Photos: Michael Thomas and Dominick NewellWords: Michael Thomas, Mr.BishopSo comes to a close the VT Open for 2007… The weather reflected the vibe that permeated throughout the event – some moments were bluebird, some were gray. There were moments of the most fun ever had, and moments of athletes and organizers clashing, each trying to find the middle ground that would make everyone just be friends and enjoy a sweet contest with lots of prize money. The heat played a major card in creating unrest, as deteriorating conditions forced the organizers to cancel training on the slopestyle course, halfpipe and big air as it melted away rapidly. Details such as a lack of any announcers (with the exception of our own Doug Bishop who announced the big air comp and all the awards) and signs for the Butron Snowboarding US open still up at the event site also made the entire event seem quirky. However, fat prize purses and cash for every category made competing a rewarding experience for everyone. As I’m sure all of you have seen in the forums, there was a major run-in with the massive train of skiers that took over Stratton’s medium sized-park. The train was total insanity, the event organizers failed to provide proper training grounds for the contest, and there was some disrespect to the staff on the part of the skiers... The situation from both sides got out of hand, but in the end it has all came together to be a contest that everyone could enjoy.

Lighting up the pipe in qualifiers...
Gettin' some decent amplitude
Friday had qualifiers for the superpipe and a Bula sponsored big air. The pipe was pretty torn up from the 60ºF weather and people were dropping out of the big air comp because the run in was super slushy and people were having a hard time clearing it. Let me tell you this jump was MASSIVE. Clocking in at an easy 70’ if not more, the athletes were challenged by the massive kicker, but the pros and up and comers alike managed to hold it down for everyone. Tanner Rainville put a lid on the contest with a big with a switch 9 mute to true tail and some massive 540 blunts, scoring him his first $1,000 check of the weekend. Kyler Cooley had some seriously badass flatspins to 5,7, and 9 catching a close second just behind Tanner “way too smooth” Rainville. The format was a loose one, with the comp holding more of a skate demo vibe than that of a competition. Riders simply jammed the jump for an hour, and the cash went out for the best trick. The pictures speak for themselves as to how huge and impressive this jump really was.
I forget this guys name, but he was sick and his jacket was awesome.
T-Rain's winning jump. Sooooo sick.
Don't you just love a sweet tailgrab?
Now thats a big kicker...
Tanner claiming the first part of his cash for the weekend... Mr.Bishop on the mic making an ass of himself. Some old guy was really pissed that Doug was talking about Tanner too much and loudly exclaimed how much of a "douchebag" Bishop was. Saturday was slopestyle and yet another bluebird day. The course started off with a flat down box on one side of the stairs, and a down rail on the other, then went into 4 tables in a row and ended on another pair of rails (battleship box and high flatbar). Speed between the four jumps was perfect, and this course was definitely a great place to showcase your jumping skills. With four jumps in a row, athletes were forced to show that they not only had one good trick, but the ability to toss variety into the runs and link it all together. The course was fairly slushy from the heat, but they kept it in pretty good condition with a constant stream of slippers and salt. Battling the melting and slush was the theme of the weekend, but also made it nice for us media hanging out on the decks of the jumps. 13 year old Vincent Gagnier styled a huge switch 10 to win the Juniors. Steph Myers topped the ladies podium with back to back clean runs, followed by LJ Caulfield in second, and Jillian Atwood in third. Finishing off the day was the mens slopestyle where 14 year old Alex Schlopy was dropping 9’s like they were going out of style to land him on top of the podium. Tanner Rainville kept the podium streak alive with a second place showing, and Giray Dadali pulled up with a third place.
Booyeah.... sick octograb! At least it looks like one... could just be an uber-dope tail.
Vincent Gagnier holding it down for his clan. Sweet cab sev high mute.
Tom Wallisch. So hot right now.
Check that newscholers flag... now we're bigtime! Oh sick trick too...
Super cool setup here. Looks like Henrick lampert slayin' it.
Unknown skier throwing down on one of the jumps!
Tom and a big fat frog-style backflip... I think these should be mandatory in every contest.
Now that is a tail grab... wow. Check out Mr.Bishop on followcam duty.
Giray Didaly and the corked out tail of some sort.
