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British rider wins FWT

The snowboarder, Sascha Hamm, has won the first edition of the Freeride World Tour in Arcalis in Andorra.

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It was tough to keep an eye on Londoner, Sascha Hamm, as he hammered a powerful line with big airs right off the summit to take the top spot.

He beat Christoffer Granbom from Sweden into second place while the French rider, Camille Armand, from Chamonix came third.

“Andorra has some really nice terrain but unfortunately there was not a lot of snow depth so loads of hidden rocks to watch out for. I was due to start 5th but didn’t make it up in time so had to start last.  I went for an easy line but quick and fluid and it worked out. I’m very happy to have my first win on the FWT under my belt,” said Sascha to PlanetSKI.

“Last Saturday Minh Becker, a good friend from the Freeride World Qualifier died in an avalanche in Verbier. The win is dedicated to him,” he added.

For further details of the fatal avalanche in Verbier see this PlanetSKI story.

And here is Sascha’s winning run:

We met Sascha in London over the summer – see here for our feature article on the man.

The 2016 edition is the second time the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR makes its appearance in Vallnord-Arcalís.

61 male and female professional riders across two disciplines have made the trip to Andorra for the first out of five stops on this world championship tour.

Riders and spectators alike were treated to blue skies and some high clouds with excellent riding conditions in the Andorran resort.

After a relatively dry start, a recent storm dumped enough snow on the fantastically featured peaks of this ski resort that is quickly becoming the most important freeride destination in the Pyrenees mountains.

Riders made their way to Basser Negre zone after a short climb from the Basera chairlift.

The terraced and feature-dense Coste Negre face offered riders a combination of tight couloirs along with clean run-outs and a multitude of options for taking big air.

From its summit at 2680m, the competition face measures nearly 400m vertical meters at 40° allowing competitors ample opportunity to get creative as they make their way towards the finish line.

After the building anticipation of the summer months, riders were finally able throw down their best lines for the first time this season.

While shady aspects harbored excellent riding conditions, the sun-kissed aspects offered a bit more of a challenge for riders as conditions were less consistent on these faces.

The video feed below shows the full four hours of the Vallnord leg in Arcalis.

The men’s snowboarders are shown in the first section of the FWT webcast.

Hamm's Line

Hamm’s Line in Arcalis

Hamm wins Arcalis

Hamm wins Arcalis

Some of the athletes taking part in Arcalis and one of the Freeride World Tour judges are interviewed in the video below.

Sascha Hamm now moves on to Chamonix as the man to beat in the snowboarding event.

Here is the rest of the FWT schedule.

THE CALENDAR

1. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR VALLNORD ARCALÍS Date: January 23, 2016; Location: Vallnord Arcalís, AND

2. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR CHAMONIX-MONT-BLANC Date: February 6, 2016; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA

3. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR FIEBERBRUNN KITZBÜHELER ALPEN Date: March 6, 2016; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, AUT

4. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR HAINES Date: March 17, 2016; Location: Haines, AK

5. SWATCH XTREME VERBIER Date: April 2, 2016; Location: Verbier, SUI

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

 

For the spirit of the mountains

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