Freeride World Tour Contest in Courmayeur Puts Sam Smoothy at the Top

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 28, 2012 11:26 am

  FWT12 Courmayeur Podium. Photo: © Freeride World Tour / Jeremy Bernard 

It involves the best riders on the best mountains in the ultimate freeride competition — the 2012 Swatch Freeride World Tour goes into its 5th season and consists of six stops in Revelstoke (Canada), Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (France),  Courmayeur Mont-Blanc (Italy), Røldal (Norway), and Fieberbrunn (Austria).

Marker Voelkl team rider Sam Smoothy took second place at the Freeride World Tour contest in Courmayeur and moved to the top of the FWT Overall Ranking 2012. Only two days after collecting an incredible 1st place at the Freeride World Tour stop in Chamonix, Smoothy confirms his intentions to dominate the circuit by placing 2nd in Italy. This puts the Kiwi on the top of the Freeride World Tour overall ranking with three more events to go. American skiers Oakley White-Allen and Drew Tabke are close behind in 2nd and 3rd.

The Freeride World Tour has grown hugely in popularity over the last couple years, with spectators enjoying the fast paced lines and huge airs. People from all over the globe tune in to watch the live feeds of each contests and the highlights after every event. Courmayeur, Italy which lies on the south-eastern side of the infamous Mont Blanc, played host to the 3rd event of the FWT, marking the halfway point of the tour. The competition returned to the exceptionally steep venue at Mont Fortin which saw athletes balancing technical skiing and committing to fast flashy lines. It seems that the laid back New Zealander Sam Smoothy managed to balance the two very well. 

Sam Smoothly now in first place for Freeride World Tour, here in Courmayeur Mont-BlancPhoto: © Freeride World Tour / Jeremy Bernard

Similar to the last two events, the level of skiing at Courmayeur was incredibly high. Competitors faced perfect bluebird conditions with great powder on top of a solid base. The competition venue had multiple large rocky features with a few cliff options, many couloirs and some very exposed terrain. Smoothy started his run by dropping a sizable cliff into very exposed terrain, arcing a nice right hand turn and maneuvering through the labyrinth of rocks with fluid turns, making it seem effortless. After skiing through a steep couloir with good snow he strait-lined a huge double stager stomping the landing both times to perfection. At the bottom of the run Sam Smoothy kept his speed, carving through the finish line; he was easily one of the fastest riders through the venue.

Check out the Face Ceck video from Courmayeur, Italy:


The run that Sam Smoothy put together was an exceptional balance of fluidity, speed and large airs. The judges awarded him accordingly placing him in the top spot after his run. The lead lasted until the very last competitor, when young Swiss skier Richard Amacker laid down an incredible performance to claim the victory. Smoothy has well and truly put his rough start in Revelstoke behind him, showing strong consistency after his incredible 1st place finish in Chamonix only a few days ago. These two results put him at the top of the overall rankings for the Freeride World Tour, a first for him and a sought after position to be in half way through the tour. With three more events to go, the next being Roldal, Norway from the 25th of February, Sam Smoothy is undoubtedly one of the big favorites for this season’s title of Freeride World Champion.


An epic Italian line by Smoothly at Courmayeur, FWT stop. Photo: © Freeride World Tour / Tim Lloyd