James Woods Wins the Läkerol Rail Jam at Andreas Håtveit’s Backyard Battle

April 6th, 2011 by

Sudndalen, Norway — There was no doubt that competitiveness was in the air at Sudndalen, Norway where eight qualified riders laid down some epic tricks in a head-to-head knockout rail jam at Andreas Håtveit's third annual Backyard Battle. An amazing adrenaline atmosphere was generated with fast paced lapping and the riders up-ing the game increasingly as the knockout comp narrowed down to an exhilarating final between Brit James Woods and Finn Oskari Raitanen.

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L-R: Oskari Raitanen, James Woods, Jeremy Pancras

Raitanen was nursing a hip injury sustained in yesterday's qualification session which much have hindered his runs, though that was not noticed by the cheering crowd who were wowed by his fast switches. In the end James Woods claimed the top spot with some crowd pleasing 450s off the rail-to-gap and laying down technically assured 270 on, pretzel 270 off on the down rails.

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Oskari Raitanen

"It was an awesome night, everyone threw down sick and we all saw some epic rail [sliding]," said Andreas Håtveit." I introduced a new format which had never been done before so I was excited to see how it was going to work out. It was a 6 minute session for each head to head battle which really upped the pace. The guys were killing it because the laps were so fast and the night just got more and more exciting and they were pushing each other and feeding off each others stuff. Niklas Ericsson was doing some sick stuff like cool 450s and switching back and forth but in the end I kind of expected Woodsy and Oskari to get to the finals though it was hard to judge because they have totally different styles, but in the end Woodsy came out on top, which was awesome."

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James Woods
 
Knock Out Results: (name in bold indicates winner)
Quarterfinals:
James Woods vs Klaus Finne
Oskari Raitanen vs Benjamin Forthun
Jeremy Pancras vs Sigbjørn Tveit
Niklas Ericsson vs Elvis Harshiem
 
Semi-finals:
James Woods vs Jeremy Pancras
Oskari Raitanen vs Niklas Ericsson
 
Third place consolation:
Jeremy Pancras vs Niklas Ericsson
 
Finals:
James Woods vs Oskari Raitanen
 
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Jeremy Pancras
 
"I was so excited by the course, there were so many different features that I could make up my own lines and mix up as I wanted," says James Woods. "The format of a knockout, head-to-head in six minute sessions was just the best I have ever ridden. It was so quick and the adrenaline was pumping that I just threw down everything I had into each run, I think that speed just drove me on and on."

The Läkerol Rail Jam was the first of two events at Andreas Håtveit's Backyard Battle. Next up is his 3rd annual Big Air. Tomorrow will be the Big Air Qualifiers, so stay tuned for more action from Norway. For more information visit skifilm.com/byb.

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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.