Host resorts on the east and west coast, as well as in the Rockies, produced yet another group of freeski finalists for this season’s Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals. Taking the stage in two weeks at Snowbasin Resort in Utah, winners from Mount Bachelor, Jackson Hole, and Killington will compete for the overall title of Champion, as well as for the coveted pre-qualified spot in the 2011-12 Winter Dew Tour. Stepping above the pack in the slopestyle division was Tanner Boudreau (Mt. Bachelor), Alex Gorham (Jackson Hole), and Will Hibbs (Killington), while in the superpipe contests we watched as Clint Kasten (Mt. Bachelor), Alex Ferreira (Jackson Hole), and Cody Vavolotis (Killington) became freeski finalists.
This season’s slopestyle contests have proven to show huge progression in the sport at each event, and this past weekend was no exception. Throwing down a switch up on the DFD, rodeo 7, a 900, and ending on a switch 7 to score an 85.00, eighteen-year-old Boudreau won at Mt. Bachelor. Second place went to Connor Bennet with an 84.00, and in third place with a 68.00 was Robby Franco. “Oh man, I can’t believe I won,” said Boudreau. “Getting to ride the Winter Dew Tour course is going to be awesome!”
Mount Bachelor Slopestyle Podium: Robby Franco (3rd), Tanner Boudreau (1st), Conner Bennet (2nd)
The Gatorade Free Flow Tour’s first event at Jackson Hole produced 49 of contenders, where 17-year-old Gorham earned the victory and a trip to the Finals in the men’s slope division with his second run and a score of 80.33. His run, which consisted of a right seven tail, left seven mute, followed by a 360 gap over the trapezoid box landing switch into a switch on 270 out on the flat down rail, topped runner-up Ian Hamilton, who earned a 76.00, and third place finisher Leo Zoberski, who came away with a 74.00.
Jackson Hole Slopestyle Podium: Ian Hamilton (2nd), Alex Gorham (1st), Leo Zoberski (3rd)
Using a disaster 450 on the flat down rail, 270 out of the legacy feature, a cork 9 sausage tail, switch 9 mute, and a rodeo 540 mute, Hibbs earned the win this week in Killington with a 92.00. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand took the second spot with an 89.00, and Benoit Gendron rounded out the podium in third place with an 87.00. This marks Hibbs’ second year as a Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finalist, competing in 2010 after his win at Loon Mountain.
Killington Slopestyle Podium: Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (2nd), Will Hibbs (1st)
Sunday hosted the weekend’s superpipe contests. Mammoth Lake’s 18-year-old Kasten took the pipe win at Mount Bachelor, earning an 85.00 with a boosty run that included three 540’s, two 9’s, and an alley oop 5. Carson Lettouilie and Hunter Visser took the second and third place spots, with finals scores of 78.50 and 64.75 respectively. “Utah is going to be sick!” said Kasten. “I can’t wait for the Finals.”
Mount Bachelor Superpipe Podium: Carson Lettouilie (2nd), Clint Kasten (1st), Hunter Visser (3rd)
Ferreira, a 16-year-old from Aspen, produced a top score of 85.00 with his run. Charging the Jackson Hole pipe, his run put him ahead of Corey Jackson, who came in second place with an 84.00, and Broby Leeds, who finished in third place with a 79.67.
Jackson Hole Superpipe Podium: Corey Jackson (2nd), Alex Ferreira (1st), Broby Leeds (3rd)
In a highly competitive field of freeskiers, Daniel Rosenblum took home his second win of the season in the Killington pipe, freshly used by the pros at last week’s Winter Dew Tour. The 20-year-old’s run played out with a big right 900, left 540, and an alley oop flat 540, earning the most points with an 88.75. Coming in second place and taking the trip to the Finals due to Rosenblum’s repeat win, was Cody Vavolotis’ 86.25, and in third was the 81.75 earned by Beaulieu-Marchand. “Another week, another win,” said Rosenblum. “Now I’d love to earn a spot in slopestyle!”
Killington Superpipe Podium: Colby Vavolotis (2nd), Daniel Rosenblum (1st), Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (3rd)
With their wins, the six freeskiers earn an automatic bid into the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals that will take place at the Winter Dew Tour’s Toyota Championship, February 10-13, 2011 at Snowbasin Resort in Utah.
1) Tanner Boudreau
2) Connor Bennett
3) Robby Franco
4) Lucas Wachs
5) Hudson Knoll
1) Clint Kasten
2) Carson Lettouilie
3) Hunter Visser
4) Hudson Knoll
5) Luchas Wachs
1) Alex Gorham
2) Ian Hamilton
3) Leo Zoberski
4) John Leonard
5) Boby Leeds
1) Alex Ferreira
2) Corey Jackson
3) Broby Leeds
4) John Leonard
5) Tucker Mead
1) Will Hibbs
2) Alex Beaulieu-Marchand
3) Benoit Gendron
4) Kristaps Thompson
5) Sam Parker
1) Daniel Rosenblum
2) Colby Vavolotis
3) Alex Beaulieu-Marchand
4) Gideon Les Gros
5) Cooper Babbitt
The winners in each of the 54 contests (30 slopestyle and 24 superpipe) will be flown to the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals, taking place in conjunction with the Winter Dew Tour’s Toyota Championship, February 12-13 at Snowbasin Resort in Utah. Encompassing the “Flow to Pro” theme that is the cornerstone of the Gatorade Free Flow Tour, the two overall snowboard superpipe and slopestyle champions and the overall freeski superpipe and slopestyle champions will earn a spot to compete against the pros at the first stop of the 2011-12 Winter Dew Tour the following season.