McEachran, Purnelle-Faniel top TNF PPOS podium in Whistler; see photos here
The second stop of the 2014 The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS) took place at Whistler Blackcomb on January 15, and athletes had to deal with some visibility issues thanks to some low hanging clouds. Yet, the $17,500 total prize purse meant the stakes were high, and as a result of the weather, riders were only allowed one run in the finals. When it was all said and done two Canadian natives, Evan McEachran of Oakville, Ontario, and Anouk Purnelle-Faniel from Quebec City, Quebec, stood atop the podiums of their respective fields.
“I am really happy with my competition today, the weather wasn’t the best but I was still able to put down a run in these conditions because that is what competition skiing is,” said McEachran. “I focused on the fact that everyone was in the same boat conditions wise and that helped me land my run.”
With freeskiing set to make its Olympic debut in Sochi next month, competitive freeskiing is at an all-time high. As a growing number of skiers set their sights on events like X Games, Dew Tour, Grand Prix and the Olympics, too, the importance of “open” events cannot be understated: cue, The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series. The PPOS provides a launching pad for athletes; thanks to grassroots-style events like this one, a relative unknown can work his/her way up through the ranks, ultimately securing enough points on the AFP World Tour to be considered for some of those prestigious, invite-only events. The sport’s top pros often partake in this contest, as well, providing up-and-comers a chance to compete alongside their heroes.
Viewers enjoyed a live webcast of the event today on freeskier.com/live; video highlights are expected to be released later in the week. The next stop for the PPOS will be at Stratton Mountain, Vermont from February 20 – 22.
Press Release, TNF PPOS, January 15, 2014:
Although the sun shone at the start of the second 2014 stop of The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series presented by Nissan (PPOS) today, a low layer of thick clouds created challenging visibility at the bottom the Nintendo Terrain Parks. The top 22 riders advanced to the finals competition through the previous day’s qualifiers from a field of over 50 athletes. The stakes for winning were high with a $17,500 total prize purse. Due to weather delays, each rider was only allowed one competition run. In the end, Evan McEachran of Oakville, Ontario and Anouk Purnelle-Faniel of Quebec City, Quebec earned top honors in the slopestyle competition.
“Judging by today’s tough conditions it is evident that talent in the slopestyle community runs deep,” said event commentator Mike Atkinson. “The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series presented by Nissan does an excellent job demonstrating this by providing a platform for rising stars to compete.”
Competing alongside his brother Reid, 16-year-old Evan McEachran rose to the top with a score of 90.8. U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team member Chris Laker out of Park City, UT managed second place with a score of 85.3 and Mark Nowakisky of Breckenridge, CO also overcame the difficult conditions landing the third podium spot with a score of 82.5.
Anouk Purnelle-Faniel asserted her dominance in this competition with the top women’s score of 70.5. Nikki Blackall of Barrie, Ontario secured her second place spot with a score of 66.5. Shondra Charbonneau of Brockville, Ontario rounded out the podium in third place with a score of 64.5.
The complete slopestyle competition is available for viewing on thenorthfaceppos.com. A one-hour television broadcast of the Whistler Blackcomb competition will first air on ABC in Idaho Falls, Idaho on February 2 at 12:00 PM MST. For additional air dates and times visit www.thenorthfaceppos.com.
Complete results, photos and more information are located at www.thenorthfaceppos.com.