The Big Air Competition was the crowning moment of the remarkable Nine Queens event and a sensational display of women's freeskiing prowess. Conditions in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis couldn't have been better for the final competition; blue bird skies and hardly any wind enabled the ladies to throw down the hardest they have all week. During the last five days the fifteen invited riders had multiple sessions with the invited photographers and filmers on the various awesome features of the impeccable Chateau.
Camillia Berra. Photo by Christoph Schoech
On competition day countless cheering spectators had the chance to witness freeskiing history in the making. Unfortunately Coline Ballet-Baz and Jamie Crane-Mauzy were unable to take part due to injury, but they definitely crushed it during the week and were cheering for the other girls. The Queens were all smiles, stoked to have such perfect conditions to hit the incredible jump. After an hour-long quali session in the morning, the girls had an hour and half long jam session where the top eight were selected to move into the finals. A great combination of styled out grabs and technical tricks were landed in the jam session: cork 900s, switch 900s and double grab 360s kept everyone amped up and demonstrated what freeskiing really is to any uneducated spectators.
Silvia Bertagna. Photo by Christoph Schoech
Like every year, the final of the Nine Queens Big Air competition was one for the history books, with three tricks being landed that had never before been landed in a ladie's competition. The vibe at the top was phenomenal, there was no pressure and all the ladies cheered and encouraged each other to push themselves. They each had five runs to land their best tricks, with the best two different tricks determining their final score.
Zuzička Stromková. Photo by Christoph Schoech
The young German Lisa Zimmermann was unbeatable in the finals, stomping her cork 900 truckdriver on the first run and her double cork 1260 safety on the second – a textbook demonstration of freeski mastery as she is also the only woman in the world able to do those tricks. "I am super stoked to land the tricks that I did," said Lisa. "It's so special to have a Big Air event just for girls. Being able to session the jump and hang out with the girls all week is just amazing." The Slovakian Zuzička Stromková claimed second place stomping her styled out rodeo 720 safety and then landing a rodeo 900 for the first time ever. Camillia Berra from Switzerland rounded off the podium with a huge double frontflip and a smooth rodeo 720. During the finals Katie Summerhayes from the United Kingdom had a few issues landing her tricks and had to sit out a few runs due to a big crash, however she came back after the competition was already over and landed the first switch 1260 ever landed by a woman; a massive achievement she was overjoyed by.
Lisa Zimmerman. Photo by Christoph Schoech
1) Lisa Zimmerman
2) Zuzička Stromková
3) Camillia Berra
4) Maude Raymond
5) Silvia Bertagna
6) Katie Summerhayes
7) Dania Assaly
8) Philo Bair
Photo by Christoph Schoech
"Yet again the Ladies pushed freeskiing to another level at the Nine Queens" said head judge Christoph Thaler, "every year the event gets better and better, I can't wait to see what happens next year!" Needless to say the athletes, media, spectators and organizers couldn't be happier with how the 2013 Nine Queens finished up. Congratulations to all the Queens, and lets hope next year's event is as good as this year's!
For more information on Nine Queens, check out www.ninequeens.com!