2009-10 Competition Year in Review: Slopestyle

Comments by Shay Williams/

2009-10 Slopestyle Competition. A Year in Review.

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The NZ Open once again kicked off the competition year, with Teen Heartthrob Bobby Brown taking the first win of the year, with many more to come. Wallisch took home a podium, the first of many to come and Henrik Harlaut would get off to a great start, before a knee surgery cut his season in half.

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Men:
1) Bobby Brown
3) Henrik Harlaut
Women:
1) Dania Assaly
2) Anna Segal
3) Eva Maria Patschieder

Interesting fact: Five different countries (USA, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Austria) were represented on the slopestyle podium, but none were native to New Zealand.

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The Pure NZ Games marked the second event of the year for slopestyle and superpipe. In one of the tougher fields a New Zealand event has seen, Wallisch won the shootout between himself, Jossi and Bobby, the first win for Tom (second podium), and the first of many podiums for Wells. Dania Assaly found herself on her second straight podium.

Men:
1) Tom Wallisch
2) Jossi Wells
3) Bobby Brown
Women:
1) Anna Segal
2) Rosalind Groenewoud
3) Dania Assaly

Interesting Fact: Out of the first two events of 2009-10, Brown, Wallisch and Wells combined for six podium spots. A sign of the times to come.

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The highly anticipated second year of the Dew Tour marked the kick off of the North American competition season. Under sunny skies (unlike the first year at Breck) Andreas Håtveit won out over a huge roster of superstars, including Pure NZ Games winner Tom Wallisch, Freestyle.ch winner Sammy Carlson and Dew Tour Open Qualifier winner Elias Ambühl.

Slopestyle Final Results
1) Andreas Håtveit
2) Tom Wallisch
3) Sammy Carlson
4) Bobby Brown
5) Elias Ambuhl
6) JF Houle
7) Phil Casabon
8) Sean Jordan
9) Alexis Godbout
10) Oscar Harlaut
11) TJ Schiller
12) Charles Gagnier

Interesting Fact: Bobby Brown cut his leg pretty deeply in practice just before the start of finals. Ski Patrol gave him the go-ahead to ski and Young Brown worked through the pain to take 4th place. Not bad.

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After the holiday break, the Winter Dew Tour resumed with its second stop in Snowbasin, Utah. Local Utah boy Tom Wallisch took fluidity and smooth landings in competition to a new level to take the win over Breck's winner Andreas Håtveit and Bobby Brown.

Men's Final Results:
1) Tom Wallisch
2) Andreas Håtveit
3) Bobby Brown
4) Sammy Carlson
5) Jossi Wells
6) Phil Casabon
7) Elias Ambuhl
8) Alexis Godbout
9) Ian Cosco
10) TJ Schiller
11) Charles Gagnier
12) McRae Williams

Interesting fact: During practice days, the lift lap time was so long, many athletes were hiking the slopestyle course, as it was faster.

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The biggest show in skiing arrived, as it always does, at the tail end of January. Slopestyle had a new hole ripped in it by Teen Heartthrob Bobby Brown and his switch double misty 1260, which he used to take gold in big air the night previous. On the women's side of things, Kaya Turski decimated the field, winning by a hefty margin of 11 points.

Men's Slopestyle Finals:
1) Bobby Brown
2) Andreas Håtveit
3) Sammy Carlson
4) Phil Casabon
5) Russ Henshaw
6) Matt Walker
7) Jossi Wells
8) Tom Wallisch 
Women's Slopestyle Final Results
1) Kaya Turski
2) Keri Herman
3) Grete Eliassen
4) Ashley Battersby
5) Meg Olenick
6) Sarah Burke
7) Kristi Leskinen
8) Rosalind Groenewoud

Interesting Fact: Coupled with Bobby's Big Air gold the night before, he is the only skier to ever double gold medal at a single Winter X Games event.

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Immediately after X Games, the traveling circus headed to Mount Snow, VT for the final stop of the Winter Dew Tour. Bobby Brown, hot off his wins at X Games, continued his streak, by winning the slopestyle. The course, which was small and technical lends itself to Wallisch, but he couldn't land a clean run in finals. 

Men's Slopestyle Results:
1) Bobby Brown
2) Andreas Håtveit
3) Sammy Carlson
4) JF Houle
5) Alex Schlopy
6) Alexis Godbout
7) Tom Wallisch
8) Jossi Wells
9) Joe Schuster
10) Charles Gagnier
11) McRae Williams
12) Elvis Harsheim 

Interesting fact: Andreas Håtveit's second place finish secured the Slopestyle Dew Cup for the Norwegian.

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As one of the only remaining true open events out there for North Americans, the Aspen/Snowmass Open is a beacon for burgeoning talent. This year, it was clear who that next talent was: Gus Kenworthy. Young Gus dominated both the slopestyle and the halfpipe. Names like Tim McChesney, Karl Fostvedt and UK's James Woods placed well, as we've been seeing more and more of their names lately.

Men's Final Results:
1) Gus Kenworthy – 89
2) Aidan Sheahan – 83
3) Erik Hughes – 82.33
4) Tim McChesney – 82
5) James Woods – 81.33
6) Ben Moxham – 81
7) Karl Fostvedt – 77
8) Luke Nutting – 73.66
9) Jeff Kiesel – 62.33
10) Cody Ling – 55.16 
Women's Final Results:
1) Ashley Battersby – 86.33
2) Meg Olenick – 79.83
3) Devin Logan – 62.83

Interesting fact: Gus is the first person to win both events in the history of the Aspen/Snowmass Open.

