How the North Face South American Freeskiing Championships were Won

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 6, 2009 3:02 pm

The Annual North Face South American Freeskiing Championships crowned its first winners recently in La Parva, Chile, as an international field of freeskiers conquered McConkeys run. Nearly a foot of fresh snow covered the competition course as athletes from the Untied States, France, Canada, Chile, Argentina, and Switzerland congregated to ski for a $10,000 cash purse.

Taking advantage of his home terrain, 26-year-old Chopo Diaz won the men’s division with 40.88 points. Diaz also won the Sickbird award for his aggressive blend of two large, stylish airs with square landings. 2009 FWT Champion, Frenchman Julien Lopez took silver with an equally aggressive fall-line run and his signature massive spread eagle. Rounding out the international podium, Swiss skier Romain Bellon pioneered an original line with fluid style, finishing third.

““It was an honor to have the entire international freeskiing community at my home mountain,”” said Diaz. “”I’m honored to be Champion, but I would have loved to ski a second run.””

Blasting 100mph winds forced the cancellation of the second day of competition.

“I’m really happy for Chopo,”” said Lopez. “”Second is good, but I like to be first. I was really happy with the venue, but I wanted to ski one more run.””

On the women’s side, American Jacqui Edgerly won her first competition with two solid airs. Jess McMillan, the 2007 FWT World Champion, returned to competition finished just a half point off the lead in second and Chopo Diazs sister and local ripper Soledad Diaz took the bronze.

““The freesking movement has truly returned to South America,”” said Rodrigo Medina, La Parva’’s marketing director who stunt-doubled as the competitions forerunner. “”The international freeskiing communitys presence in Chile was both an honor and a long time coming. We have enjoyed hosting this prestigious event and the first stop of the FWT and look forward to many more in the years to come.””