After days of gale force winds across the mountains, organisers of the Planet X Winter Games have finally had a lucky break in the weather today allowing them to run the ¼ pipe tow-in and 'Huck' and 'Chuck' contests back to back at the Blue Cow terrain park at Perisher Blue.
Battling it out for their share in the $25,000 prize pool and the Planet X Gold Medal were pro skiers Russ Henshaw, Christian Sirianni, Chris Benchetler (USA), Jono Lipsker, Oddy Graham, and Charlie Timmins, alongside Pro Snowboarders Max Cookes, Ryan Tiene, Mike Osachuck (CAN), Nate Perry, Jake McCarthy and Australia's number one ranked snowboarder, Andrew Burton.
Three brand new contest formats where introduced this year including the Braun CruZer3 Rail jam on Friday. For the first time, the winner of this event will actually be judged by the general public, it's Ski V's Board with four videos of each competitor, Chris Benchetler (ski), Christian Sirianni (Ski), Max Cookes (Snowboard) & Ryan Tiene (Snowboard) viewable online at www.planetx.com.au .
Punters have until 30th September 2007 to vote for their favourite rider and have their say about who deserves the prize money and the gold medal for the Braun CruZer3 rail jam.
Today's contest at Blue Cow saw both the world first '¼ pipe tow-in' and the 'Huck and Chuck' events run back-to-back. A high-powered Urban Rider winch system was used for the first time in the world on snow for the ¼ pipe tow-in and has certainly proved its ability to boost the acceleration of riders into the hit.
17 year-old, Russ Henshaw, proved once again why he's one of the most talked about up-and-coming skiers in the country taking out the gold medal for the ¼ pipe tow-in with a double back flip out of the pipe. USA import Chris Benchetler scored silver with an impressive '720 caveman' and 18 year-old Charlie Timmins, also form Jindabyne, was awarded the bronze.
Ryan Tiene from Port Macquarie showed impressive style and technical skill on the ¼ Pipe Tow-in taking out first place honours, ex-winter Olympian Andrew Burton won the silver with renowned Canadian snowboarder Mike Osachuck taking home the bronze.
Straight after the ¼ pipe tow-in, the event team moved up the mountain to set up for the "Huck" and "Chuck" where competitors 'Huck' or hike up to the top of the run and then 'Chuck' or jump off the feature performing a number of aerial manoeuvres before landing. This is a test of courage & endurance as well as freestyle skill.
Blue skies finally appeared for this event with riders pumped to get out there and prove their skills, an expert panel of judges scored the competitors based on the difficulty of the tricks performed, amplitude, execution and variety of manoeuvres.
Perisher Blue team snowboarder and the youngest competitor in the field, Jake McCarthy, impressed judges with a well executed 'switch backside five' on his second hit, Melbourne rider, Max Cookes, pulled of the same trick but according to judges didn't quite have the same style. 2nd place ended up a tie between Max Cookes and Ryan Tiene who landed a massive 'frontside 3 caveman'.
Snowboard judge and editor of Australian and NZ Snowboarding magazine, Russell Holt, says Jake McCarthy didn't necessarily go as big as the other riders in the contest but showed greater technical skills, landing his tricks much smoother than the rest of the field.
"Ryan Tiene and Nate Perry actually came close to taking it out on their second jumps, both landing smooth 'frontside 7's' but both actually reverted the landing making it a little unclean" continued Holt.
In the Huck and Chuck Ski event it was the local young guns who once again stole the show, 17 year-old Jono Lipzker was awarded 1st place after pulling off a huge 'Switch 7', Russ Henshaw placed 2nd scoring his second medal for the event and Melbourne skier, Christian Sirianni, placed 3rd.
For sneak previews of all the action head to www.planetx.com.au , or download cool segments direct to your mobile phone via Bigpond TV