Swatch Skiers Cup Day One wraps up with Team Europe in the lead

Comments by KC Deane/

Day One got underway today just outside of Zermatt with amazing conditions. A 5 am train/bus ride dropped the teams at the heli LZ. Upon arriving at the base of the venue it was quickly apparent that it was going to be a good day. The teams had a quick 25 min visual inspection before being heli lifted to the start gate. After a quick 15 min inspection the contest was on and Sverre Lilliquest was charging the first run of Skiers Cup. It was quickly apparent with Sverre’s run and the cornice work done by the safety team that there was some instability in the snow. Mid way through his run some pockets ripped out and showed everyone that you would have to be mindful of more than just your sluff. Lilliquest put the first point on the board for Europe was followed by Fabio Studer putting another point on the board.

Watch Video Highlights from Swatch Skiers Cup Day One

Cody Townsend was the first to put a point up for Team Americas with a smooth line that was punctuated with a big backflip at the end of his run. The next point for Americas came from Squaw Valley’s Greg Lindsey who ended his run with a cork 7 off the end of his spine. Team Americas lost Timy Dutton during the first heat after going for a double backflip and needed to head down for some stitches. All through the first runs there were small pockets ripping out and there was a lot of sluff management. The final run of heat 1 saw Kaj Zakrisson drop in and nearly get caught in a slide that almost pulled him off the spine he was on. After regaining his composure, Kaj stomped a strong run to put Europe up 5-3.

Heat 2 started off with Townsend doing a hand drag 3 over a spine to get his run going to put yet another point on the board for Americas. I lost the next matchup to Fabio Studer, followed by Lindsey going down on his next run, and Sam Favret taking the win. Europe was quickly gaining momentum and Sverre Liliquest put down the run of the day with strong skiing to a large mid line air, then coming out the bottom the entire bottom of the line he was on ripped out, unknown to Liliquest, who sent a backflip out his bottom air as he outran the slide. As the temps got warmer, it was clear that things were getting a bit more unstable.

The next run Daiek lost his ski on his bottom air, and as he was hiking back up, a guide was called down to help retrieve his ski. As the guide worked in to Daiek the slope ripped out and he was caught in a slide. With two slides back to back the remaining heats were cancelled leaving the score at 11-5 with Europe in the lead.

Stay tuned for more coverage from day two.