Men 1. Alex Schlopy 2. Tanner Rainville 3. Giray Dadali 4. Henrik Lampert 5. Karl Fostvedt 6. Kyler Cooley 7. Joss Christensen 7. Adam Battersby 7. Chris Logan 10. Kohl Schoening (sorry ladies we biffed on your picture)Women 1. Stephanie Meyers 2. LJ Caufield 3. Jillian Atwood 4. Athena Brownson 5. Kristen Nelson 6. Devin Logan 7. Patty Pytlik 8. Sophia Peer 9. Jess Cumming 10. Eden Netelkos
Junior 1. Vincent Gagnier 2. Alex Bellmare 3. Carter Martin 4. Christopher Laker 5. Miles Honens 6. Benny Smith 7. Brendan Wall 8. John Leonard 9. Jack Strain 10. Will Hibbs Newschoolers put together a little all ages gathering at The Wreck, where kids got a chance to skate, play pool, hockey, and throw around some basketballs for chances to win free Newschoolers and Bula gear. Doug Bishop in usual loose cannon style had a box of prizes, and was throwing them out for whatever reason the crowd could think of. Highlights of that evening were the massive dodgeball tournament, heated games of bump (or knockout as the US guys called it), and a halfcourt shot for a snazzy T-shirt that was taken by none other than Hendrik Lampert. {insert by Mr.Bishop) I want to make a HUGE special mention to two members who Donated at this party, *AndrewT* and jibjib. Andrew donated $20 and Jibjib $40. I'll have to admit though, I know I said I would do something good with the money, but I ended up taking it to the bar and buying shots for Mr. Matt Harvey and I. I figured it would be a good way to give back to the man who birthed NS... Maybe not a positive thing, but hey it was fun.The party then moved to the Green Door for some live music, drinks, and late night snowball fights.
Nothing more fun that a bunch of people, a box of free stuff and a lot of balls to throw around.Sunday morning came a bit too early afterwords, and we slowly made our way up the mountain for the superpipe finals that was proudly flying the brand new 12’ Newschoolers flags. Doug made every effort to get them in as many shots as possible, and they ended up looking great. Check out the poach factor of the flags in the Freeskier article for Slopestyle! The halfpipe contest went off as the pipe got a good cut the night before, and slushy conditions made for a soft wall. Slipper after slipper after slipper kept the pipe together for the athletes boosting the massive 22’ pipe. The juniors podium was topped by Christopher Laker in first, followed by Vincent Gagnier in second and Brendan Wall in third. The ladies were up next and they definitely didn’t fail to impress. Jen Hudak took home the $1,500 grand prize, Jess Cummings walked away with $1,000, and Gina Gmeiner scored $500. It was an all Dynastar/Electric mens podium with team manager Andy Woods coming in third, Dan Marion in second, and Tanner Rainville pulling in his third plastic check of the weekend.
Showin off for the camera...
The world looks better upside down.
A proper demonstration of where the tip of the ski is located.
Dan Marion sure has a hold of that grab...
One of our beautiful ladies...
Overall the weekend ran fairly smooth and we all got to watch some great runs, but unfortunately the event as a whole seemed a bit unorganized with no announcers most of the time and the only music was supplied by Bula down at the lodge. A huge thanks to the sponsors who were on hand to help and make it all possible; Bula, Predatorwear, Salomon, Stratton Mountain Resort,, Freeskier and Toyota.
The awards tent, featuring DJ Somesay and the Bula madness...Men's 1. Tanner Rainville 2. Dan Marion 3. Andy Woods 4. Tyler Peterson 4. Duncan Adams 6. Erik Olson 7. Mike Mertion 8. Marshall LaCroix 9. Giray Dadali 10. Lyndon Sheehan
Women's1. Jen Hudak2. Jess Cummings3. Gina Gmeiner4. Devin Logan5. Athena Brownson6. Charity Mersereau7. Sophia Peer8. Hannah Doan9. Eden Netelkos10. Jill AtwoodJuniors1. Christopher Laker2. Vincent Gagnier3. Brendan Wall4. John Leonard5.Tanner Coulter6. Myles Entstrom6. Blake Wison8. Kyle Miller9.Fraser Query10. Jasper GossHere's a video from Skodeo7 that was posted in the forums. Shoutout to Duncan Lake of Junction 133 Productions for letting us use this one! There will be mroe video coming so check back in a day or two!Here's another video with the top 4 runs in it. Shoutout to Pierson Krass of Aberrant Films for submitting it! Keep coming back... we're going to add more of these. *NEW* Check this video (courtesy Dave Faxon) of the infamous TRAIN! (7.2 MB .mp4) *NEW* This next video is by Jamie Dillon, who was shooting for NS at the contest.   There's a run or two of followcams by Mr.Bishop, but I guess he still needs work on his following skills.