The World Cup Big Air Final in Kreischberg went off in a big way on a still and cold night in Austria. With minimal opportunities to compete this winter, the athletes were chomping at the bit. The stage was set, the jump was perfect and the level was through the roof. No crowd in to enjoy this one but the vibes were off the chain for what turned into a classic big air showdown.
On the men's side, Henrik narrowly missed qualifying along with several other big names, while on the women's side, Sarah Hoefflin also narrowly missed out. In fact, the women's field was cut to a paltry six in qualifying, and then five with a DNS from Johanne Killi, but they kicked things off.
Highlights Women's Round 1:
Silvia Bertagna kicked off proceedings with a switch 900 but missed out on locking her mute grab.
Kelly Sildaru put down a switch 10 but lost the grab early and being awarded 76.40 for her efforts.
Mathilde Gremaud sent a really nicely carved dub 12 and reached for the lead tail but took a big slam - unfortunately, that was how the rest of her night went too. It was a real shame not to see this trick put down as it was set to be a beauty.
Guilia Tanno sent a dub 10 safety to the moon, landing a bit tail heavy but steezing out the wheelie for an 83.20 landing her in 1st - although she was quickly bumped to 2nd by Tess Ledeux.
Tess Ledeux laced up a dope 1260 mute to end the first round with her in 1st. More of a 1.5 cork than a full double but very deserving of the 91.80
Highlights Women's Round 2:
Silvia Bertanga made sure with the grab on the switch 9 this time around but pulled her ski off towards the end of the tweak. Ruling her out of contention but showing us just how brutal big air finals can be.
Kelly Sildaru improved on her first run switch 10 locking in the grab for longer and tweaking it more for an 82.00
Mathilde Gremaud went for the dub 12 safety and came up short on the knuckle, she walked away but ended her night there.
Guilia Tanno dropped a switch 10 in round 2, managing to reach back for a tindy bringing her an 85.40 and leaving her in 2nd place still.
Tess Ledeux squeaked around a switch 10 and went for the dub japan although she whiffed the front hand of the grab, picked up an 80.60 and first place at the close of the round.
Highlights Women's Round 3:
Kelly Sildaru put down a switch 900 mute for a 78.6
Guilia Tanno cleaned up the dub 10 safety from her first-round jump and it was reflected in the score of 88.00 putting her into 1st place.
Tess went in for the switch 10 dub japan again, but missed the grab early on and penciled around the rest of the rotation, taking a fall leaving her in second place.
The men came out of the gate firing and we saw a first round littered with 16s and 18s... and no falls. While the judges left themselves little room to play with scoring early jumps high, the end results seemed reasonably fair to most.
Highlights Men's Round 1:
Eduardo Therriault opened proceedings with a triple 16 mute. Went huge and stomped it, the judges scored it a 91.80 and set themselves little room to play with. We saw very few scores under 90 for landed runs.
Alex Hall put down his trademark dub 16 Buick first run for a 90.80 and the tone was well and truly set for this comp and the send really didn't slow down from here.
Oliwer Magnusson dropped the first of many 1800s of the evening in double form with a capped blunt, earning 94.00
Matej Svancer stomped a huge switch triple 14 with a dope, triple wobble axis.
Colin Wili channeled the non-qualifying Woodsy with a switch trip 14 octo for a 94.20
Antione Adelisse put down a triple 16 with a mute grab that went up to the nose of the ski for a 92.40
https://streamable.com/re1y40The first round was ended by Birk Ruud, who went deeper than anyone, skiing like a man possessed and lacing up a switch dub 1800 blunt to take the lead with a 96.00
Highlights Men's Round 2:
Andri Ragettli sent a switch dub misty 18 safety to the bottom lines on the landing. This was a really crazy one I've never seen before. The judges approved and gave him a 95.20
Oliwer Magnusson went to 18 for the second time in two runs with a switch dub 18 blunt to take the provisional lead.
Matej Svancer showed us why he really is a 16 year old on a mission with a nosebutter dub 16 japan that was locked in and tweaked hard earning a worthy 96.00.
Kim Gubser showed that having Kai Mahler as a coach is rubbing off on him with a sweet carved triple 1620 with a high mute. Awarded 93.00.
Antione Adelisse put down one of the highest scoring runs of the night with a switch pre nose triple 1440, the grab was held forever and he took it deep and crushed the landing - 97.20.
Birk Ruud put down a dub bio 18 mute; this was a gorgeous axis. He matched Antoine a 97.20 for himself and leaving a tight final round to be battled out.
Highlights Men's Round 3:
Alex Hall's switch dub 1800 Buick, which the judges thought about long and hard before awarding 95.80, although this still left him far behind the rest of the pack.
Oliwer Magnusson dropped in while sitting in 3rd - where he remained - and went for a 1980... while not landing this was mad to see go down.
Andelisse Antione came up short on his final run, claiming 2nd place and leaving Birk Ruud with a victory lap. Birk dropped what can only be described as a cork 0 (I'm still trying to get my head around it) and sailed through the landing to claim 1st place.