The final day of action at the FIS Snowboard World Cup Mammoth Mountain went down in a big way on Saturday, with slopestyle finals closing out a jam-packed week with a hugely entertaining competition, and Jamie Anderson and Dusty Henrickson made the home crowd proud with impressive victories.
Mammoth was blessed with near-perfect weather all week, and on Saturday it was the most beautiful day yet, with t-shirt temperatures and blue sky overhead. Mother Nature did take a moment to remind everyone on hand in California that she still rules with a small, mid-competition earthquake, but we’ll get to that later.
Anderson victorious while earthquake rattles women’s competition
Riding in her first slopestyle World Cup since 2017, two-time reigning Olympic champion Anderson was the standout of the women’s field from her first day of training to her winning run of the competition, with her smooth and powerful style putting her a cut above on the challenging Mammoth course.
In her first run of the two-run final Anderson started out on the rails with a stylish backside lipslide, into a boardslide through the double kink rail, and then a boardslide 270 out on the rainbow rail.
Through the jumps she went backside 540 indy on the tough quarterpipe-esque wing jump, into a cab underflip 540 on the first table, and finally a frontside 720 mute to finish things off, earning herself a score of 83.40 and her ninth career World Cup win.
“Coming to Mammoth after X Games is really nice because it’s really positive energy in California,” said Jamie. “It’s warm, our whole team’s here, and I love competing in the Grand Prix. To be able to put down my first run and stay in first and have the chance to take a victory lap feels amazing. What made today even more special was my dad, my doctor, my first ever coach, and a lot of good people were able to come out to support today.”
Second place on the day with a score of 76.16 went to Laurie Blouin (CAN), and while her stand-out second run that included a cab double 900 mute on the final hit was impressive and well-worthy of the podium, perhaps the most incredible part of her run was the fact that a magnitude 4.7 earthquake shook Mammoth Mountain just as she was pointing it towards her final hit.
While Blouin herself didn’t feel the quake - getting ready to throw a cab double 900 takes a lot of focus - those gathered around the slopestyle course sure did, and the earth’s rumbling added something of a surreal feeling to the rest of the day’s riding.
Just behind Blouin in third place with a score of 75.83 was Katie Ormerod (GBR), who took her third-straight slopestyle World Cup podium with a super smooth run that featured the best women’s rail line, with a half-cab 50-50, 50-50 to frontside boardslide, and a boardslide pretzel out. With Saturday’s performance Ormerod maintained her lead atop the World Cup slopestyle rankings, and now has 2000 points to Blouin’s 1200.
First World Cup win an early birthday present for Henricksen
With his 17th birthday coming up on Sunday, young Dusty Henricksen gave himself an early birthday present on Saturday when he took down his first World Cup podium in what was only his second career World Cup competition.
A member of the US rookie team, Henricksen made it known from his first World Cup competition in Laax that he’s already looking to be amongst the world’s elite when he qualified there in first place amongst a field of the world’s elite.
This week in Mammoth his riding doubled down on that fact, as he once again came into finals as the top qualifier, where he then dropped the highest score of the competition with the final run of the day.
Putting down a frontside 270 on 270 off on the first rail, into a gap hardway cab 270 bringback on the double kink, and a boardslide 270 tailgrab out on the rainbow rail through his rail section, Henricksen then went through the jump section with a double cork 900 mute off the toes on the wing jump, into a cab 1260 nose grab, and finally a triple cork 1440 mute to finish things off for a score of 84.51.
“I’m ecstatic to pull up to Mammoth where I grew up riding and walk away with my first win,” Dusty said in disbelief, “I honestly couldn’t ask for more. It could not have been a better day or a better course. It’s super flowy, fun, and fast. It meant the world to have all my boys and supporters out here watching.”
Henricksen jumped into the World Cup lead with Saturday’s performance, and now has 1290 points to Mammoth third-place finisher Judd Henkes’ 1200.
Second place in another incredible performance went to Ryoma Kimata of Japan - a 17-year-old competing in the first World Cup slopestyle of his career. With a run that included a switch backside 270 on 270 out on the first rail and a mindbending cab triple cork 1440 mute on the final hit, Kimata’s score of 83.83 looked well on its way to being the winner before Henricksen came through with his last-run heroics.
As mentioned, third place on the day went to the USA’s Henkes with a score of 79.56. The elder statesman of Saturday’s podium at the ripe old age of 18, Henkes’ run included a switch backside 1260 mute into a backside triple cork 1440 on the final two jumps to earn him his second World Cup podium of 2019/20 to go along with his third-place in Laax.