Words by Rocky Maloney
Photos by Rocky Maloney & Paul Braunstein
The top nine skiers from yesterday’s prelims met pre-qualified athletes Andreas Håtveit, Tom Wallisch and Sammy Carlson this morning at the top of the slopestyle course in Snowbasin for the final day of the second stop of the Winter Dew Tour. In contrast to the omnipresent patch of flat light during yesterday’s prelims, it was nice to see the bright blue sky shining down on Utah once again this morning. It was an early start for the elite group of skiers, with training starting at 8am until the main event got underway at 9:30.
First up in the wolf pack was Charles Gagnier, showing off his technical rail skills with his famous “Bind-Soul” grind on the down box. Smooth as always, Charles had a nice clean run to start out the day. He improved a little bit on his second run but it couldn’t help him find a spot on the podium, finishing in 11th place with a high scoring 83.00, which proved just how tough and exceptional today’s competition was.
Switch on, "Bind-Soul"
McRae Williams had an excellent showing yesterday in prelims, where his unique rail skills, including a nose butter 270 on to 450 off helped him get into finals. But although his time in the sun is surely on the horizon, today wasn’t McRae’s day, as after two solid runs he had to settle for 12th, which amongst this amazing field of skiers was a strong showing for the young gun from Park City. More to come from him for sure.
McRae Williams 270 switch-up over the flat.
TJ Schiller was looking solid as a rock during his first his run, until the last jump, were he went for his double cork 1080 and didn’t quite make it all the way around. He took quite a gnarly fall and was down for a few minutes, causing some nervousness amongst his peers and the large crowd in attendance.
TJ after taking a nasty fall on a double, before shaking it off like a man and taking his second run.
However showing just how tough of he competitor he is, Teej got up on his on power and skied away, only to return for his second run, where he finished off in 10th place with a score of 84.00.
TJ Schiller's patented mute grab, and flawless double cork...always a joy to see.
The middle of the field was packed with some of the heaviest of hitters, all of whom were serious threats to the top dogs throughout the day. Ian Cosco had a solid showing with his double cork 12’s, along with a crowd-pleasing switch on to backflip off the launch rail.
Cosco layin in down in training...
...and entertaining the crowd with a backflip off the launch rail.
Dub Life. photo: Paul Braunstein
Also in the middle of the pack was second place qualifier Alexis Godbout, the young and hungry Elias Ambuhl, yesterday’s hero of the day Jossi Wells, and steezemaster 2010 Phil Casabon.
Jossi Wells throwing down a gnarly switch 270 onto the launch box in the back of the Toyota, and showing that guy with the point and shoot how it’s done...
Dear Phil Casabon: You are so damn good.
The unwavering and always energetic Sammy Carlson just missed his second podium of the winter, laying down two sick as a dog runs that saw him finish with a 91.25, which in many competitions would have been a score you’d see next to the winner's name on the jumbotron.
Sammy on the launch rail. photo: Paul Braunstein
According to news reports on NHK, this japan grab could be seen all the way from Tokyo.
As for the top three, Bobby Brown did one hell of a good job showing that this competition was not going to be easy to win. On his first run he was the second skier to drop in, and scored a blazing hot 90.00 to set the bar. The Teen Dream finished off his day in 3rd place after a drama-filled last two runs from none other than Tom Wallisch and Andreas Håtveit.
Bobby Brown photo: Paul Braunstein
So for the second day in a row, when it came down to the wire, the Dew Tour had more drama than The Hills. Wallisch’s last run: double switch-up on the up-flat-down, 270 on, pretzel 450 off the second rail, left 900 tail, switch right 1080, to switch left double cork 1080. One of the most fluid and solidly executed runs of the day and more than good enough to put him in the top spot with a 94.75.
T-Wall, killing it.
Wallisch, about to spin around and spot his landing on top of the podium.
Andreas Håtveit was last to drop in and anyone and everyone in attendance knew he would go all in for the win before he even left the start gate. Amongst other Viking war plans concocted in his backyard terrain park, Dre stomped his double cork 10 with authority before busting out a rodeo off the launch rail, eventually finishing off in 2nd place just a smidge behind T-Wall, and as always, was all smiles over his performance. To say it was close would be an understatement bigger than Salt Lake, as the top three were separated by only one point.
Following today’s show Wallisch and Håtveit are tied for the top on the Dew Tour points standing at 190 points, while Bobby Brown and Sammy Carlson are both tied for second with 155 not too far behind them. Hey Mount Snow...get ready for one hell of a weekend.
Andreas Håtveit (2nd), 1st Tom Wallisch (1st), 3rd Bobby Brown (3rd)
1) Tom Wallisch - 94.75
2) Andreas Hatveit - 93.63
3) Bobby Brown - 93.25
4) Sammy Carlson - 91.25
5) Jossi Wells - 87.38
6) Phil Casabon - 85.75
7) Elias Ambuhl - 84.25
8) Alexis Godbout - 84.20
9) Ian Cosco - 84.13
10) TJ Schiller - 84.00
11) Charles Gagnier - 83.00
12) McRae Williams - 81.00
Big ups to all of the competitors, and a huge thanks go out to Snowbasin for hosting the Dew Tour and putting together a course that helped make this weekend that much more exciting.
See you at Mount Snow for Dew Tour Finals!