The ideas put in motion at Dew Tour seem to be catching on. SFR in La Clusaz split jumps and rails for a combined slopestyle score in the same manner as we saw in Breck. The difference being I liked it at Dew, with the more interesting jump tricks coming to the fore and a unique, many hit jib course bringing the best out of the riders. It didn't translate so well in France today. The windy conditions prevented the jumps section from going off and the Jib section was too short, too steep and too formulaic to do the same job as the Dew course. That said, as an exhibition, I can see how it worked. We still saw some pretty insane jib tricks and the short course format meant the on-location viewers could get close to all the action and rather than only seeing a snapshot of the course.
It was mad windy on the jumps, in fact it looked far too windy to be running a jump contest but in general everyone still threw down. 4 runs, two different rotations from the four possibilities required for a combined score. The downside with bringing this format to a slopestyle comp is you'd never get away with spinning left and sw left in a normal normally but you do here. On the flipside you get to see higher risk and creativity tricks in general.
Kelly Sildaru, throwing switch 10s like nothing, was a class above on the women's side, finishing 12 points clear. Sarah Hoefflin (switch right 7, switch left cork 7) and Jennie Lee Burmansson rounded out the top 3.
Jump section replay (part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPrC8TXE_ss)
In the men's, Alex Hall brought his bonkers dub 12 seatbelt and sw dub 14 safety to the table but couldn't quite clean up the 14. Antti Ollila stomped the piss out of a dub 9 blunt and a sw dub 12 mute, it was odd to see him throw a normal comp trick but his style still shone through. Alex Hackel's dub 7 and sw dub 10 truck, was probably my personal highlight combo, especially with the nosebutters in the finish area. Evan McEachran took first in jumps with the dub 12 nose tail daffy thing he does and a sw dub 14 safety. To be honest it was a pretty intense blur of dubs on dubs, Antoine Adelisse and Oystein took two and three with a dub 9 blunt and sw dub 12 mute + another dub each respectively.
Perhaps more interestingly, there was a junior event in which Henry Sildaru (10) placed second despite being 3+ years younger than his competition. He was throwing some very familiar blunt 9s too, watch out world, he's coming.
On the women's side, we're again talking about the Kelly show. First run she was almost 20 points above the rest with a kfed and a front 6 out and that dominance continued in with a superfed to switch 2 pretz 2 combo on the long rainbow to down rail. After run 3 she was a whopping 50 points clear of the competition (2 scores out of 100). Final run, Katie Summerhayes put down a 2 in, followed by front 6 combo for a big ol, 89 and second. Kelly ended up taking first by 45+ points and Henri Sildaru took top spot in the junior jib and overall with solid rail lines reminiscent of his sister. Emotional brother sister hugs followed and the ski world trembled.
The men managed to do some insane things with an essentially dull course. Alex Hall found crazy transfer options all over with a 4 disaster gap at the bottom really setting the benchmark. Aleksi Patja's backslide front swap thing still totally fucks with my head and it was nuts to see him throwing that in a contest even if it didn't score well. Oystein Braten channeled Red Bull team mate Jesper with a flip on blind two at the bottom. Antoine Adelisse took the early lead with a switch on, back 6 followed by a cork 450 on.
Jib finals replay
Run 2, Antti Ollila brought a pretty crazy ollie over/polejam 270 thing on the first rail in to play but bobbled on his second trick which hurt his score. Oystein smashed out a 2 on 2 off to switch on cork 6 out and Antoine the front swap pretz 4 followed by a front 6 to regain his lead. On balance here the feeling is familiar, some guys taking risks and doing creative tricks and not really being rewarded, others spinning a lot and stacking points.
Run 3, Aleksi brought a left sniper nosetap front swap to the second feature, I have no idea whether that's the best way to call this and I'm fairly sure the judges didn't know how to handle it either. Benoit Buratti channeled countryman and La Clusaz legend Candide Thovex with a cork(ish) 810 on back 2 on the bottom feature for a 90.2. Antti did another rarely seen comp trick in the form of a backslide blindsurface but got squat in reward.
Run 4, Alex Hall finally dialled in his second rail line, including a terrifying looking forward gap, blind swap transfer up top for an 88 and provisional 3rd. Oystein Braten did enough on his final run to steal the overall win from Antoine Adelisse, with A Hall taking a deserved 3rd spot.