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The European Freeski Open is the largest open event in Europe. Unfortunately, the windy and snowy conditions shut down the slopestyle finals. In it's place, the organizers threw and impromptu rail jam at the base of the mountain for all competitors in a jam format. After a marathon judging session, it was announced that JF Houle and Ashley Battersby would be taking home the slopestyle checks.

Men:
1) JF Houle
2) Tom Wallisch
3) Samuel Favret
Women:
1) Ashley Battersby
2) Katie Summerhayes
3) Kaya Turski

Interesting fact: Despite converting the slopestyle to a rail jam, the organizers still awarded the entire prize purse to the top three men and women.

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In the picturesque valley of Tignes, France, the inaugural European X Games was held. Touted as highly as the Winter X Games in Aspen, CO, the slopestyle course delivered. Long, technical and extremely difficult, the athletes had their work cut out for them. Bobby Brown was unable to repeat X Games slopestyle gold, taking silver. It was Tom Wallisch, whose full bag of tricks came out to take the win. Jossi Wells took home a bronze to match up with his Winter X 14 Superpipe medal.

On the women's side, Kaya Turski continued her slopestyle domination with another commanding win in France. Keri Herman again followed Kaya on the podium, but this time around Ashley Battersby nabbed the last spot on the podium.

Men's Final Slopestyle Results:
1) Tom Wallisch
2) Bobby Brown
3) Jossi Wells
4) TJ Schiller
5) Henrik Harlaut
6) Andreas Håtveit
7) Elias Ambuhl
8) Alex Schlopy 
Women's Final Results:
1) Kaya Turski
2) Keri Herman
3) Ashley Battersby
4) Anna Segal
5) Lena Stoffel
6) Grete Eliassen
7) Sarah Burke
8) Roz Groenewoud 

Interesting fact: With this gold medal, Kaya is now three-for-three in medaling-to-attempts at X Games events. This was Tom Wallisch's first X Games medal in two appearances. 

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After the hecticness of Euro X, the men were ready to relative relaxed atmosphere at the Dumont Cup in Sunday River, Maine. Youngster Alex Schlopy took home the win thanks to his switch double corking abilities (11260 and 1440). Friend and confidante of Schlopy, Joss Crhistensen took second while last previous year's winner Tom Wallisch ended up in third place. The open/invite event features a jam session qualifier and standard two-run finals format, allowing for maximum fairness.

Men's Top 10:
1) Alex Schlopy
2) Joss Christensen
3) Tom Wallisch
4) Nick Goepper
5) Gus Kenworthy
6) Justin Dorey
7) Tim McChesney
8) Maks Gorhman
9) Karl Fostvedt
10) Parker White 

Interesting fact: It was at the Dumont Cup Lobster dinner that Simon and Tom Wallisch offered Alex Schlopy his JOSS spot… before Alex's win.

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Skiing persona Kristi Leskinen held her second annual Homecoming all-female slopestyle invitational. No surprise that Kaya Turski won her third straight slope event, but newcomer Devin Logan turned a lot of heads taking second, which no doubt has led to her coming out West this current season to hone her skills.

Homecoming Podium:
1) Kaya Turski
2) Devin Logan
3) Keri Herman

Interesting fact: The ladies took a page out of the Dumont Cup book by shooting clay pigeons after the event.

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Expanded for its third year, Jon Olsson's Super Sessions video contest featured expanded teams (three athletes), a rail garden and seven mouthwatering edits. After the nearly two-week ordeal, the team from Canada won the tiebreaker between itself, Team Norway and Team Newschoolers to emerge victorious. Drama between Jon and Team America's early release soured the good natured event a bit, but the American's put out one of the most anticipated edits of all time.

Results:
1) Team Canada (TJ Schiller, Ian Cosco, Justin Dorey)
T-2) Team Norway (Andreas Håtveit, Aleks Aurdal, Sig Tveit) 
       Team Newschoolers (Gus Kenworthy, Matt Walker, LJ Strenio)
4) Team America (Simon Dumont, Tom Wallisch, Alex Schlopy)
5) Team Sweden (Oscar Scherlin, Henrik Harlaut, Niklas Eriksson)
T-6) Team Europe (Jacob Wester, Elias Ambühl, Oscar Harlaut)
       Team Down Under (Jossi Wells, Russ Henshaw, Danu Sherpa)
 

Interesting Fact: After JOSS, most all of the North American competitors were stuck in Sweden due to the Icelandic Volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, spewing ash and shutting down Europe's air traffic. Russ Henshaw reportedly was stuck the longest for about 9 or 10 days.

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The wildest slopestyle competition in the world. Hardgoods teams put together a team of skiers (men and women) and attack the Whistler course, costumes and skits in tow. This year was no different than any other outrageous year, with Team K2 (rocker themed) taking home the big win. Sean Pettit, Matt Margetts, Sean Jordan and Anna Segal snorted, tricked and partied their way down the course to the win.

Winner: Team K2
Best Costumes: Team Salomon
Best Choreography: Team Amplid
Best Halftime Hoe down: Team Surface
 
Interesting fact: Orage Masters teams used to be comprised of a team captain choosing athletes (ie. picking baseball teams when you're little). After a couple years of that, the competition changed into a hardgoods vs. hardgoods format.

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