Team Americas wins Skier's Cup
A Win for the Americas
Team Americas was crowned the champion at the fourth edition of the Swatch Skier's Cup this week in Zermatt, Switzerland. Sixteen of the world's best freeriders teamed up to compete in the contest. Here, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Seth Morrison scope lines on the backcountry slopestyle course.
Warm conditions and a lack of recent snow continued to challenge the event's organizers. Taking advantage of a weather window, the backcountry slopestyle event took place with Nicolas Vuignier putting together a consistent run to defeat Sage Cattabriga-Alosa in his first heat.
The team captains, Canadian JP Auclair from Team Americas and Frenchman Julien Regnier from Team Europe, pitted skiers against each other over two rounds. American Tim Durtschi lost his first heat to Austrian Fabio Studer, but Durtschi claimed demption in his second run defeating France's Sam Favret.
Each pairing was judged with the winning line being awarded a point to go toward the final result. Team Americas here with a unanimous vote.
Team Europe built a 5-3 lead going into the second round with Fabien Maierhofer taking an impressive line to beat Callum Pettit in their heat.
It wasn't long until America turned up the heat, winning four heats in a row to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 7-5 lead. Sage Cattabriga-Alosa floats a lofty 180 at the end of his run, defeating Kevin Guri in the process.
Taking the Win
With Team Americas gaining momentum it seemed fitting that captain JP Auclair would steal the trick of the day with a perfectly laid out double backflip. His teammates show their elation as he takes the final point to make it 9-7 at the end of the backcountry slopestyle day.
No Big-Mountain Day
The second element of the event was to be a big mountain day. Having had to settle on an alternative face, a skiers' meeting was held to discuss the suitability of the venue. High winds, warm temperatures and a variable snowpack eventually led to this portion of the competition being canceled.
Despite the cancelation of the big-mountain day, each skier took a run down the face with France's Richard Permin airing out of the lower terrain section.
"Sure it's disappointing, as we wanted a chance to make a comeback," Team Europe's captain Julien Regnier said about the big-mountain day's cancelation. "We tried everything possible to find the ideal venue but sometimes in the mountains you try everything and it still doesn't work out."
Until Next Year
The cancellation of the big mountain meant that Team Americas won 9-7 with only the slopestyle points counting toward the result. With the series now tied at 2-2, the teams look set to face each other again at next year's confirmed event.