2009-10 Competition Year in Review: Superpipe

January 6th, 2011 by

2009-10 Superpipe Competition. A Year in Review.

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Jossi Wells would come back after a year plagued with injury to claim the first superpipe event of the year. “I was really happy to take it out. I didn’t have high expectations today as I haven’t skied much pipe this season,” said Wells. “I laid down a pretty good run and walked away with a win.”

Men:
1) Jossi Wells
2) Taylor Seaton
3) AJ Kemppainen
Women:
1) Janina Kuzma
2) Anais Caradeux
3) Dania Assaly

Interesting fact: Janina Kuzma also won the North Face Big Mountain event at the NZ Open five times in a row, dating back to 2005.

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The Pure NZ Games marked the second event of the year, for both slopestyle and superpipe. Colorado boy Taylor Seaton took home the win, upsetting reigning (at the time) X Games gold medalist Xavier Bertoni. Roz Groenewoud and Dania Assaly would find their second podium of the event.

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Men:
1) Taylor Seaton
3) Xavier Bertoni
Women:
1) Jess Cumming
2) Rosalind Groenewoud
3) Dania Assaly

Interesting Fact: For those keeping track, Dania Assaly had podiumed at all four New Zealand contests she entered, making her the most successful NZ competitor of the year.

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The highly anticipated second year of the Dew Tour marked the kick off of the North American competition season. Mike Riddle took his Canadian flannel all the way to the podium, his first major win in a couple years. Jossi Well took his first podium on the way to winning his Dew Cup and Simon Dumont missed the podium for the first time in a long time.

Men's Final Results:
1) Mike Riddle
2) Jossi Wells
3) Xavier Bertoni
4) Kevin Rolland
5) Justin Dorey
6) Simon Dumont
7) Matt Duhamel
8) Banks Gilberti
9) Dan Marion
10) Matt Margetts
11) Thomas Krief
12) David Wise 

Interesting fact: Mike Riddle wasn't wearing a flannel because it was warm (come on, it's Breckenridge). He was wearing it because he was outerwear sponsor-less and decided to sport his Canadian roots.

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After the holiday break, the Winter Dew Tour resumed with its second stop in Snowbasin, Utah with the women getting in the mix this time around. And all-Empire podium reigned as Jossi Wells' smooth style, Simon Dumont's technical wizardry and Peter Olenick's double flip mania overwhelmed the field. And Sarah Burke continued her winning ways from 2009 by winning the one and only stop of the Winter Dew Tour with her signature 900.

Men's Final Results:
1) Jossi Wells
2) Simon Dumont
3) Peter Olenick
4) Tucker Perkins
5) Xavier Bertoni
6) AJ Kemppainen
7) Colby West
8) Matt Duhamel
9) Dan Marion
10) Mike Riddle
11) Kevin Rolland
12) Justin Dorey
Women's Final Results:
1) Sarah Burke
2) Jen Hudak
3) Rosalind Groenewoud
4) Anais Caradeux
5) Virginie Faivre
6) Jessica Cumming

Interesting Fact: Peter Olenick suffered a major crash in practice before finals, many believing he'd be out. Peter the rest of practice off, then threw two runs, one of which included his alley-oop double flatspin (which he hadn't done all day) to take third place.

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After the de-throning of Simon & Tanner at Winter X 13 by Xavier Bertoni, everything was up in the air this year. And in the end it was Xavier's countryman Kevin Rolland who dropped the first double cork 1260 in contest to handily take the win, with Jossi Wells smoothly sliding into second and Xavier repeating a medal worthy performance. On the female side, Jen Hudak finally took gold after a couple seasons of silver, with newcomer Megan Gunning dropping 720 and 900 bombs on the field to snag silver and Rosalind Groenewoud taking her second consecutive bronze medal.

Men's Superpipe Results:
1) Kevin Rolland
2) Jossi Wells
3) Xavier Bertoni
4) Simon Dumont
5) Duncan Adams
6) Tucker Perkins
7) Colby West
8) Peter Olenick 
Women's Superpipe Results:
1) Jen Hudak
2) Megan Gunning
3) Rosalind Groenewoud
4) Mirjam Jaeger
5) Anais Caradeux
6) Sarah Burke

 

Interesting fact: This marked the first time Simon Dumont hadn't won a medal since 2003 and the first time Sarah Burke hadn't won gold since 2006.

