2008 Big Bear Open Recap

2008 Big Bear Open Recap

Big Bear Lake Freeski Competition Welcomes Hot Amateur Riders and Temperatures

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. and CHICAGO (MARCH 18, 2008). — With a laid back vibe and temps that soared near the 60’s, the Big Bear Open (BBO), the second stop of the 2008 Paul Mitchell Opens Freeski tour, continued the precedent set by the North American Open for great skiing for both the pros and the amateurs. The Big Bear Open brought its west coast flavor to Bear Mountain, noted for its progressive freestyle terrain park, on March 8-9, 2008, and the skiers delivered. Presented by Paul Mitchell and produced by rEvolution, a Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency and Freeskier magazine, this year’s event was bigger and better with the high-flying Superpipe competition on Saturday and the tricked out Slopestyle events on Sunday.

The biggest change at this year’s BBO was the new judging format, developed by Jon Olsson and Simon Dumont for the North American Open. This qualifying “jam session” format was a welcomed change, and continues to set the Opens Freeski tour apart from other freeski events. It boils down to this – a select group of judges award bibs to those competitors, pros and amateurs alike, they feel deserved to make it the finals to compete in a more traditional, three-run final to decide the overall winners. “The level of competition was so good in slopestyle, that we increased the field of finalists to 25 from 20 to make sure all of the deserving riders were in the finals,” said competition Opens Freeski competition director Dan Skivington. This is an example of Opens Freeski’s commitment to provide a positive contest experience to all riders.

“[I] love the open Jam format, said Willis Brown, a competitor in the slopestyle competition. “It’s like a day at the park with my friends.”

While Southern California may not be know for its abundant snowfall, the Big Bear Open is definitely renown for its laid back vide and party atmosphere. A goal of all the Opens Freeski events is to tap into the camaraderie of all the athletes and create a safe environment for the amateurs to compete with the pros.

Slopestyle competitor Jason Arens even went so far to personally thank the organizers of the event, saying, “It was an amazing comp and I had the time if my life.”

With a wild range of temperatures and tricks 25 men and 5 women competed in the Slopestyle finals out of a field of more than 115. Sixteen-year-old sensation Bobby Brown and the six-footer Megan Olenick took home 1st place in the Slopestyle finals. Complete Mens/Womens results for the Slopestyle final are below:

1. Bobby Brown
2. Joss Christenson
3. Adam Battersby
4. John Strenio
5. Alex Dillard
6. Tim Russell
7. Luke Nutting
8. Ian Williams
9. Tyler Peterson
10. AJ Burton

1. Megan Olenick
2. Kristi Johns
3. Claudia Bouvier
4. Jennifer Hirsch
5. Dania Assaly

More than 35 men and 12 women were in the field for the Superpipe competition on Saturday afternoon. With the pipe running a little slower due to high temps and slushy conditions, all the athletes enjoyed the break from the cold and cheered on the finals that saw seventeen-year-old Marshall Lacroix and Canadian Dania Assaly beat the field and take home 1st place. Complete Mens/Womens results for the Superpipe final are below:

1. Marshall Lacroix
2. Tyler Homen
3. Sean Hartel
4. Ben Moxham
5. Christian Allen
6. Joss Christensen
7. Evan Schwartz
8. Patrick Baskins
9. John Duhamel
10. Gus Kenworthy

1. Dania Assaly
2. Jill Sweeney
3. Siena Palmacci
4. Kim Smith
5. Claudia Bouvier

The Big Bear Open experience was summed up by injured rider Henrik Lampert on his blog – “Imagine yourself carving long, smooth, awesome turns. You’re wearing a tee-shirt, it’s 70 degrees outside. It’s too hot for a hat, so you sport only goggles on your head…Well this is what life is like here at the Big Bear Open. We’re here for a week, and man oh man is it going to be fun.”

With one more event to go, it will be fun to see another side of the freeskiing lifestyle out on the East Coast for the Mount Snow Open at Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, Vt. from March 22-23.

Opens Freeski is designed and produced by rEvolution, an independent sports marketing and media agency. More Opens Freeski event and registration information can be found online at https://www.OpensFreeski.com.


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