Setting the bar for Australian freesking, The Toyota One Hit Wonder Down Under has been announced as the first ever Australian event to be ranked on the international AFP (Association of Freeskiing Professionals) world tour, as the Big Air event gets set to return to Thredbo in the NSW Snowy Mountains from September 11th to 15th.
“This event provides our talented Australian snowsports athletes a great opportunity to compete alongside the world’s best freeskiers,”Ramone Cooper of Ski and Snowboard Australia said. “With several of our athletes medal hopefuls for the 2014 Sochi Games and others vying for selection, the Toyota One Hit is the perfect platform for our contenders to hone their skills and make a mark on world rankings.”
This year the week-long jumping window will play host to three competition days, including a knockout final judged by a panel of AFP head judges, giving competitors the chance to add points to their overall AFP world tour ranking (www.afpworldtour.com). The original people’s choice event will again return, where the top ten skiers from the previous day will be invited back for the public to decide their favorite crowd-pleasing trick via an online vote. With over $20,000 in the prize purse, expect some mind-melting acrobatics off the 100 foot jump, constructed by world renowned terrain park builder and Thredbo resident, Charles Beckinsale.
Details of the third day of competition are scarce at this stage, though there is speculation that in typical alpine-spring-fling-fashion; wigs, denim and/or burrito outfits will be mandatory for all invited skiers and snowboarders. No doubt more information will become available closer to the date.
“I’m very proud that what started four years ago as an athlete-driven grassroots event is now the first Australian event recognized and sanctioned by the international governing freeskiing body,” Event Director Tim Myers said. ”This is a milestone that could not have been achieved without the support and effort of the sponsors and event crew, the majority of whom are locals here in the Snowy Mountains and have been involved since the beginning.”
Last year, Gus Kenworthy of Telluride, Colo., was crowned the 2011 winner against the likes of free-ski superstars who included, defending 2010 champion Bobby Brown, AFP champion Jossi Wells and Joss Christensen, as well as Salomon Australia teammates and brother combo Jordan & Jesse Houghton.
Athlete registration for the AFP Big Air is now open at: www.onehitwonderevent.com/register