Words by: Julien HeonPhotos by: Julien Heon, cko
For a third year, Tremblant brings itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s response to WhistlerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s WSSF, the Spin Symposium. It all Started off on April 1st, with the skier cross and boarder cross on the first week end, but the show really took off on Tuesday with the Quals for the famous Urban Jib. The set up consisted of a down rail and a Gap to Sex change that scared more than one. The pressure was high once one rider took off on the gap, and the other riders followed up. The highlight of the Quals was Alex Lallier, arriving late but throwing it down with his 450 on, kissing the rail, and spinning off. Finally, Alex Lallier, Vincent Villemure and Justin Meilleur all advanced to the precious Final.
I was staying in the luxurious condo of my friend Josh, the #2 Josh of Level 1, with Justin Meilleur, Liberty Rider and Jean-Denis Zicat, winner of the Level 1 Super Unknown contest. We had a fun night in Tremblant, celebrating the 3rd place of Justin, while J-D was pre-Qualified. After a hard night on the top bed of the bunk bed I shared with MR the Unknown, AKA the Snoring machine, we woke up pretty early to abuse the breakfast of the riders/media lounge. After this pretty nice meal, we headed up to the mountain, to rock the park and get ready for the big final. Guys were throwing big stuff out, 450 on and off the rail; the park was being treated by some of the best riders known to the sport. All Star Philou Poirier, also pre-qualified, came to practice and get back in the game, even if he says Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I never was out of this GameÃ¢â‚¬?, to comment Oakley CanadaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new team manager. Next step was the riderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s meeting, down in the riderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lounge, while there we took some food, and the athletes showed up to know the rules and how this event would take place. The set up was a flat bar, a down flat down and a Huge Mail box. Kim Lamare came up and took a spot on a Ã¢â‚¬Å“last chance lucky style qualifierÃ¢â‚¬?, being the only girl in.
Once the show started up, 450 on and off and switch up were thrown on the flat bar, 270 on and off the down flat down, and all kind of spin were thrown onto the final mailbox. The format was a Jam, divided into two 30 minute sessions. After the first session, the current leaders were announced, Justin Meilleur, Phil Casabon and Mike Legare were the ones that showed their skills in the first session. While free Pizza, wine, coors light, and nice ladies were around in the Vip Lounge and the Vip Balcony, the crowd was filling up the street for the second session and the final best run contest. The turnout was that people with big expectations such as the young Alexis Godbout and veteran Philou Poirier didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fill up the space their name was taking, having a hard time to place a solid complete run. Low key people such as Alex Lallier and Jean Denis Zicat were showing their stuff, as well as Phil Casabon, while others were making scenes similar to a 2 years old eating some spaghetti, leaving stuff all over the place. It is worth to mention that Zicat especially made a nice run for the best run contest, and Actually took the big check back home, big check being a free round trip ticket on West jet for anywhere in Canada. Zicat was talking about using it to head to WSI. Alex Lallier won the overall contest, cashing $3000 Canadian. Philou Poirier for what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s concerned cashed in half of the beer that was given to the winner, on the snowboard side. I particularly want to say a big bravo to Zicat for his down to earth winning run and attitude, while people were waiting up for their name to come out, skis ready in hands for the podium, he was just spontaneously happy to win this nice price.
A lot of riders invited were injured, Doum Legare, Phil Warren to name only a few, but those spaces were filled with good riders and they gave us a nice show.
Thursday was not a big day for the spin, the weather was really bad, it rained all day. This bad weather did not keep the Level 1 Productions promotion people and the Liberty Skis People from launching their end of season party. Presented at le shack, this event showing some Level 1 movies such as Second generation and High Five was brought with a nice retrospective of the season by photographer and Pro skier Garrett Brittain. His slideshow had some of the most epic pictures of the season you had seen, showing scenes from local Canadian jib and west coast events such as Us open and X-games. The weather probably scared some people off from showing up, but still, a good enthusiastic crowd was present, and the giveaways from the sponsors were in abundance. The highlight of the giveaways was probably the DNA air force, some small planes that were thrown into the crowd, and one of them was a winner. Tons of Liberty skis shirts, hats and stickers were given, along with some level 1 movies. We got really wasted on Base-Vodka since Base energy drink was sponsoring the Event and the night finished at the local strippers, the Faucon Bleu. This party was a sick one, but it was a lot different than last year Freeskier party, mostly considering the attendance of the Coors light girls in bathing suits that were not present.
Friday was a sort of day off since the only happening were the practices for the Spine Mcdonald`s IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Lovin it, and no one or almost no one attended these. Saturday was the practices for the spine during the day. The monstrous hip was of about 90 feet if you clear it, but everyone complained because it was too flat. The format was a team competition. In group of 4, 2 skiers, 2 snowboarders, the participants had to jump all four at the same time and make the best performance. It was a quite weird competition, the $5000 purse and the plane tickets were awarded to the Mcdonald`s team, which one skier just straight cleared the hip, and the other one cleared it in 360. Pretty much anyone with guts would have made a great performance. Luckily, the night in the caribou that followed this event compensate for the bad event. In the middle of the night, the Coors light girls that we hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t yet seen made their appearance. A great night, faithful to Tremblant`s nightlife reputation.
On Sunday, the pipe competition took place, the qualifications were held on Saturday, and the young Alexis Godbout, 14 years old, easily took the lead as his competitor were not so strong. Jen Crichton, DaveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sister was in the game, and qualified 7th. Godbout easily took home the $2500 check with a run that included a flair, some 540`s, alley oop, and grabs. It was not a stressful competition for the young rider.
Tremblant did put together some nice happenings, but they also missed on the Spine and the halfpipe competition. The shape of the hip was bad, too flaat, and there was a lack of the calibre in both competitions. The spine was won by pretty much straight air and 360`s, which is a nonsense considering the $5000 purse, and in the pipe competition, may be because of a lack of advertisement, but Alexis knew he was going to cash this $2500 in advance, an event of this importance needs to make a line up of great riders. The aprÃƒÂ¨s-ski was awesome as Tremblant knows how to put it down, with Moto-X and BMX shows, along with concerts every days.
Urban Jib quals results:http://ww1.tremblant.ca/spin/pdf/UrbanJibResults05.pdf
Urban Jib results:http://ww1.tremblant.ca/spin/pdf/result_final_urban_jib_ski_2004.pdf
Spine Results:http://ww1.tremblant.ca/spin/pdf/SPINeResults05.pdfA view on the setup of the Urban Jib quals. Justin Meilleur showing he deserved his spot in the final of the Urban Jib. Pipe Podium Airing on the spine. The Liberty Party, you may recognize some NS members in there... Skiing in this contest would be one thing, judging it would be another.