LAAX OPEN 2017 attracts world's best
The world’s snowboarding elite is currently gathering in LAAX this week for one of the most important events in the snowboard scene. And with the qualifiers for both event, halfpipe and slopestyle, in the books, the World Cup staged in the freestyle-driven resort is in full swing.
Right now, 24 men and 12 women in both disciplines have already proceeded to the semi final round starting tomorrow on the 500 metres long creative slopestyle course which was the centre stage of action today.
Despite snowfall in the morning Local Organisers along with FIS Officials were able to run the event as scheduled.
The men's field was split up in four heats and the women's field in two heats, with the top 6 riders of each heat making it into the semi finals.
Austrian Anna Gasser kept the momentum of her last weekend's win at the Kreischberg slopestyle World Cup opener dominating the women's competition in style and earning the highest score of 93.00 points.
However, Olympic champion Jamie Anderson (USA) came close with a 90.50 while her fellow countrywoman Julia Marino brought down the best run in the second heat scoring a 79.75.
In the men's event, things reminded the fans at site of the 2016 LAAX OPEN when the top five riders of the slopestyle finals were all from Canada.
Today, title defender Mark McMorris (CAN; 93.00), Darcy Sharpe (89.25) and Tyler Nicholson (83.50) took the top three spots of heat one with Max Parrot (78.25) and Max Eberhardt (66.50) qualifying from heat two.
The third heat was won by Seb Toots (91.25) while Michael Ciccarelli (83.00) moved to the semis as second best qualifier from heat four.
In total, all seven Canucks survived the qualifier cut while prominent riders like 2014 Olympic silver medallist Staale Sandbech (NOR), who competed in his first event since his injury and Billy Morgan (GBR) didn't make it through.
Halfpipe – a thing for the US, China and Switzerland?
On Monday, all eyes were focused on the perfectly shaped 200 m long superpipe up on Crag Sogn Gion as riders were battling in a two run, best one count format to move into the semis, too.
In the women's event, girls from the US and China stood out with snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim (USA) earning the top score with a 93.75.
In the men’s competition, it's been also US riders impressing with their style and amplitude as Ben Ferguson killed it with a 92.00 for his run.
However, the Swiss roster also looked strong in their home soil event knowing the LAAX superpipe like the back of their hand.
Full results can be viewed online: