Words by Brianna Power
Photos by Andrew Fawcett
Spectators can expect the biggest week ever of Australian freeskiing, on and off the mountain, when the world’s best athletes descend on Thredbo Alpine Village for the Toyota One Hit Wonder Down Under from Tuesday, September 11th. Recently becoming Australia’s only gold ranked event on the AFP (Association of Freeskiing Professionals) World Tour, competitors will battle it out for a stake in the $20,000 prize purse in 2012.
2011 Toyota One Hit Wonder Down Under Champion Gus Kenworthy.
This year the week-long jumping window will play host to three competition days including Wednesday’s AFP knockout final, giving competitors the chance to add points to their overall AFP World Tour ranking. The field will include a myriad of international stars including Salomon team skiers Dane Tudor and Finland’s AJ Kemppanien. Currently sitting inside the top 10 AFP overall standings, Australian Russ Henshaw will be looking for a home town advantage to further edge himself towards the podium. American Colby West, Norwegian PK Hunder and Winter X Games medalist Jossi Wells will also shape up against Jindabyne brother combo Jordan and Jesse Houghton.
The top 10 performers will then advance to Thursday’s original People’s Choice Big Air event, where the public will vote online for their favorite crowd-pleasing trick. Voters also go into the draw to win the ‘Ultimate Winter Prize’ worth over $10,000, including an all-expenses-paid holiday for two to Hakuba, Japan staying at the luxurious Phoenix Hotel, a complete Salomon ski or snowboard package and an all new GoCam waterproof HD camera.
On Friday, the Toyota One Hit Wonder will team up with The Beach Burrito Company and Skiers Junction to celebrate Mexican Mountain Mayhem. Invited skiers and snowboarders will don moustaches and converge on the Charles Beckinsale designed mini-park to win cash for things like “wearing the tightest denim”. Following the competition, the fun will continue in the village with Poolside Apres at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel before a screening of White Silk Road: Snowboarding in Afghanistan and the Southern Hemisphere premiere of the new Poor Boyz Productions/Red Bull Media House ski movie epic WE: A Collection of Individuals.
The week will then wrap up on Saturday night with the official Rekorderlig After Party at the Schuss Bar in Thredbo Village, where internationally renowned disco-house DJ’s Flight Facilities will bring the athletes, tobogganers and snow goers together on the dance floor.
Event Director, Tim Myers, is tickled pink about the quality of competition set to go down this year. “Out of the four years of the Toyota One Hit Wonder, this is undoubtedly the hottest freeski line up that the Australian mountains have ever seen. It’s going to be a huge week of progression from these future Olympians.”
For more information on the Toyota One Hit Wonder Down Under, go to http://www.onehitwonderevent.com.