2010-11 AFP Trophy Race: Big Air
Big Air Title
Big Air is the most in-flux category as there are two big air events next weekend. The Platinum level WSI event and the Gold level Jon Olsson Invitational. Both events are sure to draw big hitters from both sides of the pond, so it's anyone's game. But Swiss Mister Elias Ambühl has had a stranglehold on big air all season. With four podiums, a 4th and a 6th, he's the Big Air King and it's why he's currently in 1st. Last year's 3rd place finisher Andreas Håtveit is in the running again, albeit 335.86 points behind Ambühl. And London Freeze winner Jacob Wester holds down the 3rd post, a staggering 408.67 points behind the leader.
Elias Ambühl: The point totals for JOI are still uncertain based on what riders show up, but best case scenario, a win for Elias could net him, at most, 189 points. But the event could be de-valued due to a lack of rider support, giving Elias less points. It's highly unlikely that Elias will finish outside the top three, which will give him some amount of points to widen his gap.
Andreas Håtveit: Andreas is another super consistent big air rider, who best case, could gain 340.62 points from a win. If Jon's event is rated as high as possible, if Andreas wins and Elias finishes outside the top 12, then yes, Håtveit will be your new big air champ.
Jacob Wester: Jacob will be attending WSI, where he has a chance to take home the win, which would net him an additional 363 points. Not enough to overtake Ambühl, but enough to snag 2nd place in the rankings, not a bad place.
While the split events will surely add to some top tier riders moving up and down the rankings list, jockeying for a good final standing, Elias has more or less locked this thing up. Mathematically, he could still be bumped, but as the most consistent Big Air rider of the year, Ambühl has earned this one. Håtveit will most likely improve his year-end standing by one place this year. Maybe 2011-12 will be his year for the Big Air crown.
For all of the AFP Ranks, check out their World Rankings Page.
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.