News Headlines     |     
Feb
23

Email

WATCHING THE FREERIDE WORLD TOUR - James Cove, Fieberbrunn, the Tirol, Austria
Saturday February 23, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

If there is a better snowsport sporting event for spectators we can't think of one. Well, not at the moment anyway. UPDATED


 


 

 

The third leg has taken place in the Austrian resort of Fieberbrunn in the Tirol this weekend on Saturday 23rd February.

Some of the best male and female freeriders in the world have been throwing themselves down this slope.

The WildseeloderThe Wildseeloder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch as Leo Slemett from France takes some turns.

And here are the highlights of the men's snowboard event.

We will be posting videos of all the winning runs later today, Sunday, so do check back.

And we were watching it all from a snow grandstand built for us spectators, opposite the competition face.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though some had managed to find something slightly more comfortable and warmer on the backside for the spectacle - a large bean bag.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event started around 9AM so first for me there was the small matter of breakfast.

Morning All!Morning All!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a fabulous view across to the competition slope.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The crowd was many hundred strong - some staying for all the rounds, others just passing through to soak up the experience and the atmosphere.

I was not surprised to see many freeriders in the crowd.

The skis at the entrance gave it away - big, fat and wide.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I didn't expect  to see such a wide cross section of skiers and snowboarders coming to enjoy the event.

I saw several of the rounds of the FWT a decade or so ago as I have described in this earlier article as I arrived in Fieberbrunn on Friday for the event.

Back then there was minority interest in freeride skiing - pretty much all the spectators were gnarly freeriders and just a handful of others passed through, more out of curiosity than interest.

Not so nowdays.

All types were watching and in the crowd.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most bring binoculars to get a close up view of the backflips, cliff jumps and tricks from some of the best freeriders on the planet.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But in case you think it was all too far away and could only be enjoyed through binoculars, not so.

We had a video screen for close ups of the action.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And these guys, Bernd Krainbucher and Martin Winkler, gave us a running commentary.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They explained the judging system, the tricks being pulled plus who the riders were and their standings in this year's competition.

And just in case you are wondering they are judged on Line, Fluidity, Control, Air & Style and Technique.

The expert commentary they gave hugely enhanced the specatacle.

Fieberbrunn has seen huge amounts of snow this year, 4m in January alone, so the riders were able to take lines never seen before in competition in the resort.

And there was music laid on too.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And though all eyes were on the freeride action in between the runs it was fabulous to look elsewhere too, as this part of the Tirol is rather stunning.

It was a perfect mountain setting.

Fieberbrunn, the Tirol, AustriaFieberbrunn, the Tirol, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, the Tirol, AustriaFieberbrunn, the Tirol, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, the Tirol, AustriaFieberbrunn, the Tirol, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I also managed to find myself a comfortable vantage point after a bit of 'deck chair liberation'.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And in between runs I reflected on the last time I has sat in a deck chair at an edition of the Freeride World Tour.

It was 10 years ago - March 2009.

Taking my responsibilites seriouslyFreeride World Tour, Tignes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a judge's deck chair and I had some influence on the results as I was part of a selected media panel adding their views into the mix.

Though a decade on perhaps I need to get myself a new rucksack. Wink

All in all a stunning spectator's day.

I will be reporting about the resort of Feiberbrunn later in this article, but next it was the awards ceremony in town.

I took pole position - with some more breakfast liquid sustenance.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But before that there is one thing I have forgotten to mention.

I haven't revealed the cost of a ticket to watch the event from the spectator's zone with all its benefits.

And the reason I haven't mention the price?

There isn't one.

It's free.

As I said, I can't think of a better snowsports sporting event for spectators.

And if you want to know what the freeriding in Fieberbrunn is like for us mere mortals then check out this report as I visited a few years back:

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fieberbrunn, AustriaFieberbrunn, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, as promised, the all-important results.

The resultsThe results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SKI MEN

Markus Eder (ITA-1st Place)

He continued his 2019 world title campaign with a beautifully floated 360 at the top of the venue with tons of exposure below.

He put in a fast and smooth middle section with plenty more air time, a very creative floaty transfer, and a massive backflip at the bottom for another well deserved win.

Markus EderMarkus Eder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Amazing moment and I'm really happy. It's the first time in three years of competing here that I was able to do the line I wanted. It's crazy to have had three good comps in a row!"  - Markus Eder

Andrew Pollard (USA-2nd Place)

He had a solid run with a smooth step up 360, a nicely floated corked 360 and smooth skiing from top to bottom.

Léo Slemett (FRA-3rd Place)

The last rider to go, opened up a new, very steep and exposed line at the top sticking a huge double air.

He followed by fast riding through the middle and a beautiful backflip at the bottom for a strong run.

Ski MenSki Men

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNOWBOARD MEN

Victor De Le Rue (FRA-1st Place)

He charged into top of venue throwing a big 360 over tons of exposure, which he followed by a huge air, another 360 and then yet another 360 to cap off an amazing run.

He spent most of the time spinning consecutive front and backside 360s.

