Words & photos: Dan Brown
Sunday River Resort was once again host to the 2nd Annual Dumont Cup this past weekend as pros and amateurs alike took to the course in Newry, Maine with their sights on the antler crowned cup. With a $20,000 cash purse on the line, competition was fierce and when all was said and done, Alex Schlopy was $12,000 heavier in the pocket and joined on the podium by Joss Christensen in 2nd and Tom Wallisch in 3rd.
The event, held over two days, started under a clear blue sky on Friday that was perhaps the only pleasant quality of the weather. True to form, Mother Nature had been the bitch we on the East Coast love to hate, turning the course, which had been soft on Thursday during practice, into a bulletproof gallery of features.
Dumont talks about the course
With a steady wind, which closed the bottom jump, the quiver of tricks that one would expect from this level of talent was a bit tame as the amateurs fought to clear the 1st hit in a jam session. Most opted to skip the first two rails and straight line it into the jump in order to put together a run that would secure a bib and advance to semis the following day.
Luke Van Valin talks about qualifiers
Saturday morning found a much needed improvement with the weather as the sun blessed us with warmer temperatures and less wind than the previous day allowing the competitors to session the Red Bull booter. Of the 90 skiers from qualifiers, 42 were able to secure a bib and compete in the a.m. session of semi finals. With two runs to show off to the judges, the ams sent it for the gathering crowd of 2000 who lined the slopestyle course.
From 42, 11 moved on to finals to compete against the pre qualified pros which included Joss Christensen, Tom Wallisch, Jossi Wells, Justin Dorey, Peter Olenick, Gus Kenworthy and Mike Riddle.
Absent from the final start list was the man himself, Simon Dumont, who took on an organizer role this year rather than competitor and delighted the crowd with a large amount of free product from the event's sponsors.
After a hour break for a delicious bbq lunch for the athletes and media, the finals began with the sort of trickery that this East Coast event has become known for. Right off the bat, competitors started firing off technical lines through the rail section and a plethora of doubles.
Alex Schlopy stepped up his game from semi finals with a conservative 270 on to the flatbox and a 450 out of the canon box and switching out his 1080 for a self proclaimed "wobbly" double 1440 on the 80 footer preceded by an unnatural 900 and finally rounded it off with a switch 270 on, 270 out which crowned him the first amateur to win this event.
Following close behind was repeat offender Joss Christensen who took 2nd in both last year's and this year's Cup with a switch 270 on the down box, switch on & front 450 out of the canon into a right 900 followed by a huge switch dub 10 and finished off with a switch 270 to 270 out of the last feature.
Last year's winner Tom Wallisch awed the crowd with an impressive run that included a switch right 900 and a double 1080.
Finishing out the top ten were Nick Goepper, Gus Kenworthy, Justin Dorey, Tim McChesney, Maks Gorham, Karl Fostvet and Parker White. NS would also like to send a shout out to Brian Kish who sent his double 1260 a bit too far to the left of the jump and had a spectacular impact that left the crowd holding its breath as he was attended to by the ski patrol.
Top 3 talk about the contest and their runs
As the sun faded at the conclusion of the awards ceremony, the athletes took time to sign autographs for the crowd and to toss out a bit more schwag. The day complete, everyone headed to the Foggy Goggle for a well deserved celebration.
1) Alex Schlopy
2) Joss Christensen
3) Tom Wallisch
4) Nick Goepper