Russ Henshaw Wins the Frostgun Invitational

Russ Henshaw Wins the Frostgun Invitational

1st April, 2010, Val Thorens, France – Russ Henshaw (AUS) takes home first prize after conquering Loic Collomb Patton (FRA) in the nail-biting head to head super-finals in front of 2000 cheering Danish fans. Sam Favret (FRA) took down Henrik Harlaut (SWE) in the Bronze finals to collect third place.

The idea behind the Frostgun Invitational is to add another attraction to a popular holiday week already packed with great DJ line-ups, all of which sees over 3000 Danish holiday makers flock to Val Thorens, France. Now in its 5th year, an International Big Air event was added, and with a great success! Held beside “Chalet de Thorens” a huge chalet on the mountain a “perfect jump” style kicker was built. A little smaller than many, but with a very poppy take-off, the air time was enough for some big tricks. Due to the weather the riders had not been able to train on the jump during the previous two days, as was planned, so the skiers representing 7 nations had to show their professional edge and get straight into their tricks after only an hour of training.

Qualifications started with two runs, for each of the 15 invited riders, with the best run progressing them to the knock-out finals for the top 8. Due to the weather the finals format was reduced from a style jump and a technical jump, to a simple one hit affair. The tension grew and the crowd got behind the spectacle as Flo Bastien (FRA) dropped with a switch Bio 900 mute, Russ Henshaw was the challenger and launched a perfect dub 1080 mute to progress himself through. With the experience of this first knock-out the crowd realised the show was really on, they stopped eating their BBQ meals and the cheering stepped up a level. Next up Norwegian Anders Backe was eliminated by Sam Favret (FRA) with a huge Bio 900 double japan.

Already in the second half of the draw Henrik Harlaut (SWE) beat Kevin Guri (FRA) and Loic Collomb Patton (FRA) took out Alex Aurdal, landing the first double 1260 of the event. The 10,000$ first prize was in sight for 4 people. Russ Henshaw faced Sam Favret and Henrik Harlaut was
against Loic Collomb-Patton. Progressing to super-finals were two double corks, a 10 from Russ and a huge 12 from Loic.

The Bronze final took place between Sam Favret and Henrik Harlaut. Sam dropped first and stomped a huge Bio 900 double japan. This was enough to put him on the podium above Henrikʼs switch Bio 1080 mute.

All that was left were two athletes, both hoping for one of the largest prize purses seen in skiing this year. Loic dropped first and landed his double 1260 mute to a roaring crowd. Russ stood at the top, as he remembers, “nervous as hell, as I knew I had to land perfectly!” The final jump of the day he did exactly that, landed his double 1080 double mute. He skied directly onto the stage to await the judges decision. After a few moments, his nervous face turned into a huge smile as Russ got the results he was after and adds another Big Air title to his belt.

This is where most skiing events end, however, the Frostgun Invitational has not come from a skiing heritage. So the action re-convened for exclusive party with “Selvmord” all kicked off with 3 skiers collecting their prize money and bottles of champagne to start the night in the correct fashion.

Finals Results
1. Russ Henshaw (AUS)
2. Loic Collomb-Patton (FRA)
3. Sam Favret (FRA)
4. Henrik Harlaut (SWE)
T-5. Flo Bastien (FRA), Alex Aurdal (NOR), Kevin Guri (FRA) and Anders Backe (NOR)

Ranking from Qualifications
9. Pekka Hyysalo (FIN)
10. Sandy Collet (FRA)
11. Andri Ambühl (SUI)
12. Andy Collet (FRA)
13. Rasmus Dalberg (DEN)
14. Dennis Hannesbo (DEN)
15. PC Fosse (NOR)

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