2010-11 AFP Trophy Race: Men’s Overall Title
Men's Overall Title
The last two years have been runaway shows by Simon Dumont (08-09) and Jossi Wells (09-10) but this year is not the case. Simon Dumont has held the top spot for some time, but he's been challenged by Gus Kenworthy, who sits a mere 243.21 points behind. And hot on both of their tails is Teen Heartthrob Bobby Brown, who is 407.85 points back. They can breath a sigh of relief as reigning overall champ Jossi Wells — currently in 4th, 471 points back — unfortunately broke his elbow at Andreas Håtveit's Backyard Battle and is out of contention in Whistler. While still a mathematical option, guys like Henrik Harlaut and Sammy Carlson are on the outside looking in at 5th and 6th, respectively. Elias Ambühl and Andreas Håtveit are rumored to be attending Jon's Big Air, thus extinguishing any possibility of them lifting the overall title.
Simon Dumont: As a platinum level event with a 900-point ceiling, the AFP Championships offer a number of opportunities for the top three to bump up in the standings. Where Dumont needs the most help is Slopestyle. His lowest slope score is 507.13 points, so if he were to place 18th or better, he would be improving his overall score. In the Big air category, Simon would need to place 11th or better to improve his score. And in the Superpipe category, Simon cannot gain any points, which comes as no surprise to anyone.
Gus Kenworthy: For Gus, Halfpipe and Big Air are big potential areas of improvement. His lowest scores are 392.63 (BA) and 369.44 (HP), so if he were to place 20th or better, he's gaining points in. Theoretically, says Gus gets 10th in both disciplines, he'll gain a whopping 1,038 points. And in Slopestyle, Gus would have to finish in the top 5 to earn anything… So, while Gus can gain a few points there, he'll have to concentrate on Big Air and Pipe to really give Simon a run for his money.
Bobby Brown: Bobby has never challenged for an Overall Title, but with a stellar Slopestyle season coupled with a strong Big Air finish at X and a couple pipe results, Young Brown is a contender. Obviously the halfpipe is where Bobby needs to make up the most ground, he's looking to replace his 163.34 points he gained at the Nike 6.0 Dew Tour Open Qualifier at Breck. By virtue of entering the contest, Bobby has almost assured himself more points. But he'll really need to crack to top 15 to do some damage on the leaderboard. A 15th place finish would snag him 435.23 points. Then over on the Big Air side where Bobby is clearly more comfortable, he'll need a 12th or better. Bobby has a history of winning Big Airs when the pressure is on, but conservatively say he takes 3rd place, he's snag 180+ points. And in Slopestyle, Bobby would have to win to grab a measly 32 points.
It's really anyone's game. Since the Overall title draws from three events, it plainly comes down to who can do better in their area of least expertise. Simon is in the lead because he has skied pretty all year, but Gus could be the most well-rounded competitor on the circuit right now. He's really hitting his stride right now, so look for Gus to come out swinging. Bobby has never won an Overall Title, so there could be some added motivation there. But Simon has tasted Overall glory once before and is by far the most seasoned competitor of the three. It's really anyone's game come next week in Whistler.
For all of the AFP Ranks, check out their World Rankings Page.
About the author:
Shay Williams is former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works with Monster Energy.