Europe clinched the first ever Swatch Skiers Cup yesterday with a final point tally of 14-10 after riders from both teams stepped up their game to put on a huge show for the snow sliders at Valle Nevado Chile!
For a chance at The Cup, Team Americas had some serious ground to make up after falling behind 6-2 in the Big Mountain portion of the competition. Due to time constraints during the Big Mountain event, only one round of head to head heats were skied leaving a total of only 8 Big Mountain points to be claimed (6-2, Europe). With two rounds of Backcountry slopestyle heats scheduled and a total of 16 points remaining up for grabs the flight oriented Team Americas still had a shot at The Cup. But Team Europe held strong, tying each round 4-4 for a final count of Team Europe 14 to Team Americas 10.
In Round one of the Backcountry Slopestyle Team Americas Rory Bushfield (CAN) and Dylan hood (USA) skied strong. Bushfeild stomped everything he threw, laying down a solid run with a 360 over the hip, a cork-720 off the kicker, a right-side 360 off a medium-sized drop and 180 nosetap off a rolling 30 footer.
Italy’s Markus Eder left his mark with one of the most impressive runs of the day nailing his cab 900 mute and switch 540 revert.
A number of spills on the Team Americas side would limit their gains leaving Europe up 10-6 heading into round two of the Backcountry Slopestyle event.
Round 2 showcased an enormous cork 720 from USA’s Dylan Hood and a big misty 720 by the events co-founder Svere Liliequest. Kaj Zackrisson sent probably the sickest trick of the day in what must have been something of a victory lap (see below). Props Kaj!
As one of the creators of the event, here’s what Kaj Zackrisson had to say about pulling it off down in South America.
“To get it together, with the full support of SWATCH, with all the perfect organization, 16 of the finest skiers in the world with smiles on their faces for seven days in a row… standing on the top of the run at the beginning of the second run was just a little bit overwhelming. Like Sverre said, it was just too good to be true. Me and Sverre just killed it in the last run I guess.”
Team Americas Captain Mark Abma on the event.
“I think this has been a success just because of its team feel, and the camaraderie that comes from it. We have so many contests these days that are individually focused, that to create a team focus is really a funky twist. These days we just need something different and [Kaj and Sverre] stepped-up to it.”
Final Results, Swatch Skiers Cup 2011: (Team Europe 14 – Team Americas 10)
Photos courtesy of skierscup.com