2012 Winter Gatorade Free Flow Tour names first round of finalists

2012 Winter Gatorade Free Flow Tour names first round of finalists

Burr Ridge, Ill. – January 16, 2012 – Opening the 2012 season with a full field of international competitors, the Gatorade Free Flow Tour returned to Vail Ski Resort for slopestyle and superpipe contests this past weekend. Locking their spot on the Finals roster early in the season, Taylor King topped the slopestyle podium while Ty Wellman took the pipe win on Sunday.

Hosting for the third straight year, the Vail participants were hungry as they took to the park Saturday, with great jumps and a creative and progressive rail yard that helped the competitors shine. With super style and deep landings, when the freeskiers took to the course the judges had their work cut out for them. King’s bangers all the way from New Zealand – including a switch left 7 tail to corked switch right 7, followed by a  switch left 9 mute and the most corked out blind 6 off the PJ and only misty 4 off the Legacy – made the most of the course, earning his ticket to Utah this February. His closest competitors were second place finisher Erik Lukkari and third place finisher Austen Torvinen.

“It was an outstanding competition,” King said of the Gatorade Free Flow Tour. “There were a lot of tricks being thrown down today, but I’m excited to win – this was my first international podium.”

Sunday’s freeski halfpipe contest set the bar for the season under sunny skies. Making his Gatorade Free Flow Tour debut, and making it count, was Boyne City, Michigan’s Wellman.  Beating out riders from as far as the UK and New Zealand, his run consisted of a switch left 7, right 9 safety to left 9. using the entire pipe and a good portion of the sky above it. Second place went to Conor Garretch-Connely, and third place to Jake Cummings.

With their wins, the two earn automatic bids into the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals that will take place at the Winter Dew Tour’s Toyota Championship, February 9-12, 2012 at Snowbasin Resort in Utah.

Saturday and Sunday, January 14-15, 2012
Vail, Colo.


1. Taylor King, New Zealand.  2. Erik Lukkari, Spring Lake, Mich.  3. Austin Torvinen, Duluth, Minn.  4. Trevor Jackson, Heber City, Utah  5. Mitchell Lee, Edwards, Colo.


1. Ty Wellman, Boyne City, Mich. Conor Garrecht-Connelly, Steamboat Springs, Colo.  3. Jake Cummings, Vail, Colo.  4. Rob Machon, England.  5. Landen Mertz, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

The winners in each of the 14 contests (8 slopestyle and 6 superpipe) will be flown to the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals, taking place in conjunction with the Winter Dew Tour Toyota Championship, February 12-13 at Snowbasin Resort in Utah. Encompassing the “Flow to Pro” theme that is the cornerstone of the Gatorade Free Flow Tour, the overall freeski superpipe and slopestyle Champions will earn a spot to compete against the pros at the first stop of the 2012-13 Winter Dew Tour the following season.


All competitions are open to both male and female amateur competitors 21 and younger for all freeski disciplines. There is a $20 entry fee, and all participants under the age of 18 must bring a parent or guardian to the event to sign a liability waiver, or bring a notarized and signed liability waiver. Contest registration forms, waivers and detailed information are available ahead of time at www.gatoradefreeflowtour.com.

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