Verbier Ride 2011

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Verbier Ride 2011

The Verbier Ride is the proud owner of another successful year. Here’s the press release:

What a day! The Verbier Ride 2011 which took place on Saturday January 15th saw the 10th year for the Ride Freesport events. It was a beautiful day with blue sky and good snow conditions. Despite 3 weeks of no snowfall, the Verbier Sport Plus team in the La Chaux Snowpark ( managed to put together two awesome Big Air kickers for the male and female riders.

Photo: Melody Sky

There was a really relaxed and social vibe with the crowds gathering on the sides of the Snowpark and around the bar. Ibiza based DJ Claire McGregor was on the decks with fellow Ibiza/Farinet DJ Rob Solari MC-ing with local Ben (Bungle) Hawker from Ski Service. Comedy mixed with upbeat music set the flavour for the event and created an atmosphere and area where locals and holiday makers could relax and hang out in the sun for the day watching the action.

Being the 10th anniversary, it was a special year for Ride Freesport. Since its beginning, the Verbier Ride has achieved great freeskiing event accolades. It’s Skier Cross events gained Verbier its first ever and only X-Games Qualifier event. Its Big Mountain Freeride events gave Verbier European and World Tour status IFSA (International Free Skier Association) competitions. It’s Slope Style and Big Air events have brought international credibility to the La Chaux snowpark over the years and the events have received over 5000 audited hours of internationally broadcast TV airtime.

This year once again the event was filmed and the highlights of the winning jumps will be broadcast all over the internet from Monday 17th January then after across the TV networks.

Photo: Melody Sky

The winning runs demonstrated awesome talent and in the end it came down to 4 riders who’s scores were extremely close. Swiss rider Alex Neurohr (Verbier Ride 08 champion) showed the most style on the day. He demonstrated really well held grabs, emphasised by his huge air time. He was just one point behind the 3rd placed rider, moving him off the podium finish.

3rd place went to Julian Ball from the UK who was pulling 9’s and 10’s. On each run he was hitting the kicker clean and confidently landing. His trick that won him 3rd place was a tweaked out Switch Bio 9.

Sweden’s Erik Sundstrom took second place, and not without some excitement on the way! On his second run when he had good air and a firm hold of his grab, he surprised the crowd and himself when his ski came off in his hand in the air. He went through the motion and continued his rotation landing switch throwing his ski out of his hand at the last minute. He got up unharmed and continued to 2nd place in the competition with a Switch 10.

Finally in 1st place was Scott Jordan from Andorra. He showed amazing talent and brought double flips to the Verbier Ride 11. He was a real crowd pleaser. A lot of the spectators had not seen double flipping in the Verbier Snowpark before. He stomped most of his tricks and his final double flip of the day gained him the podium win and the champion status of the Verbier Ride 11.

In second place for the women was Becky Hammond from the UK. Becky is no stranger to the Ride events, and she received big applause and encouragement from the Verbier locals who know her, some chanting ‘front flip’. MC Bungle and Rob Solari were heard encouraging her to pull the front flip and to everyone’s enjoyment she gave them what they wanted. She was ill on the day and nearly didn’t compete. However at the end she wasn’t feeling so bad anymore when she went away with the cheque for the prize money.

First place for the women’s went to Katrien Aerts from Belgium who has had a podium finish in both the Verbier Ride and the Saas-Fee Ride on previous years. Each year she gets more confident and more comfortable with riding at the events. She won with a 540 with grab and showed the crowd that the girls can throw down too.

Photo: Melody Sky

All in all, a nicely shaped park, good tunes, great crowds, sick snowpark team, and amazing riding. It was a perfect all round day for everyone. Many thanks goes to Bertrand Tourmeau,
Guillaume Soulages and their team in the Snowpark (Bruno Etcheverry and Brice Cantenaut) for putting in maximum effort on the shaping and helping to make the best park possible for the day (, thanks also to the resort of Verbier (Verbier Sport Plus, Verbier Tourism) for their constant cooperation and collaboration. Also to the event partners Ski Service for their continued trust and support and to the Farinet/Casbah for their long time commitment in hosting a big send off with the Verbier Ride.

1. Scott Jordan
2. Erik Sundstrom
3. Julian Ball

1. Katrien Aerts
2. Becky Hammond
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