Kappl is also in the Tirol region of Austria. FWT and the Fieberbrunn local organizing committee are very grateful for the immense support provided by Kappl to hold the competition on such short notice. The start gate perched atop 2,800-meter (9,186-foot) Quellspitze. Variable snow conditions made landings tricky and required riders to execute impeccable control. The pressure to become a 2014 SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® champion is surely increasing.
The women’s snowboard competition concluded with a second consecutive win for Shannan Yates of the United States. Yates was also the winner in Chamonix. and she exhibited solid control and execution throughout her entire run despite the variable snowpack. Her run also featured some sizeable airs in more technical sections of the venue. The performance received a top score of 73.75.
Freeride World Tour Kappl Podiums
Freeride World Tour
"It was a gorgeous day in a beautiful valley," stated Yates. "I had a fantastic run at Kappl. I hit a lot more features than I usually do and executed my line exactly the way I wanted."
Swiss rider Estelle Balet managed the second place position with a very fluid run peppered with some features and stylish method grabs. Her score was 69.75. Rounding out the podium in third place, Australian Amber Schueckerexecuted a creative line earning her a score of 66.75.
Sammy Luebke, of the United States, managed his second win of the season with a very fluid line featuring a high-speed double cliff drop near the bottom. Luebke was awarded the high score in his category of 81.25. Luebke also won in Courmayeur Mont Blanc.
“I am feeling really good," said men’s snowboard winner Sammy Luebke. “I was skeptical on line choice as the face was a bit shorter. I thought about changing my original choice but stuck with my plan, and that worked out. The conditions were variable but I found some nice pockets of good snow.”
Following Luebke closely in second place was 2013 FWT Men’s Snowboard Champion Ralph Backstrom. Both Luebke and Backstrom are from the same home mountain, Squaw Valley, CA. Backstrom was the first snowboarder to ride and chose a fluid approach to the venue right down the fall line. Backstrom earned a score of 80.00. Following a win in Chamonix at the last event, Emilien Badoux of Switzerland, utilized the terrain well linking many features. His run earned 76.25 and third place.
The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® continues its competition schedule in Kirkwood, California on March 1 and in Revelstoke, Canada March 10 where the final athlete cut will be made for the Xtreme Verbier final championship competition in Switzerland on March 22. The remainder of the schedule includes both men’s and women’s ski and snowboard competition.
For more information on the SWATCH FREERIDE
WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® and Freeride
World Qualifier events, please visit www.freerideworldtour.com.