Trennon Paynter, 2002 olympian, and coach of the Canadian Half Pipe Team and has been one of the coaches/figures leading the charge to get half pipe skiing into the 2014 Olympics. Powder mag did an interview with him about just that – he is a total expert. He is at Copper now and will be in Breckenridge for the Dew Tour. We look forward to his insight and coverage and analysis of the event.
Copper Mt, Colorado, Dec 8
The competition season began in earnest yesterday as the team rolled up to the perfectly groomed halfpipe in Copper Mt, for the US Halfpipe Grand Prix event. As one of the premiere and long standing events on the global snowboarding halfpipe circuit, yesterday marked a new era for the event as they added a skiing halfpipe category for the first time. The worlds best skiers were all in attendance, as the event not only has a large prize purse, but will also be used by many of the participating nations as a qualifying event for the World Championships that are happening in February.
The team members were treated to to a fantastic venue and amazing weather for the qualifying rounds, while the spectators were treated to some of the most impressive halfpipe skiing that has ever occurred.
Leading the attack in the morning was Mike Riddle, who opened his first run in the “best of two” format, with a massive double cork 1260, landing clean and following it up with right and left 900s, a flatspin 360, and finishing with a perfect switch 900. The crowd and the judges were suitably impressed, and Mike moved into the lead with a comfortable margin.
Mike’s lead held until American superstar and multiple XGames Gold medalist Simon Dumont
laid down a killer run of his own, maintaining huge amplitude throughout, and edging Mike out of the top position, for the moment.
Mike’s teammate Justin Dorey had a little something to say about that, and when the time came for his first run he also started things off with a giant double cork 1260, then into a flatspin 360 – swittch 900 – switch 720 – flatspin 540 combo that was enough to unseat the American and put one of our Canadian Team members back on top.
Justin’s run would prove to be untouchable by all but one of the field, our own Mike Riddle who answered back on his second run with even more amplitude and better grabs on his run, to take the top qualifying position! The men’s qualifying rounds finished up with Mike and Justin in the top two spots, ahead of the rest of the international field to qualify for the finals.
Unfortunately our third mens team member Matt Margetts, despite skiing incredibly well, made a slight mistake on his final hit in both of his runs , which was enough to keep him from advancing to the final.
The 12 men advancing to the finals on Friday are:
1- Mike Riddle (CAN)
2- Justin Dorey (CAN)
4- Tucker Perkins (USA)
5- AJ Kemppainen (FIN)
7 – Torin Yater-Wallace (USA)
8- Thomas Krief (FRA)
9- Byron Wells (NZL)
10- Benoit Valentin (FRA)
11- Patrick Baskins (USA)
12- Dan Marion (USA)
Moving onto the women’s round, team member Rosalind Groenewoud (Roz G) took some inspiration from her teammates and took the women’s qualifying round by storm! With two time X-Games gold medalist , american Jen Hudak sitting in the top spot, Roz dropped into the pipe and laid down a gigantic first hit mute grab into what was by far the most technical run in the womens field, with a 900, left and right 540s, a 360 and a final hit switch 540. Roz moved into the lead with a commanding margin, and none of the womens field was able to touch her score after that.
The team was also stoked to see fellow Canadians Dania Assaly (former team member) and Keltie Hansen (Alberta team) put down great runs and advance to the final as well.
The 12 Women advancing to Fridays final are:
1- Rosalind Groenewoud (CAN)
3- Devin Logan (USA)
4- Anais Caradeux (FRA)
5-Jess Cumming (USA)
6- Dania Assaly (CAN)
7- Keltie Hansen (CAN)
8- Angelie Van Laanen (USA)
9- Maddie Bowman (USA)
10- Jamie Crane-Mauzy (USA)
11- Kimmy Sharp (USA)
12- Brita Sigourney (USA)
The finals will be aired live on the internet at http://www.urtur.com/live.html
from 1130-130 MST, and will be televised on Christmas Day at 400 PM MST on Versus network.