words & photos: cko
video: Neil Sotirakopoulos/Orage
The last event of the 2007 Orage European Freeski Open tossed some of the world's best skiers into the superpipe in Laax, and let them go nuts. Foggy, snowy weather was an issue yet again - mostly for the photogs and filmers in the crew - but the contest itself went off without a hitch. While there were quite a few DNS's (possibly due to the large night at the Riders Palace the previous evening), the big guns were out in full force, attempting to hold their own against some of the lesser known European competitors.
While pipe-dominator Simon Dumont was on point most of the day, some trouble on the the first hit on the right wall left the door open, if only just a crack. Young Jossi Wells took advantage with a stellar stomped final run and grabbed the title. Not to be discounted in third place was Sammy Carlson with solid variety in his runs including a sick switch 7. I could go on describing runs and making judgement calls but Neil S.and the Orage crew have put together a video of all the top finals runs for both Men and Women for your viewing pleasure. Check it out and let us know what you think of the results. The PDF's below include the judges scores so you can follow along at home.
Men's Semi-final Heat 1
Mens' Semi-final Heat 2
Watch Halfpipe Finals, courtesy Orage
Download the video (53 MB MPEG)
Skye from Line, Sean (happywhenhard), and Rex at the opening of the Banana bar.
Apparently in Switzerland it's completely acceptable for three guys to bring $300 worth of booze up onto the hilll, carve out a snow-bar and start selling drinks. Sean agrees, what more could you ask for?
Kevin Rolland boosting all day long.
The Finnish crew was well represented as well. Can't beat the matching outfits.
Matt Phillipi had a strong showing in Laax
Dumont lost his footing on the in-run to his first hit in the final, but still managed to clean the cork 5 and take 2nd place.
The brit crew setup shop right in front of the Banana bar, ensuring prompt service throughout the competiton, especially during happy hour, aka finals practice.
Winner Jossi Wells
Sammy got to claim 'not just a slopestyle skeir', on his way to third.
And then it was the ladies turn.
We have a winner!
Let the champagne flow.