RUSS HENSHAW WINS FROSTGUN INVITATIONAL
Russ Henshaw won the Frostgun Invitational in Val Thorens yesterday. The freestyle star from New Zealand beat the international elite in one of Europe’s most important big air contests. The Marker Völkl Freeski Team also impressed with four podium finishes at the Backyard Battle in Norway and the Red Bull Cold Rush in Canada last weekend.
It is springtime, but the freeskiing season is far from being over. In fact, these past days were some of the busiest of the whole winter. A highlight was without a doubt the Frostgun Invitational in Val Thorens. With a prize purse of 10.000 Euro for the winner it was one of the most highly ranked big air contests of the season and attracted many of Europe’s best freestyle skiers. The competition started with a two run qualification, then a head-to-head final of the top 8 was to decide about the winner in front of a cheering crowd in the middle of the resort. After the training day had to be cancelled due to bad weather, the riders got only one hour to prepare for the show-down. Russ Henshaw had a bit of a slow start, but finally got his trademark double cork 1080° dialled and safely qualified for the finals. In the head-to-head rounds he then proved to be a deadly threat for the French armada. On their home ground he first eliminated Flo Bastien and then Sam Favret, before Loic Collom-Patton put up the biggest challenge in the grand final with a double cork 1260° mute. But once again Russ Henshaw lived up to his superstar status. A picture perfect double cork 1080 double mute in the decisive moment earned him yet another big win. Russ Henshaw’s victory in France was not the only success of the Marker Völkl Freeski Team this week. In Norway, Andreas Håtveit had gathered the best Scandinavian skiers to his home spot for the Backyard Battle. Fridtjof Fredricsson and Pekka Hyysalo both made the podium as second and third, while Norwegian Klaus Finne took a quite surprising win in the big air competition. Across the Atlantic ocean it was powder instead of a park that was the stage for the Red Bull Cold Rush. In the three-day-contest consisting of big mountain and backcountry jump sessions Marker Völkl team rider Dash Longe made a rare contest appearance. The star of many TGR videos did amazingly well, however, and claimed a third-place-finish behind Sean Pettit and Dave Treadway. Grete Eliassen became second in the girls’ division behind Suz Graham to grab her first podium since officially announcing her switch to the Marker Völkl team. Most likely it was not her last.
ABOUT: RUSS HENSHAW
To describe the young Australian Russ Henshaw seemed to be quite easy until now: The contest high-flyer from Down Under. But this over-simplification has to stop now! For Russ is much more than just a damn good contest rider. He is one of the coolest young Freeski-Stars, and this has to be taken literally. He is a winter kid. For him there is only one answer to the question what he is doing in summer: „I ski! Because it is winter here in Australia.“ Besides his really impressive range of good contest results – he himself describes the success at the Jon Olsson Invitational 2009 as his career highlight – Russ is also riding for Matchstick Productions, the leading ski video
production company over the last years. In their newest production „In Deep“ Russ already has a feature section at the young age of 19! And this is no surprise at all, as he either sticks a trick or works on it until he lands it everytime. This is daily business to Russ, working on his skills, adding the perfection that the other pro skiers don’t have. After all, he has the time to improve the details, as Russ enjoys the winter for almost 365 days per year, either somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere or at his home spot in Thredbo, Australia.