Victor de la RueVictor de le Rue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I was really impressed by everyone's runs, hitting so many features, so I added a few features to my run and I ended up first! I'm super stoked."  - Victor De Le Rue

Dave Baird (USA-2nd Place)

He wowed judges and viewers with a beautiful sequence of two huge back to back airs at the top of the venue, followed by smooth riding and a couple more nice airs through the finish.

Sammy Luebke (USA-3rd Place)

He had a hard charging run carrying tons of speed through the top and stuck a nicely floated 360 in the middle section for a solid run.

Snowboard menSnowboard Men

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SKI WOMEN

Hedvig Wessel (NOR-1st Place)

She took the win by pointing her skis into a big and fast top air, then stomped a smooth middle air, and cemented her spot at the top podium with a huge backflip at the bottom.

Hedwig WesselHedvig Wessel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Being able to be on top of these amazing mountains gives me so much energy. I'm really thankful to be on the Freeride World Tour, and to ski with these amazing girls. I did the line I wanted and a backflip so I'm really happy."  - Hedvig Wessel

Jacqueline Pollard (USA-2nd Place)

She stuck airs in every part of the venue and applied her big mountain style and smooth technique to a great run overall.

Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI-3rd Place)

She strung together smooth airs all the way down the mountain for a highly fluid run.

Ski womenSki Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNOWBOARD WOMEN

Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place)

She was the last rider to go for the day and did not disappoint with a steep and technical top section.

There were multiple airs linked together through the middle and two clean bottom airs to take the win and further cement her spot in the overall rankings.

Marion HaertyMarion Haerty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I saw that line last year and really wanted to do it. I'm super stoked, feel so emotional right now and confident for the next one." - Marion Haerty

Anna Orlova (RUS-2nd Place)

She chose a very technical line at the top, which she executed smoothly followed by a couple of smooth airs.

Erika Vikander (USA-3rd Place)

She had a smooth run with a nice looking surf slash style and a clean air at the bottom.

Snowboard WomenSnowboard Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later we will be bringing you videos of all the winning runs, and more.

So, do check back to see what all the fuss has been about...

And I give the last word to the CEO of the Freeride World Tour, Nicolas Hale-Woods.

"The Freeride World Tour feels at home in Fieberbrunn - today was one of the best Freeride World Tour events ever," he said at the awards ceremony.

Freeride World Tour, FieberbrunnFreeride World Tour, Fieberbrunn




























And after events at Hakuba in Japan and Kicking Horse in Canada there are two more FWT events left this season.

At Arcalis in Andorra from 2nd March and the finale at Verbier in Switzerland from 23rd March.

Now if you are interested in Fieberbrunn as a ski holiday destination it isn't all about freeriding.

"Fieberbrunn is home to beautiful scenery, great skiing and a fantastic snow record," said James Bisson from the UK ski tour agent, Iglu.

"The north-facing slopes mean conditions often remain excellent well into April and with the high speed ‘Tirol S' gondola connecting Saalbach-Hinterglemm there are over 270kms of pistes to explore."

"As well as the freeriding it offers something for all levels of skiers and boarders to keep you entertained for a week's holiday."

"With a wide variety of other activities, restaurants, and some options for traditional Austrian après, Fieberbrunn really is a hidden Austrian gem."

Iglu has some reductions on the Austria Trend Hotel Alpine Resort which is in a great location.

Based on 2 sharing (half board) it's £789 down from £1,019 including flights from Gatwick.

And of course Fieberbrunn is linked into the Ski Circus - the resorts of Saalbach, Hinterglemm and Leogang.

We popped over for a ski after the FWT.

So there it is Fieberbrunn and the Freeride World Tour.

Quiet a decent combination in our opinion at PlanetSKI.

And if you are a regular reader you will now that PlanetSKI is based in Innsbruck for the rest of the winter.

This isn't the only world-class sporting event we're visiting.

This week we're heading to the Nordic World Champions in Seefeld to cheer on GB's Andrew Musgrave.

And it looks like he has found time to have a chat with us afterwards at the team's hotel.

Plus we are going to watch the ski jumping in Innsbruck, at the legendary Bergisel.

Ski jumping at the BergiselSki jumping at the Bergisel

























Ski jumping at the BergiselSki jumping at the Bergisel

























So, how will they compare to the FWT?

I'm going try to keep an open mind but it's going to be hard.

The FWT in Fieberbrunn really was just 'one of those days'.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

Related Articles

FIS SIGNS UP TO UN CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVE (Saturday September 28, 2019)
VONN CRASHES OUT (Thursday September 19, 2019)
SNOW CANNONS TESTED FOR SUMMER OLYMPICS (Wednesday September 18, 2019)
PARALYMPIC DREAM FOR GB ARMY VETERAN (Tuesday September 17, 2019)
GB ALPINE CHAMPS RETURN TO TIGNES (Monday September 16, 2019)
PARALYMPIC FEMALE SNOWBOARDER: THE SEARCH IS ON (Wednesday September 11, 2019)


With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners