Team Europe take Swatch Cup

12th September 2011, by Chris Gill

Swatch Skiers Cup, Valle Nevado 2011

Swatch Skiers Cup, Valle Nevado 2011

Team Europe has won the Swatch Cup Freeski competition in Chile.

The team held their own against the favourites, Team Americas, with a 14-10 final score in the inaugural freeski competition in Valle Nevado.

The Swatch Skiers Cup involves two rounds of eight head-to-head duels in backcountry slope-style and big mountain, on two large features and various natural terrain hits.

A panel of three international judges awards a single point to the winner of each heat. And every rider must take part in all four rounds. Team captains choose which of his/her riders goes head-to-head in each round, depending on how the other team is performing.

Round 1 involved some impressive technical displays off the kicker jumps. Switzerland’s Nicolas Vuignier put in a stylish ‘cab-540’ to gain points for the team, while there was a series of tumbles for Team Americas.

Sweden’s Henrik Windstedt won two points for Team Europe in the second round, with a solid performance that edged them ahead of their rivals. But the teams continued to backflip and corkscrew their way through the competition.

Both teams agreed that the Skiers Cup was a successful event, and one that they would support in the future. The Swatch Skiers Cup is based on a simple concept first developed by Freeriders Kaj Zaricksson and Sverre Liliequist: bringing together the world’s best Freeskiers in a “first of its kind” intercontinental team competition.

Valle Nevado was a good place to start: the resort has a decent altitude at 3,600m and plenty of terrain, as well as a suitable terrain park for the main features. The snow is holding up well at present, with a base of 50cm reported and good, clear weather forecast.


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