After losing to Team Europe in the 2011 Swatch Skiers Cup, Team Americas earned redemption today, topping the European squad 10-9. In addition to crowning a new victor this afternoon, event staffers also announced a third edition of the Swatch Skiers Cup to be held in Zermatt, Switzerland from February 9-16, 2013.
Because of unsafe snow conditions, today’s Backcountry Slopestyle competition was cancelled. Event organizers opted to host a tiebreak-style match where only three riders from each of the two teams would compete. Team Americas’ captain Cody Townsend was joined by Chopo Diaz and KC Deane, and together they were able to best Mathieu Imbert, Markus Eder and Paddy Graham of Team Europe. The six competed on higher terrain where the snow conditions were more suitable.
Team Americas — Image courtesy Swatch Skiers Cup. Shot by D. Carlier.
After two rounds of competition, the score was square at 1-1. KC Deane went head-to-head with Paddy Graham—the coveted trophy on the line. Graham experienced a hard impact on the landing of an air, slamming his knees to his chin, ending his run. Deane skied strongly from start to finish, and included a lofty backflip at the top of his run. The point earned by Deane broke the tie, and secured the win for Team Americas. The teams were tied 8-8 following the Big-Mountain portion of the event, and today’s tallies brought the final score to 10-9.
Team Europe’s captain, Sverre Liliequist opted not to compete today, noting “I chose my guys based on a combination of their motivation and enthusiasm in the moment and their abilities as creative freestyle skiers, because what I want is to push the level of riding at the event. If we would have won today we would have won with style.”
Despite not winning, Team Europe earned praise from event judge Mark Abma. Abma explained, “Markus Eder’s run was amazing, spinning 360s in both directions and incorporating a rodeo 540 and a rodeo 720, all off of the natural terrain found on this backup venue.”
Cody Townsend (USA) 1 – 0 Mathieu Imbert (FRA)
Chopo Diaz (CHILI) 0 – 1 Markus Eder (ITA)
KC Deane (USA 1 – 0 Paddy Graham (UK)
See images from the event on the official Swatch Skiers Cup flickr page.
Team Americas, headed by Captain Cody Townsend, includes Riley Leboe, Chris Benchetler, KC Deane, Drew Tabke, Chopo Diaz, Oakley White-Allen and Dane Tudor. Team Europe, led by Sweden’s Sverre Liliequist, includes Sam Smoothy, Mathieu Imbert, Paddy Graham, Jacob Wester, Richard Permin, Tom Leitner and Markus Eder.