As the 2009-2010 competitive freeskiing season draws to an end The Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) congratulates and crowns the five individual discipline champions and two overall winners for the year. The AFP (http://www.afpwordtour.com) also salutes all the athletes who sacrificed their bodies and fought through the blood, sweat and tears this year to achieve their goals.
On the men's side of things, Jossi Wells dominated the overall arena, taking home the award for the best combined performance throughout Superpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air, with 285 points. Wells can attribute his X Games medals in both Slopestyle and Halfpipe, his Winter Dew Tour Superpipe superiority and consistency in the fall Big Airs to his success. Falling 42 points behind Wells was Simon Dumont in second place and 11 points behind Dumont finished AJ Kemppainen in third place on the Men's Overall list. "I have a huge respect for the other athletes that compete in all disciplines," said Wells. "It's definitely not easy so, it's cool to see the guys killing it."
Jossi Wells. photo: Jeff Schmuck
The women's overall title race was a bit tighter, with Rosalind Groenewoud taking home her second straight AFP Overall award, having accumulated 192 points. Groenewoud's podium consistency in the Superpipe all year coupled with a sprinkling of top 10 Slopestyle finishes pushed the young Canadian over the top of her fellow countrywomen. Dania Assaly finished with 190 points and Sarah Burke amassed 188 points, both narrowly missing the title. "I am so stoked," elated Rosalind. "This year, more than ever, I felt so proud to be part of a community of such amazing skiers so it is an honor."
Jen Hudak & Rosalind Groenewoud. photo: Jeff Schmuck
Superpipe competition saw two champions, well ahead of their respective packs. Jossi Wells took home the title for the men and Jen Hudak won the title for the women. Again, Wells' dominance throughout the Winter Dew Tour that included two podiums and the Dew Cup for Superpipe Performer of the Year, and a silver medal at Winter X Games Aspen pushed him almost 400 points over Kevin Rolland and nearly 500 points over Simon Dumont, who took second and third respectively. Hudak — who held nearly a 1,000 point lead over Rosalind Groenewoud and 1,350 point lead over Sarah Burke — dominated the Superpipe scene, with an almost perfect season. Wins at both Winter X Games and WSI with added support from a second place at the Winter Dew Tour Breckenridge gave her an impossibly large margin. "I've worked really hard for a long time on both the physical and mental components of this sport and I was finally able to put it all to use this year," explained Hudak.
To determine the men's Slopestyle Champion, the AFP saw a tight race that came down to the wire. The men's side was hotly contested, with Bobby Brown coming out on top with 2,620 points. Bobby's wins at the Winter X Games Aspen and Winter Dew Tour Mt. Snow, coupled with his second place at Winter X Games Tignes gave him the push over Tom Wallisch , winner of Winter X Games Tignes, by 100 points. Following hot on Wallisch's heels is Andreas Håtveit, who won the first stop of the Winter Dew Tour, only off the lead by 200 points. "I couldn't have asked for a better year," said Brown." I had tons of fun and did pretty well."
Bobby Brown. photo: Matt Stauble
Compared to the men, the women's Slopestyle race was much more one-sided, with Kaya Turski commanding the lead with 2,350 points. Kaya went three-for-three, winning both Winter X Games events and the Kristi Leskinen Invitational in Seven Springs, PA. "I've been working really hard these past few years to be up there and it feels great to have it pay off," stated Turski. Behind the French-Canadian was Keri Herman with 1,790 points and Anna Segal with 1,510 points.
Kaya Turski. photo: Jeff Schmuck
And on the Big Air side of things, Andreas Håtveit squeezed out Russ Henshaw for the win with 2,000 points. His win at the Jon Olsson Invitational, King Of Style and third place at Freestyle.ch placed him just 50 points ahead of Henshaw who won the Barcelona Snow Show, Frostgun Invitational and took second behind Håtveit at the Jon Olsson Invitational. Following Henshaw in third place was Sammy Carlson with 1,870 points, who won the Freestyle.ch Big Air in Zurich, Switzerland.
Andreas Håtveit. photo: John Vandervalk
The AFP ranking system was developed to track men’s and women’s competition results held on three continents in slopestyle, halfpipe and big air in order to name true global world champions. The AFP (http://www.afpwordtour.com) has developed an event ranking system that creates balance between the different formats and levels of events held throughout the world, separating them into four categories, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Events are ranked based on course construction, prize money, media exposure and level of athlete participation and receive maximum point values based on this criteria. The top four individual results for halfpipe and top three results for slopestyle and big air are used to determine athlete rankings and discipline champions.
Check out the AFP website at http://www.afpwordtour.com for full event and rider rankings and be sure to tune in this summer for next year's official schedule of competitions.