WORDS: COURTNEY VERMAAS
Itâ€™s official. Pep Fujas and the Battersby boys are the smartest dudes in the ski industry. Youâ€™d think other guys would eventually catch on, but apparently only these boys are smart enough to attend the comp with the best ratio of the year. The 4th Annual Queenâ€™s Cup Open went down this weekend, bringing over 50 of the steeziest, most talented ladies of skiing to Park City.
The all-female slopestyle contest repeated its team format from prior yearsâ€”pairing each pro with a small group of ams. The judges are positioned throughout the course to award each girl with an individual score, while the team format allows them to ski in an organized, less intimidating atmosphere and receive solid feedback from their peers. The 2009 pro coaches included: Grete Eliassen, Angeli VanLaanen, Anna Segal, Virgine Favre, Whitney Wickes, Becca Babicz, Denise Jaworsky, and Roz Groenewoud.
QCO organizer Annaleah De Masi was pleased with the pros that came out to support the event. â€œThis event is all about giving back. We have a great group of girls here and theyâ€™re all stoked,â€ said De Masi. Most of this yearâ€™s pros have attended QCO before, some using this unique event as a jumpstart to their careers before they had made a name for themselves. Not only have the coaches been returning year after year, but the competitors as well.
Fourteen-year-old Maddie â€œMooâ€ Eakin is here for her fourth consecutive year. â€œThis is the coolest comp of the season. So many girls with cool personalities come out here to shred,â€ said Moo. Girls travel from across the globe to ski at the Queenâ€™s Cup for the rare opportunity to learn from their idols, such as the group from the East Coast who flew in just to spend the day with Roz Groenewoud. The laid-back, supportive environment allows younger, less experienced girls to excel more in one day than they could all winter on their own.
As QCO continues to grow and establish itself as an essential comp for young girls looking to break onto the ski scene, the athletes continue to step up their game. The judges agreed that this yearâ€™s group of competitors had the biggest bag of tricks and the most style the QCO has seen.
The course had a variety of features, kicking things off with two large tables, a mixture of rails and boxes, a huge step down near the bottom, and a downward lift-tower to hitching post feature to finish it up.
Team Skinny (aka Greteâ€™s team) was looking like a favorite in practice. The entire group was solid with everyone contributing to the mix. With fives and sevens, spinning both ways, dropping in switch, and stomping the landings, they were on their game. But it was Denise Jaworskyâ€™s team that came out victorious. Team members Tiffany Davenport, Julie Marich, Shawndrea Wisma, and Shanny Cohen all walked away with a new pair of Tecnica Moon Boots and Skullcandy headphones.
The trick of the day went to Kerry Danius for her 270 on with a switch up to 270 out, earning her a new pair of K2s. Eight-year-old Ashton Glass from the Park City Freestyle Team scored a pile of swag for having the best team spirit. Ashton was straight-airing the same jumps the older girls were hitting and had some smooth 180â€™s and spread eagles at the bottom. The third place skier was Carrie Rossman, who flew in last minute from Breck. Dania Assaly was turning tricks all morning to make her way into second place and earn a new Kicker audio system. The top skier of the day was Maude Raymond, earning herself some cash and an invitation to My Super Sweet Park.
My Super Sweet Park is new addition to QCO this year. This exclusive all-female superpark event takes place the week after the QCO slopestyle and gives the invited pros and winner of the slopestyle the chance to film on private features built by Park City Mountain Resort. This bonus event is sure to entice more girls than ever to come out next year for the 5th Annual Queenâ€™s Cup Open, and maybe by then more guys will be clued in and tempted to come out and support this one of a kind event.