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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. The most challenging 18-foot halfpipe of the year gave the competitors problems throughout the entire weekend. Smaller amplitudes and uneven transitions made for a tough event. But Simon Dumont's years of experience helped him pull through the tough pipe to take his first win of the year. Tucker Perkins and Justin Dorey also find their first podiums of the year at Mt. Snow.

Men's Superpipe Results:
1) Simon Dumont
2) Tucker Perkins
3) Justin Dorey
4) Xavier Bertoni
5) Jossi Wells
6) Mike RIddle
7) Byron Wells
8) Walter Wood
9) Banks Giberti
10) AJ Kemppainen
11) Tyler Peterson
12) Matt Margetts 

Interesting fact: Jossi Wells had to finish sixth or higher to secure the Superpipe Dew Cup, even with Simon Dumont winning.

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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. Gus knocked off more established pipe names like Byron Wells and Walter Wood. On the women's side, Megan Gunning shocked the crown by failing to make finals in the pipe she won silver at, just weeks before, giving the win to Frenchlady Anais Caradeux.

Men's Superpipe Results:
1) Gus Kenworthy
2) Walter Wood
3) Byron Wells
4) Brian Kish
5) Patrick Baskins
6) Evan Schwartz
7) Marshall Lacroix
8) Joss Christensen
9) Torin Yater-Wallace
10) Andy Partridge
Women's Superpipe Results:
1) Anais Caradeux
2) Miyuki Hatanak
3) Devin Logan
4) Rebecca Hammond
5) Ali Agee

Interesting fact: Third place finisher Byron Wells is nicknamed Lobster Face, PhD for his ability to turn red in the sun and his amazing intelligence.

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As with slopestyle, the European Open Halfpipe was canceled. But unlike the rail jam held instead of Slopestyle, there was nothing but an empty afternoon of waiting in pipe's place. High winds and snow canceled the illustrious event, which we hope will return to its former glory this year.

Interesting fact: This is the first pipe event that has been canceled since… well ever. Some of the Winter Dew Tour and Ski Tour events of yore have been postponed, but never canceled.

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Just like in Aspen, Kevin Rolland and Jen Hudak repeated their gold medal performances. Xavier Bertoni once again took a podium, as did Anais Caradeux and Roz Groenewoud. Silver medalist Megan Gunning ended up in the back of the pack while Sarah Burke failed to medal yet again at an X event. Kevin utilized his double cork 1260 which he owned a patent on in 2010.

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Men's Final Superpipe Results:
1) Kevin Rolland
2) Xavier Bertoni
3) Justin Dorey
4) Mike Riddle
5) Byron Wells
6) Jossi Wells
7) Tucker Perkins
8) AJ Kemppainen
Women’s Final Superpipe Results:
1) Jen Hudak
2) Roz Groenewoud
3) Anais Caradeux
4) Virginie Faivre
5) Dania Assaly
6) Sarah Burke
7) Mirjam Jaeger
8) Megan Gunning

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Interesting fact: Mike Riddle finally broke his X Games curse (of not making finals… ever) by taking 4th. Simon Dumont failed to make finals since… probably ever. This marked the first time Byron Wells beat brother Jossi in finals.

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The last pipe event of the year is held in Whistler, BC at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard festival. Unfortunately, a number of top ranked pipe skiers (Simon Dumont, Jossi Wells, etc) couldn't make it, due to the Icelandic Volcano keeping people in Europe. However a number of riders were still in attendance, including Walter Wood, NZ killer Taylor Seaton, X Games gold medalist Jen Hudak and X Games silver medalist Megan Gunning. In the end, experience won out as Wood and Hudak took home the win at the biggest party event of the year.

Men's Superpipe Podum:
1) Walter Wood
2) Joss Christensen
3) Taylor Seaton
Women's Superpipe Podum:
1) Jen Hudak
2) Megan Gunning
3) Mirjam Jaeger

Interesting fact: Colby West was the only athlete who managed to get out of Europe from JOSS to compete at WSI Superpipe. Since Kevin Rolland and Jossi Wells failed to start, Jossi clinched the AFP Superpipe title at the end of the event.


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About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.