- For the second time in as many weeks, an International halfpipe competition was hammered by heavy snowfall. Showing the world that athletes from the Great White North are more than up to performing in wintery conditions, Canadian skiers once again stood on the podium at the Breckenridge Winter Dew Tour!
To set the stage, we need to back up a few days; The team’s campaign began on Thursday, with the men’s open qualifier event, and women’s preliminary round.
Two of our team members, Mike Riddle and Justin Dorey, were pre-qualified for the Dew Tour this season, so they did not have to compete in the open qualifier. Team member Matt Margetts was our sole competitor in the qualifier, and he performed brilliantly, stomping two clean runs and easily earning himself a start in the 2010/2011 Tour!
In the women’s preliminary round, team member Rosalind Groenewoud (Roz G), after falling on her 900 on the first run, played it safe on her second run, toning down the difficulty somewhat, but skiing clean. Even with a run that was conservative by her standards, Roz qualified for the finals in 3rd position. Fellow Canadian and former team member Dania Assaly was on top of her game, landing a fantastic cork 900 at the start of her run, and following it up with right and left side spins into her signature 720 with a poked out grab, to take 1st place going into the finals.
Friday was the mens preliminary rounds, and for us it certainly had it’s share of drama. Matt Margetts suffered a terrible crash in training, injuring his leg and leaving it doubtful as to whether he would be able to compete. Mike Riddle skied a fairly good first run, but a couple of small mistakes had him sitting in 9th position after the first run, in jeopardy of not moving on, as only 9 of the skiers in the mens preliminary round advance to the finals. Justin Dorey also had troubles on his first run, when an off-balance landing on his doublecork 1260 caused him to miss the next trick, and left him sitting far outside the top 9 required to advance. Thanks to the beauty of a “best of two” run format, and nerves of steel, both Justin and Mike pulled it together for their second run and skied well, qualifying in 2nd and 8th respectively.
The true warrior of the day was unquestionably Matt Margetts, who persevered through the pain of his injury and skied two consistent runs, which, while not enough to move him into the top 9, were certainly enough to earn him the respect of the crowd and his fellow competitors, who had seen the crash in training and knew what kind of pain he was dealing with. Immediately following his runs he was taken to the hospital for X-Rays, fortunately nothing is broken and we expect him to be recovered and strong for the next Dew Tour event.
On to the main event – with the snow falling and crowds watching, Fridays’ final was an epic batlle between the best ski halfpipe athletes in the world.
The women went first, and when it was Roz’s turn to drop she did so with aggression, launching the biggest air of the womens field on her first hit and lining up a big 900 for her second hit, which was looking great until she clipped her feet on the deck and tumbled headfirst back into the pipe. She got to her feet immediately and went back to the top to wait for her second run. Meanwhile fellow Canadian Dania Assaly continued to heat up the pipe with her own run, taking the lead ahead of the rest of the field. Roz charged back into the pipe for her second run but once again fell on her 900, leaving her in 6th place, unfortunately not what we had expected. Dania’s second run was even stronger than her first, giving her the victory over Switzerland’s Mirjam Jager and American Jess Cumming.
1 – Dania Assaly (CAN)
2 – Mirjam Jager (SUI)
3 – Jess Cumming (USA)
(6th – Roz G)
In the men’s final, Mike Riddle was one of the first to drop in, and he started off with a perfect double cork 1260. However, despite landing great, one of his skis inexplicably popped off, ending his first run prematurely. When it was Justin’s turn to go he also led off his run with the double cork 1260, landing it clean and following it up with: alleyoop flatspin 360 – switch 900 – switch 720 – alleyoop flatspin 540 – 900. The score came in at 91 (out of a possible 100), giving him the lead. Mike’s second run did not go any better than his first, as he came up a little short on the double cork 1260 and fell once more. Justin’s second run was looking as if it might score even higher than his first one until a sketchy switch landing caused him to lose some speed.
With Justin holding the lead and only two competitors left to go, American Simon Dumont put down one of the best runs in ski halfpipe history, earning a score of 94, and bumping Justin into 2nd position, where he would ultimately finish the day. With a 1st and a 2nd place result in the first two major events of the season, Justin is off to a fantastic start!
1 – Simon Dumont (USA)
2 – Justin Dorey (CAN)
3- Kevin Rolland (FRA)
(12th – Mike Riddle)
Once again the team wishes to thanks it’s supporters, we couldn’t do it without you! Extra props to Kenny from Swix for being the best ski tech on the planet and Dr Clark Konzcak for helping to mend the skiers when they smash.
- Trennon Paynter, Canadian Halfpipe Ski Team Coach