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FWT is back

The Freeride World Tour announces dates and competition venues. It visits Norway for the first time. Nissan leaves as main sponsor; rounds in Russia and the USA are not yet confirmed.

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The Freeride Wolrd Tour is now in its fifth season and culminates with the biggest event in the freeride calendar, the Verbier Xtreme on the Bec des Rosses

Nissan has dropped out as the main sponsor and Swatch, that has been a long-time partner of the event, takes over.

The 2011/12 tour starts in Chamonix and then goes to Fieberbrunn in Austria, Røldal in Norway and finishes at Verbier. Last year there were six events this year it looks like being just 4.

There will be over 30 qualifier events.

The organisers hope there will still be events at Sochi in Russia and in the USA but nothing is confirmed.

FWT in Chamonix

FWT in Chamonix

The men’s skiing line-up will feature big mountain specialist and two-time World Champion Aurelien Ducroz. He will be challenged once again by Reine Barkered, Samuel Anthamatten from Zermatt and the Swede and former winner,  Henrik Windtsedt. 

In the women’s event now has three rounds and the reigning World Champion Janette Hargin will be battling it out with USA’s Angel Collinson and the New Zealander,  Janina Kuzma.

In the men’s snowboarding event the Frenchman, Xavier de le Rue, will once again be the man to beat. The Austrians, Mitch Toelderer and Flo Orley, will be challenging him as will the British snowboarder James Stentiford.

James is a veteran of the UK snowboarding scene and put in a good performance last year in St Moritz where he came 5th. 

PlanetSKI was at the event and spoke to him afterwards.

Regular readers will know that PlanetSKI has followed the Freeride World Tour since its early days and our content editor, James Cove, was part of the media judging panel back in 2009 in Tignes.

In the women’s snowboarding the Swiss rider, Anne-Flore Marxer, impressed everyone in her rookie season taking the World title at the first attempt but will face stiff competition from Germany’s Aline Bock and a field of contenders from both sides of the Atlantic.

Expect the local girl and snowboard legend, Geraldien Fasnacht, to make an appearance on the Bes des Rosses as a wild card entry.

She is a good friend of ours at PlanetSKI.

“This fifth season promises many things. The riders’ performance improves every year and we’ll undoubtedly see the bar raised even further in 2012.  We have a first-ever Norwegian tour-stop, where we’ll be working closely with a very experienced group of local organisers and we will be launching an Expo and Test at three tour stops – Chamonix Mont-Blanc, Fieberbrunn and Verbier,” said the founder and main organiser of the FWT, Nicolas Hale-Woods. “We will continue to actively support the 30+ qualifier events around the world and encourage the next generation of riders with three Juniors stops.  I’m also absolutely delighted to see Swatch alongside us as well as so many ski industry partners.” 

PlanetSKI will be at a FWT press event in London next week so we will bring you more news and an interview with the British snowboarder, James Stentiford.

In the meantime we will bring you the videos of the winning runs from last winter later on Thursday so check back for those to see what the event is all about.

The FWT – 2012

1. Freeride World Tour, Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2012 by Swatch

Dates: 21- 27 January; Location: Chamonix (FRA)

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

2. Freeride World Tour, Røldal 2012 by Swatch

Dates: 25 February – 01 March; Location: Røldal (NOR)

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

3. Freeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn 2012 by Swatch

Dates: 09 -15 March; Location: Fieberbrunn (AUT)

Disciplines: Men’s Ski and Snowboard

4. Freeride World Tour, Verbier 2012 by Swatch

Dates: 24 March – 01 April; Location: Verbier (SUI)

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

For the spirit of the mountains

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