James Woods Wins the Läkerol Rail Jam at Andreas Håtveit’s Backyard Battle
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.
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.
"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."
James Woods vs Klaus Finne
James Woods vs Jeremy Pancras
Jeremy Pancras vs Niklas Ericsson
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.
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.