Highlights from the first half of the ultimate season-ender festival: TWSSF 2012

Apr 19, 2012

Whistler, B.C. – The TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival is more than half way through its 10 day programming of the 17th edition of this annual sporting, art and music concert extravaganza. The prize money has been huge, the music mind-blowing, and the arts events are just getting started. Over the past weekend, energy-drink powerhouse, Monster Energy, presented The Shred Show, with two 5-star TTR World Tour ranked events; The Big Hip and Slopestyle. Both events offered up a huge $15,000 for the grand prize winner.

The first event, The Big Hip, was a huge 30ft tall, 45 degree wedge, constructed by snow-park gurus ArenaSnowParks and was the launching pad for some incredible snowboard names, and some death-defying tricks. Many of the Whistler names came out to play, from legend Rube Goldberg, to Jesmond Dubeau, last year’s Shred Show Slopestyle winner Craig Beaulieu and up-and-comer Jesse Millen. In the end, it was the incredible spectacle by 16 year old Whistler rider Darcy Sharpe who took 1st place, laying out a Frontside 10 Double Mute, Backside 7 and Backside 9 to take home the $15,000 prize. Canadian Riders filled out the top 5 spots in the end results, with Antoine Truchon cashing in $6,000 for 2nd place and Jon Versteeg coming back from a huge bail to take the $4,000 3rd place cheque. Whistler locals Logan Haubrich and Dave Fortin put on amazing shows for 4th and 5th place respectively.

Sunday April 15th brought huge news, as snowboard legend Terje Haakonsen arrived to take on the best of the best in Boarderstyle, a combination of Boardercross and Slopestyle. With 2 jumps included in the course, and a mandatory rotation on the final booter, Boarderstyle proved to be one of the most styley and entertaining disciplines on the Monster Energy The Shred Show lineup. With Haakonsen throwing down huge backflips in the heats and semi-finals, he was ahead of the pack going into the final, and was only just nudged out at the finish line by speedster Will Jackways who stomped a Back 5 to slight out Haakonsen at the last moment.

Mother Nature turned on the waterworks on Day 4 of the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard and brought overcast conditions to the Monster Energy and TTR World Tour 5-star ranked Slopestyle event. Consequently, the event was re-structured to 3 straight qualifiers, with the best of the three runs counting as the winning scores. It seems to be Antoine Truchon’s week, as he clinched the $15,000 first prize with a huge Back Double 10 on the final jump, followed closely by the United States Ian Thorley taking home $6,000 for 2nd place, and Canadian Logan Haubrich threw down back-to-back 9’s to ride away with the $4,000 3rd prize cheque, and some valuable points toward the 2013 season on the TTR Snowboard World Tour.

To wrap up the snowboarding events, the steep pitch of Davies Dervish at Glacier Creek on Blackcomb was transformed into the Mogul Duel course, spattered with humps, bumps and two mandatory jumps. Time trials to a head-to-head final duel weeded out the boys from the men, and the girls from the women. In the finals it was legend Myrosha Daley taking on young competitor Zak Hale, who edged out Daley in the final run to take the coveted first place in the fun-filled Mogul Duel event.

Intertwined with the Monster Energy snowboarding component is the free outdoor concert series, from 2.30-5.30pm every day. Held on the mainstage at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb, the free concerts are a huge highlight on most people’s agenda for TWSSF and have featured The Dudes on Friday April 13th, Swollen Members and Trouble Andrew on Saturday April 14th, TinPan Orange and The Cat Empire on Sunday April 15th, and many others. The full schedule can be found here. Upcoming shows feature JUNO award winners Dragonette today, Thursday April 19 at 4pm, and The Sheepdogs on Sunday April 22nd at 4pm, along with Michael Franti and Friends on Friday April 20th at 4pm, amongst other amazing acts. Both Michael Franti and Friends and the Sheepdogs shows will be live streamed on www.youtube.com/thewssf.

The Olympus 72hr Filmmaker Showdown was presented Tuesday April 17th, to a sold-out house of 1400 eager viewers. 10 films of the 30 submitted made it into the finals, and the eventual winner was local crew, Outdun Productions, with their film Zero. They not only walked away with the $10,000 Best in Show prize, but also received a bonus $5,000 cheque from Olympus for filming the entire short film on an Olympus camera. The 10 finalists will all be available to view at www.youtube.com/thewssf.

The newest event on the arts schedule melds sports filmmaking with an artistic component and is only in its second year. Intersection, presented by Pique Newsmagazine, offered up a $15,000 cheque for the winning film, produced over a 7 day period, 75% of which must be on-hill footage. Including both skiing and snowboarding, Intersection was an all-inclusive, fast-paced and high-energy event, eliciting hoots and hollors of support from the sold-out audience. In the end, it was reigning champions Voleurz who nudged out Family TreeLand, NuuLife Cinema, Capri Studios, Heart Films and Footy Fiend (who submitted tardily, and thus was not eligible for the grand prize) to take the $15K and beer stein, with their clever plot line, superior skiing and snowboarding and creative visual effects.

Today marks the beginning of the hosting of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals at the World Skiing Invitational in Whistler, BC. The Slopstyle qualifiers will be held today, Thursday April 19th and the Finals on Friday April 20th. The Big Air, presented by Monster Energy, begins at 7pm on Saturday April 21st , will be live streamed at www.youtube.com/thewssf and will feature a live DJ set from Grandtheft and entertainment. The winner of the Big Air competition will be the new lucky owner of a sleek Chevrolet Sonic, worth almost $24,000. The Superpipe competition takes place on Sunday April 22nd, and will be followed by the Diesel ‘Only The Brave’ Superhit competition, for a $2,000 Grand prize.

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