With a half day of practice under their belts, competitors were ready to rock today at the Dumont Cup. Two heats of 35+ skiers each dropped in for a two-and-a-half hour long jam session, with the top 15 advancing from each heat to Saturday’s semifinal. The sun shone through amid breaks in the clouds, the snow was soft, spectators were wide eyed and the action was relentless—just “anothah wicked spectaculah” day here at Sunday River.
As mentioned in yesterday’s “first look,” competitors are drawn from far and wide to compete at the annual Dumont Cup. The East Coast’s only platinum level AFP event, the competition is open for all to enter. Today, I spoke with three individuals who traveled great distances to be here this weekend:
Kolby Ward, 23, came from Summit County, Colorado. His main motivation for being here? “First, it’s the sun and the bathing suits,” he said. A close second is the simple fact that he’s able to compete against some of the sport’s biggest names. Not to be excluded is the lure of the AFP points, which help aspiring pros, like Ward, earn future invites to some of the more exclusive events on the circuit—i.e. X Games, Dew Tour, Grand Prixs, World Cup events, etc.
Cody Cirillo, 20, also came from Colorado. His main draw this weekend? “Lobster.” (Nothing beats a Maine lobster, it’s true.) But like Ward, Cirillo also mentioned he sets a high price on the AFP points. “It’s pretty difficult to get into the World Cups these days, and some of those FIS events, too,” he said. “The AFP points are big for that. It’s nice to get to those higher positions in the rankings and start to work our way onto the Olympic track.”
Noah Wallace, 21, comes from Spokane, WA. “It’s a big comp, and it’s open,” said Wallace. “There aren’t too many Platinum level events that you can get into for just being ‘anybody,’ so it’s nice to be able to come out and throw down against some big names.”
And while these are testimonials from just three of the many competitors on site, you now have some insight into the motivating factors that drive some of the others to be here this weekend.
Speaking with Simon Dumont — 2013 Dumont Cup at Sunday River
Following the action on-hill, competitors gathered in the Barker Mountain base lodge this evening for the annual—and highly anticipated—bib toss. It works as follows: After deliberation by the judges, The Dumont gets on the mic and announces the names of those who advanced through the qualifying round. One by one, the skiers head up to the front of the room, receive their bib, then return to their places amid applause and some hootin’ and hollerin’.
Advancing to the semifinals this year are: Lyman Currier, Noah Wallace, John Strenio, Kolby Ward, Brian Kiss, Colby West, Reid McEachran, Matt Crawford, Keaton Carlson, Blake Wilson, Cody Cirillo, Matthew Wilcox, Evan McEachran, Alex Hackel, Ben Smith, Colby Stevensen, Emile Bergeron, Tyler Mega, Yan Bussieres, Thomas Pool, Tim Ryan, Kristaps Thompson, Dylan Bessette, Simon Gingras, Tyler Duncan, Andy Partridge, Robby Franco, Connor Kelly, Henry Savage and Carson Kerr.
Tomorrow, these 30 skiers will meet 12 pre-qualified athletes in the semifinals—they’ll be split into two heats of 21. After a two-run semifinal, the top four advance from each heat along with the next four highest scoring individuals across both heats. Throw Gus Kenworthy into the mix—pre-qualified straight into finals thanks to his 2012 crown—and you’ve got a 13-person, three-run final.
The forecast calls for sunshine and 45-degree temps—should make for another great day on the hill. The event will be broadcast in real time via freeskier.com/live. For more info on the livestream, stay tuned to our Twitter feed.
*Fantasy Freeride players will be paying close attention this weekend, with high hopes that their teams will perform well, earning big points. For all things Fantasy related, visit fantasyfreeride.com.