Words: Gerti Ring

Photos: Christoph Schoech

It was the big show everyone had expected! Thanks to impressive performances of some of the world’s best riders and a perfectly prepared Kitzsteinhorn Mellow Park, the Austrian Freeski Open 2010 has hit the top of the list of international freeski events. After a long hard day at the snow park, Jossi Wells from New Zealand took victory with a flawless run in the finals.

Due to bad visibility, the qualifications scheduled for Friday had to be postponed to Saturday. That’s why the 80 participants of the qualification round and the 15 seeded riders had a long day ahead of them. In the morning, bluebird and sunshine but also some strong winds welcomed them at the Kitzsteinhorn Mellow Park near Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria. For safety reasons, the organizers decided to cut down the course to the kinked box/down rail and the first big kicker.

Jossi Wells

The field of participants included international top riders from 14 nations who instantly ignited a fireworks of tricks – especially “Kiwi” Jossi Wells: the 19-year-old started his run with a rodeo 450 onto the kinked box followed by a super solid and stylish double cork 1260 mute. With this inspiring performance, the New Zealander who had won the Superpipe Dew Cup earlier this year took victory in the finals. “I’m super stoked about this first place”, the Atomic rider stated. “The rail was fun and the kicker was really dope!“

Jossi Wells

Russ Henshaw who took second also enjoyed the day at the Kitzsteinhorn Mellow Park: “I had a lot of fun, and the key to my success is fun!” The 19-year-old Australian stuck a 270 on switch up 360 at the kinked box and a double cork 1080 mute at the kicker. Canadian JF Houle seized the last place on the podium. The 24-year-old put down a 450 on/270 off and a massive bio 1080 true tail.

Tommy Hupfauf

But also the other participants who didn’t make it onto the podium showed incredible tricks, like Pekka Hyysalo from Finland with his double cork 1260. The new Austrian champion Tommy Hupfauf nailed a double cork, too. The 22-year-old from Innsbruck was the only Austrian who made it to the finals at the Kitzsteinhorn Mellow Park. With a strong 10th place and the title of the “Austrian Champion 2010“ he walked home happily.

Martin “McFly“ Winkler, the organizer of the Austrian Freeski Open, was also happy: “The move to the OneBigPark SalzburgerLand region with the slopestyle at the Kitzsteinhorn Mellow Park was a huge success which is confirmed by the positive feedback of the international riders. I’m already looking forward to next year when we’ll hold another exciting event here!”

And on Thursday, the first winners of the Austrian Freeski Open 2010 were crowned at the ladies’ and the rookies’ contests. Anna Segal won the ladies’ competition in front of Eva Patscheider and Arianna Tricomi. The rookies also showed impressive moves with Antti Ollila taking victory and a one-year sponsorship from Atomic. Second place went to Jonas Hunziker while Antti-Jussi Heikkinnen took third.



1) Jossi Wells

2) Russ Henshaw

3) JF Houle

4) Pekka Hyssalo

5) Henrik Harlaut

6) Nicolas Vuiginier

7) Gaute Silseth

8) Elias Ambuehl

9) Oscar Scherlin

10) Tommy Hupfauf


1) Anna Segal

2) Eva-Maria Patscheider

3) Arianna Tricomi

4) Lena Stoffel

5) Silvia Bertagna

6) Caja Schöpf

7) Katrien Aerts

8) Aida Aleix

9) Marina Happach

10) Christina Ragettli


1) Antti Ollila

2) Jonas Hunziker

3) Antti-Jussi Heikkinen

4) Matti Till

5) Otso Räisänen

6) Markus Androch

7) Julius Gerhart

8) Mees Van Lierop

9) Thomas Trifonitchev

10) Luca Exenberger

For more information please visit http://www.austrianfreeskiopen.com.