Words and Photos by: Jamie Walter
Today could not have been more ideal for a competition, as a bluebird sky and soft snow greeted athletes and spectators this morning for the finals of the 5th annual Dumont Cup here at Sunday River, Maine. The flat light that plagued the course yesterday was non-existent and as a result, the level of difficulty, style, and amplitude was raised to an extremely high standard.
Alex Hackel enjoying the bluebird morning
Crowds quickly gather as the day goes on
After yesterday’s two amateur jam sessions, 30 riders woke up this morning to face 13 pre-qualified skiers in the best of two runs semi-finals. The top 12 riders would face former champion Gus Kenworthy, who had a bye all the way to the final round. After a quick warm up, the riders began dropping in to impress the judges and large crowd that gathered. All throughout the course, the level that these riders were competing at was much higher compared to the relatively lax day yesterday.
Charles Gagnier opposite mute double cork 10
Noah Morrison Rodeo 630 out of the cannon
Evan McEachran cork 9 blunt
Dylan Bessette bio 10
LJ Strenio Disaster 4 on
Up top on the rails, LJ Strenio brought a disaster 450 on 270 out to the down-flat-down, while Nick Goepper and Noah Morrison both got inverted out of the cannon rail, with a misty 450 and rodeo 630 for each of them, respectively. Down into the jumps, Dylan Bessette had a impressive bio 10 stalefish on the final booter, Charles Gagnier threw a right double cork 10 opposite mute, and Evan McEachran with a well grabbed cork 9 tail. In the end, the following 12 had the best runs and were selected by the judges to move onto the finals:
Gus Kenworthy (Bye)
The top 13 made their way back to the course after a brief lunch break as the finals kicked off, which was broadcasted live across the internet. Event emcee Luke Van Valin was quick to get the crowd and even the chairlift passengers that passed over the course cheering for all of the finalists as they threw down three runs each. Most memorable was during PK Hunder’s third and final run; after struggling to land on the first jump runs one and two, PK dropped in and fired off absolutely flawless tricks on the first four features, then sent one of the biggest double 12’s of the day on the final hit as the spectators cheered him on (he unfortunately washed out in the slush on the landing). Alex Schlopy also attempted to land a double cork 1620, proving the field of competitors were itching to stand apart and grab a top spot.
Emcee Luke Van Valin and host Simon Dumont watch from the judges tower
PK Hunder's massive double cork 12
In third place with a 91.7 was Joss Christensen. His run contained a lip 270 on 2 out of the down rail to switch onto the cannon with a 450 out, then to a right 10 lead tail, left double 12 japan, and switch dub 10 tail on the jumps.
Joss Christensen fires a 450 out of the cannon rail
Joss right 10 lead tail
Gus Kenworthy, one of the few athletes that utilized the wall flat rail instead of the cannon, went switch tails 270 disaster onto the down-flat-down into a switch right 270 on 2 out of the wall. From there, he sent a rodeo 9 mute to opposite japan grabs, switch right 10 lead tail, and switch double 10 japan, earning him an impressive 92.7.
Gus Kenworthy switch double 10 japan
Gus switch right 270 onto the wallride
Goepper mid switch 270 pretzel 270 out
Goepper double misty
However, Nick Goepper threw down a near flawless third run to claim himself a 95 and another victory. From the top, Nick went switch 2 pretzel 2 on the down rail, to the switch 2 on misty 450 out of the cannon that he had been practicing the past two days. He then carried speed into a switch misty 9 double japan, then a left double 12 blunt and topped it all off with a huge switch dub misty 12 mute. It was evident from the noise of the crowd that Goepper had just earned himself the $10,000 grand prize. "I Couldn’t have asked for a better day for finals,” Goepper said, speaking with me after the event, “…Simon built us a great course, the jumps were really good, the rails were nice and smooth, the snow was slushy and all around it was a perfect day!”
Your 2013 Dumont Cup Podium: Joss Christensen (3rd), Nick Goepper (1st), Gus Kenworthy (2nd)
Goepper is hounded for autographs as soon as he steps off the podium
After the last of the runs, host Simon Dumont tossed out gear to a massive group of kids that had formed below the tower while the judges deliberated the final results. Running up landings and playing a literal game of “Simon says,” a few lucky children walked home with pairs of Oakley Goggles and even a brand new pair of Head skis.
Dumont tosses out swag courtesy of the event sponsors
1) Nick Goepper – 95.0
2) Gus Kenworthy – 92.7
3) Joss Christensen – 91.7
4) Matt Walker – 88.7
5) Alex Schlopy – 85.7
6) Lyman Currier – 85.0
7) Noah Wallace – 84.0
8) Colby Stevenson – 83.0
9) Evan McEachran – 78.0
10) LJ Strenio – 75.0
11) JF Houle – 73.0
12) Yan Bussieres - 69.7
13) PK Hunder - 43.3
Huge thanks goes out to Darcy Morse, Simon Dumont, and the Sunday River Park Crew for putting on such an awesome event, as well as Jeff Schmuck for the hookup. See you all next year!