alli Sports, and stay tuned for the third and final stop of the Winter Dew Tour, The Toyota Championships, at Snowbasin, Utah on February 10th – 13th.
1) Bobby Brown - 93.75
2) Elias Ambuhl - 91.75
3) Nick Goepper - 88.25
4) Alex Schlopy - 87.50
5) JF Houle - 84.75
6) Henrik Harlaut - 80.50
7) Russ Henshaw - 80.00
8) McRae Williams - 76.50
9) Aleksander Aurdal - 70.25
10) Andreas Håtveit - 70.25
11) Sammy Carlson - 55.25
12) Alexis Godbout - DNS
To see how today's event affects the AFP rankings, go to http://www.afpworldtour.com
NSTV: Dew Tour Killington Day 3