Well, Mother Nature didn't quite cooperate today at the Dumont Cup, but you know what, that didn't stop the event from going off. Under extremely gusty winds and frigid temperatures, the athletes bravely suited up for battle, putting their best foot forward for today's competition. And after a narrow podium miss last year at the Dumont Cup, young Nick Goepper has avenged the 2010 finish by taking the big W today at Sunday River. Telluride-native Gus Kenworthy took second place, adding yet another podium to his burgeoning resumé. And Sweden's Jacob Wester took third with a first run score that stood up throughout the entire day.
The podium: Jacob Wester, Nick Goepper & Gus Kenworthy
Today got underway with a small practice session and a two-run, near-40-athlete semi-final round. The wind and flat light wasn't quite as debilitating earlier in the day, so the speed was more consistent, therefore leading to more wow-factor tricks and stomped runs. Twelve athletes moved on, including the host of the weekend, Simon Dumont. Along with Simon, guys like Jossi Wells, Chris Laker, Willie Borm, Phil Casabon and the eventual podium winners: Goepper, Kenworthy and Wester. On a side note, Joe Schuster suffered a nasty crash when he fell short on the final jump, knockin' his noggin' pretty good. Best wishes and go out to Joe, Make a speedy recovery.
The finals were slated to run after a mid-day lunch BBQ break, something that has become a tradition here at the Dumont Cup. Why have a crappy voucher for an overpriced sando or soup when you can have a nice hearty burger, or something of that nature? Just another way the Dumont Cup really caters (literally) to the athletes and tries to make the whole event an experience, rather than "just another competition."
The twelve qualifying athletes met up with two of the previous year's Dumont Cup podium — Tom Wallisch and Joss Christensen. Alex Schlopy did not start today due to an undisclosed illness. With three runs to have at the course, things were slated to go off. Unfortunately, variable wind, flat light and a couple course holds had a differing agenda. Sometimes someone would clear the jumps fine, like Nick Goepper's first two runs that were filled with double flips. Sometimes you would knuckle hard like Vincent Gagnier. Or sometimes the wind would blow you to the parking lot in cases like Simon Dumont or Chris Laker.
After qualifying first out of the jam sessions, Chris Laker was regarded as a heavy favorite, with back-to-back double flips, unfortunately it was his switch 900 that got the best of him in his runs. Two-time podiumer at the Dumont Cup, Tom Wallisch, couldn't put down a clean run, nor could Jossi Wells, who was slaying the rail section all day. Brian Kish and the Gagnier brothers all had troubles of their own throughout the day as well.
Phil Casabon, a late addition to finals, brought his stylish A-game to the table, as usual. His final hit switch 1080 tail grabs were a sight to behold. Simon Dumont, between hosting duties, managed a smooth run filled with solid switch 900s and 720s. Every competitor managed some beautiful maneuvers on the course, but the top three really did it cleanly throughout the entirety of the course. The top three runs:
Nick Goepper – Nick did a 270 on to the whoopdie box, into K-Fed (front switchup to blind 270) on the flat-down rail to a misty 630 off the cannon box. His first jump was a leftside cork 900 tail into a switch double rodeo 900 japan on the second jump. He finished the run off with a double cork 1080 mute.
Gus Kenwrothy – Kenny G. got it going with a 270 on 450 off on the whoopdie box, 450 on to 270 off on the flat-down rail, and a cork 630 blunt off the cannon. His first jump was a rightside 900 blunt. Switch left 900 lead tail on the second jump into a double cork 1260 mute on the final jump.
Jacob Wester – Jacob started with a 270 on to forward on the first box, went with a 270 disaster to forward off on the next rail to blind cork 630 off the cannon. Down below he started with a leftside 900 mute, switch 900 tail to double cork 1260 mute.
When it's all said and done, when the final bell had been rung, these three guys came out on top, rightly so. But more importantly, it brought about the end to another Dumont Cup competition. A unique and premiere event that happens in the tiny burgh of Newry, Maine at the Sunday River Resort. Where skiing talent and skiing's future collide in one singular event based on the experience of the weekend, not whom will best whom. The only storyline here is about Simon Dumont wanteding to give back to the skiing community by throwing an event that caters to the athletes.
And to the fans. After the podium ceremonies had concluded, Simon and the podium guys threw out more swag than should be allowed. Ravenous kids akin to hyenas swiped at t-shirts, hoodies, goggles, glasses and even skis, compliments of the generous sponsors of the event. So another Dumotn Cup finishes, and it's only another 364 days until the next one begins. See you in Maine next year.
Throwing fodder to the hyenas.
2. Gus Kenworthy — 90.00
3. Jacob Wester — 87.60
4. Charles Gagnier — 83.80
5. Phil Casabon — 83.00
6. Tom Wallisch — 82.60
7. Simon Dumont — 75.00
8. Willie Borm — 67.20
9. Joss Christensen — 61.80
10. Brian Kish — 60.60
11. Jossi Wells — 45.00
12. Vincent Gagnier — 40.00
13. Chris Laker — 40.00
14. Peter Engen — 27.40
15. Antoine Choquette — 19.00
16. Alex Schlopy — DNS
As a gold level event on the AFP event calendar, this surely makes some changes to the overall Slopestyle rankings. Find out how at the organization's website.
*A big thanks goes out to Simon Dumont, Sunday River, all the sponsors and everyone who made the live-internet feed possible.