Locals' favorites Jan Scherrer and Verena Rohrer won the TTR 5Star men's and women's halfpipe contests on Thursday at the O'Neill Evolution event at Jakobshorn in Davos, Switzerland.
Scherrer -- an 18 year-old rider from Ebnat-Kappel, Switzerland sponsored by Nike, Nitro Snowboards, Swatch, and Clast -- beat out American rider Kyle Mack (the top qualifier) and Japanese rider Hiroki Suwa to top the podium in the men's final. Scherrer lead after Run 1 with a score of 85.40, then improved to 91.40 in Run 2 with a backside 900 mute grab, frontside 1080 tail grab, Cab 720 melon grab, and frontside 900 mute grab.
"This is the biggest result of my career, and it's pretty special to do it at home here in Davos. And to do it here at Gian's last contest... it's sort of hard to describe," Scherrer said, in a podium interview after the competition, referring to Gian Simmen, the rider who won gold representing Switzerland at the first-ever Olympic snowboard halfpipe event in Nagano, Japan in 1998. "He's done so much for me and Swiss snowboarding. I mean, he's the man. The biggest influence to all of us ever. I'm stoked on the result and even more on being here to be part of this experience. I'm looking forward to going riding with Gian soon, it's always good times with him."
Simmen, an O'Neill team rider who says he's retiring from competition, finished sixth in Thursday's final.
"Finishing my 23-year contest career here is simply a dream come true," Simmen said on Thursday. "It's like the closing of a circle. I put on a board for the first time here in Davos. Won my first major contest here, my two World Championships here. To finish my contest career here as well, it's the icing on the cake. More importantly, to see Jan Scherrer and Verena Rohrer taking out the contest was all time. I couldn't have wished for a better pair if you look at it as the changing of the guard. I can't tell you how proud I am for both of them."
Rohrer -- a 16 year-old rider from Sattel, Switzerland -- lead the women's field after the first run with a score of 84.60, a score that would stand up through three rounds of competition to fend off French rider Clémence Grimal and Japanese rider Akiko Miwa. Celia Miller, the only American rider competing in finals, finished in 7th place.
"I'm really blown away with this win," said Rohrer, an O'Neill team rider also sponsored by Voelkl Snowboards and Deeluxe Boots, in a podium interview after the competition. "I didn't really have any expectations when I arrived in Davos. I only wanted to put my run on the ground and let people see what I can do, so I'm pretty stoked with the result."
Rohrer's winning run featured a big stalefish grab on the first wall, a backside 540 mute grab, frontside 360 tailgrab, Cab 360 melon grab, and frontside 540. "I wanted to get a 7 into my final run, but apart from that it's the run I've been working on so it's pretty much exactly what I wanted to do," she said. "I've just found out this result has pushed me into third place on the World Snowboard Tour's halfpipe ranking. I'm blown away!"
Rohrer's an up-and-coming rider to pay attention to in the lead-up to the 2014 Olympics: she also won first place in both TTR 2Star rounds of the Audi Snowboard Series at Davos Jakobshorn earlier this month, and won the TTR 3Star Audi Snowboard Series Junior Open in Laax, Switzerland in December. American riders Arielle Gold and Kelly Clark, who both skipped the O'Neill Evolution event to focus on next week's Winter X Games Aspen (a TTR 6Star event) currently hold the top spots in the women's World Snowboard Tour halfpipe ranking.
O'Neill Evolution's main event, the two-day TTR 6Star men's and women's Big Air competition, will be webcast live on Friday and Saturday morning at www.oneill.com/evolution starting at 10:00 Central European Time (4 a.m. ET) on Friday and 12:00 CET (6 a.m. ET) on Saturday.
Men's Halfpipe Results
1. Jan Scherrer (SUI) 91.40
2. Kyle Mack (USA) 80.20
3. Hiroki Suwa (JPN) 78.00
4. Shuhei Osanai (JPN) 75.80
5. Aluan Ricciardi (FRA) 74.80
6. Gian Simmen (SUI) 69.00
7. Johannes Hoepfl (GER) 68.00
8. Hunter Wood (USA) 67.60
9. Yannick Imboden (SUI) 66.40
10. Fabian Fassnacht (SUI) 59.60
11. David Djité (SUI) 49.80
12. Michael Schärer (SUI) 26.20
Women's Halfpipe Results:
1. Verena Rohrer (SUI) 84.60
2. Clémence Grimal (FRA) 80.80
3. Akikio Miwa (JPN) 74.60
4. Emma Bernard (FRA) 71.20
5. Lia-Mara Bösch (SUI) 68.00
6. Silvana Clavpuot (SUI) 59.40
7. Celia Miller (USA) 52.40
8. Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) 48.20
9. Christine Szumovski (AUT) 35.80
10. Katie Blundell (GBR) 26.80