Words by Marta Lesiewska

Photos by Tomek Gola

The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open powered by Fiat (also the Polish Championship in Freeskiing) took place last weekend on Harenda slope in Zakopane, Poland, and for the fourth year in a row, Szczepan Karpiel became the Polish Champion, while Rico Schuler won Big Air and 9-year-old Kelly Sildaru dominated the women's division.

Szczepan Karpiel

Over the course of the two days of The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open powered by Fiat, the public gathered in Zakopane for their chance to check out the skills of almost 50 riders from all over Europe. Following the Big Air and Rail Jam qualifications, as well as the Night Session, the level of competition during finals was at an all time high. 

Rico Schuler

Amongst the men, the best in Big Air was Switzerland's Rico Schuler, who threw down a stylish double cork 1080 double mute grab to take first place, while Szczepan Karpiel took second to defend his title of Polish Champion in Freeskiing.

In the Rail Jam, the, podium belonged to the Swiss trio of Yannic Lerjen, Jonas Hunziker and David Ortlieb, who took first, second and third, respectively.

Rail Jam Podium

In the women's division, the amazing Kelly Sildaru from Estonia took the top spot in both Big Air and the Rail Jam, while Zuzanna Stromkova and Natalia Slepecka rounded out the podium in each discipline.

The winners shared 22,000 PLN in cash as well as gifts from Sony and Armada, and the judges also awarded the riders with some special prizes, including The North Face Best Trick, which went to Rico Schuler, and Best Progress, which was given to Poland's Pawel Palichleb.

Mati Till

David Ortlieb

“Snowpark specially prepared for this ocassion and beautiful weather let the riders show their skills," said Andrzej Lesiewski, the event organizer. "With fifty competitors from eight countries gathered on the slope alongside the public, the atmosphere was amazing, and let me be the first invite you to the jubilee 10th edition of the Polish Freeskiing Open next year.”

Men's Big Air Results

1) Rico Schuler

2) Szczepan Karpiel

3) Jonas Hunziker

4) Yannic Lerjen

5) Cyrill Hunziker

6) David Ortlieb

7) Sami Ortlieb

8) Nathan Connolly

9) Kevin Salonius

10) Bartek Sibiga

Men's Rail Jam Results

1) Yannic Lerjen

2) Jonas Hunziker

3) David Ortlieb

Women's Big Air Results

1) Kelly Sildaru

2) Natalia Slepecka

3) Zuzana Stromkova

4) Anna Szymanowska

Women's Rail Jam Results

1) Kelly Sildaru

2) Zuzana Stromkova

3) Natalia Slepecka

Polish Championship in Freeskiing Results

1) Szczepan Karpiel

2) Bartek Sibiga

3) Paweł Palichleb

Night Session Winner - Jonas Hunziker

Best Progress - Paweł Palichleb

The North Face Best Trick - Rico Schuler

For more information on The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open, check out http://www.pfopen.com, and to see how this event affects the AFP rankings, go to afpworldtour.com.