Sverre Liliequest has shared with us his perspective on the 2014 rendition of the Swatch Skiers Cup, which saw Team Americas defeat Team Europe by a score of nine to seven.
“I have to start by congratulating Team Americas on their win and taking the Skiers cup back with them across the Atlantic. Although you never want to lose, the level of competition and camaraderie amongst all the skiers has been fantastic, and it has certainly helped sweeten the loss as we have all pushed each others limits and technical abilities.
In the end though the big mountain day, which was scheduled for Thursday 9th, had to be cancelled as the snow conditions changed and there were too many unknowns to let the teams compete safely. Team Europe was really psyched to push for the win on the big mountain as there was a 9-7 deficit to make up on Team Americas. Knowing that everyone would be pushing the boundaries to win the competition it was a fair call from the team captains to consider the riders safety first.
It is always disappointing to pull the plug on an aspect of the competition at any stage. The call was made at the very last minute, following a mixed report from the forerunner who checked the face. However, and as an indication of what the event means, all the riders wanted to continue to ride the face for all the spectators which had assembled to see some of skiings biggest names going head to head.
The big mountain ‘expression session’ was of course much more mellow than a competition but I was pleased with my technical entry line to double cliff jump followed at the bottom by a front flip. It was especially nice as I had bailed on a few lines earlier in the week and really wanted to land clean. In one of my mid face turns I also was taken off line by a hidden rock which just underlined that the right call was made on canceling the competition.
Other riders down chose a variety of lines and jumps but my favorite was the big, complicated and exposed line chosen by Seth Morrision and Sage Cattabriga-Alosa. It was definitely a line that would treat you harshly if you made any mistake and it really illustrated to the crowds the technical ability and mountain skills the riders have.
Whilst reflecting on the competition during the official award ceremony, I was reminded why it is so good to be part of such a great event, and not just because of the field of world class skiers and friends. Both captains, head guide and countless others spent hours and hours of heli time trying to find the perfect face and conditions, whilst all the organisers just made everything run smoothly. So many people put in a huge effort to make it work well for everyone, skiers, public, media etc. In the end the mountains always have the last say but the effort shown by all is amazing and inspiring!
One thing for sure though is that with Team Europe and Team Americas on two wins each next year is going to be epic. I can’t wait already!
BR / Sverre”