Orage European Freeski Open gets hosed by weather

Orage European Freeski Open gets hosed by weather


That is how electric the day was at Laax for the Orage European Freeski Open today. Well for half the day at least… After men’s slopestyle 4th heat concluded this morning and the festivites rolled on to halfpipe, high winds killed the buzz that was the stunt ditch competition today.

After the slopestyle men’s 4th heat, the sun was shining and the gods were smiling down on the halfpipe as the women practiced and ran through their one heat qualifier. Claudia Bouvier and Katrien Aerts blew away the rest of the field, literally. The amplitude of their hits created enough latent energy to blow other women away. Well, not really, but they were a head (or 6 feet) above the remainder of the field. The two women had a sizeable lead over the next four qualifiers. Immediately following the women, the men’s practice started, while the clouds on the horizon rolled in.

Zeus himself must have been blowing down on Laax as the banners and the loose snow flew about. The weather got more and more milky and the judges and officials decided to call it, postponing the two heats until a later date (probably Saturday). In the nick of time, no less, as the competitors headed in, the weather started to get worse, the light faded, the wind picked up and the snow started to dance about.

Tomorrow, if all goes well with Mother Nature, slopestyle semi-finals and finals are going to go down, for both men and women. The athletes who qualified yesterday will butt heads with the international field of superstars who were pre-qualified, to do battle on the slopestyle course. Stay tuned for all the action from tomorrow.

PS, I think they took 7 men out of heat 4, or that is the way it is marked on the results sheet.

Men’s Slopestyle Heat 4 Results:

1) Alexi Godbout
2) Julien Lange
3) Nicolas Vuignier
4) John Spriggs
5) Kevin Guri
6) Hans-Jacob Brandt
7) Maxime Fornier

Women’s Halfpipe Qualifiers:

1) Claudia Bouvier
2) Katrien Aerts
3) Rebecca Hammond
4) Claudia Neuweiler
5) Serena Woods
6) Sarah Pinton

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