Words by Frederic Simard
Photos by Antoine St Onge Cloutier & ATAP Images
The sixth edition of the Golden Crown OFR took place on Sunday morning under marvelous sunny skies in the beautiful park of Mont-Orford. Roughly 60 Quebec freeskiers showed up for this event, including Frank GP and Vincent Gagnier, which was certified by the AFP (Association of Freeskiers Professionals) as a bronze level competition.
Practice ran from 9 – 11am, with qualifiers taking place immediately afterwards, where the best of two runs would determine who would move onto finals. The course, prepared and arranged by René Caza, was perfect: four jumps and two rails, all in a straight line. Everyone said the set up was sick and that they were having a great time. Around 10:30am Mr. JF Cusson showed up as the head judge of the competition, along with two other judges who were on hand to help, Phil Fournier and Cedric Dion.
The riders started big on their first runs, even on the first little jump where many a rodeos went down, in particular by Emile Bergeron, who was the first one to give a try. The money booter, a 40-foot jump, was right in front of the judges, but they were high enough on the tower to see the entire course. Only one skier tried a double, but he unfortunately crashed, while the top skiers of the day played it safe with some cork 9 and 10's. Vince Gagnier impressed the judges with huge airs and a ton of style, but it was Alex Beaulieu who finished first in the qualifiers with a flawless run.
Only 20 riders moved on to the finals: 10 Pros, 7 Ams and 3 Girls along with 3 Juniors. Just like last year, Ben Cormier came really close to the podium with a perfectly landed cork 9 and and impressive 450 disaster on the flat-down rail at the end of the course. Chris Lacombe (aka Le Roux, an OFR rider) impressed the judged and his peers with some huge airs of his own and stylish grabs. But it was the Pros who wanted it all and went the biggest. Emile Bergeron did some perfect switch 10's on the money booter, but it wasn't enough for the victory, as in the end, Alex Beaulieu Marchand went home with the Golden Crown after stomping a right 5 on the first jump followed by a switch 7, switch right side 7 and a switch 10 on the money booter, and capped off his run with a switch 270 on pretzel out of the down bar. Alex scored himself 350 AFP points, a brand new pair of Rossignol S3’s and a full Orage suit, while second place went to Vincent Gagnier (who threw a killer 1260 in his run) and Frank GP rounded out the podium in third.
Alex Beaulieu Marchand
1) Alex Beaulieu Marchand
2) Vincent Gagnier
3) Frank GP
1) Félix Gauvreau
Frédéric Tedibear Lavoie
1) Émilie Séguin
1) Raphaël Simard
To see how this event affects the AFP rankings, go to http://www.afpworldtour.com
All of the riders’ entry fees go to Team OFR for our training events and travels during this summer and next winter, so thanks to everyone who came out to compete and for giving us and the public a spectacular show. Also thanks to our sponsors: Rossignol, Le Pied Sportif, Orage, D-Structure, Illusion, IGA Gazaille, Colt Resources, Location Langlois, Newschoolers, Coors Light and Mont-Orford. And a very special thanks to all the volunteers and employees of Mont-Orford, especially Lloyd Langlois and Alain Duranleau.