The sun shone down on Whistler’s Blackcomb Mountain, Monday, on a slopestyle course which many competitors hailed as one of the best of the year. Celebrated for its creative flow and massive features, the course tested the skills of the world’s best. At the end of the day, it was 14-year-old Maggie Voisin taking top spot for the women, with Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen and Jamie Crane-Mauzy joining her on the podium, in second and third respectively. On the men’s side, Gus Kenworthy took top honors, with Nick Goepper stealing second, and Russ Henshaw nabbing third. And of course, being the AFP World Champs—part of the legendary World Ski and Snowboard Festival—the contest marked the competitors’ final chance to stir the 2013 AFP standings.
The action kicked off at 10:45 a.m. with 30 men facing off in the semifinal round. Of those 30, 20 were pre-qualified, while the other 10 advanced through Sunday’s qualifying round. After two runs each, only 10 would earn a spot in the afternoon’s final round: Gus Kenworthy, Russ Henshaw, Nick Goepper, James Woods, Joss Christensen, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, Tom Wallisch, McRaw Williams, Antti Ollila and Vincent Gagnier, in that order.
Following a quick break for practice runs and course maintenance, it was onto the women’s final. Two runs, best run score counts.
Taking third was Jamie Crane-Mauzy. Jamie’s run consisted of a ride along the down-flat-down up top; a safety off the flat rail to drop; a left 7 mute; backflip off the cannon; a double backflip on jump two and a right flat 3 to close. Jamie earned a score of 81.67. “I’m really excited,” Jamie said following the event. “I just wanted to come here and have fun and ski well, and I think I did both… it’s been a great time.”
In second place was 2013 X Games Aspen champion, Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen, whose run included successful greasings of the first two rails up top; a 720 tail; a 450 out of the cannon; a left 5 and a switch 7. For her efforts, the 17-year-old Norwegian locked up the 2013 AFP overall title. “That was my goal,” Tiril said. “I’m so stoked.” (More on that later…)
And taking first was 14-year-old Maggie Voisin of Whitefish, Montana. Maggie’s winning run included a back 270 out of the down bar up top; a switch left 9; a back 270 out of the cannon; a left 7 and a right 5 on the bottom set of jumps. Maggie bagged a 90.0 from the judges. Asked how it feels to claim her first major contest win, Maggie replied, “I don’t even know yet, it hasn’t sunk in.” One thing is for sure: It’s not everyday you see a 14-year-old take down an X Games champ—be sure to keep an eye out for Maggie in the seasons to come.
With the women’s contest in the books, we shifted gears to the men’s final. Again, two runs each.
In third was Mr. Russ Henshaw, who returns to the contest scene for the first time since tearing his ACL at X Games Aspen in January. Henshaw opted not to have his ACL repaired, and is thus skiing sans ACL in his right knee. Regardless, he said he’s “feeling great” and is excited to be back on the podium. His winning run consisted of a lip 270 onto the down bar; back 630 on the rail-to-drop; rightside double 12 mute; switch on, front 630 shifty out of the cannon; switch 9 double Japan and double 12 tail to close. From here, he says he’s heading home to Australia for some much needed R&R.
Finishing second was 2013 X Games Aspen gold medalist and 2013 Dumont Cup champion, Nick Goepper. Goepper’s run consisted of a switch 270 on, pretzel 270 out of down-flat-down; a switch on, front 4 out of the rail-to-drop; right dub 12 blunt; switch 270 on, misty 6 dub Japan out of the cannon; left dub 12 blunt and switch right dub misty 12 mute—absolutely massive, by the way—to close. “I feel great,” he said. “It’s the last event of the year, it’s always good to end on a high note.” And a high note it was, indeed, as Goepper secured the 2013 AFP slopestyle title.
And in first: Augustus (Gus) Kenworthy. Gus skied his way to the top with a right 270 onto the down rail up top; left 2 on, 450 off the rail-to-drop; left dub 12 blunt; switch 2 on, cork 810 lead tail off the cannon; switch right dub 10 Japan and switch left dub 12 Japan. “I feel good,” he said. “I’m so stoked… last comp of the year here at sunny, beautiful Whistler. I couldn’t be more happy to end on top, it’s a great way to end the season.” In addition to his prize cheque, Gus walked home with the 2013 AFP overall title—his third straight.
Following the conclusion of this weekend’s competition, the stage was set for Monday night’s annual AFP awards banquet/dinner, held at Bearfoot Bistro. While enjoying one of Whistler’s finest dining establishments, focus was centered to the front of the room where one by one, the 2013 AFP world champions were crowned. Stay tuned for an in-depth account of the evening, including information on the year’s big winners.
2013 AFP World Champs/WSSF slope final:
1. Gus Kenworthy (93.67)
2. Nick Goepper (93.0)
3. Russ Henshaw (92.67)
4. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (92.0)
5. Joss Christensen (90.0)
6. James Woods (89.33)
7. Tom Wallisch (88.67)
8. McRae Williams (86)
9. Antti Ollila (63.33)
10. Vincent Gagnier (20.33)
2013 AFP World Champs/WSSF women’s slope final:
1. Maggie Voisin (90.0)
2. Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen (88.0)
3. Jamie Crane-Mauzy (81.67)
4. Yuki Tsubota (74.00)
5. Maude Raymond (51.33)
6. Annalisa Drew (41.67)
7. Nicki Blackall (18.0)
8. Alexi Micinski (8.67)
9. Anna Willcox-Silverberg (0.0)
10. Emma Whitman (0.0)