Winsport Canada Olympic Park was blessed with the sun over a heavy action packed week of the Air Nation Freestyle Nationals presented by Mazda and Burton. The sun glazed slopes and groovy tunes bellowed from the awards deck stereo resembling that of a summer snowboard camp and the soft corn snow found on a glacier. Former National Halfpipe Team athlete Mercedes Nicoll (North Vancouver, BC) and Christopher Ludwig (Calgary, AB) graced the riders with trick naming and oo's and ahhh's throughout the week.
The first event to kick things off took to two – perfectly manicured - 22ft walls. Snow was solid but sun kissed enough to edge with ease. Starting with the women we saw Brooke D’hondt (Calgary, AB) stole the show with amplitude and stylish method’s including back to back 540’s and a frontside 720. Na-Yoon Lee (KOR) impressed the crowd with stylish spins and large amplitude throughout her runs. In bronze we had Kamilla Kozuback (Calgary, AB) who performed backside 540 to land her spot on the podium.
Rider: Brooke D'hondt / Photo: Mike Hopkins
L>R (Na-yoon Lee in 2nd / Brooke D'hondt in 1st / Kamilla Kozuback in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
The men seemed to be on a mission to enter a new stratosphere with some of the largest airs seen at an Air Nation Nationals. Redefining new heights was Kiran Pershad (Ontario) with a massive 12-15ft frontside 540 and frontside 900 in his run landing him with Silver, Shawn Fair (Calgary, AB) put down arguably the most technical run with a frontside 900, backside double Michaelchuk, frontside double 1080 and a stylish Haakon 720 tail grab to finish. Jack Collins threw down an impressive run with a large fs 900, bs 900, frontside cork 720 and ending his run with a Haakon flip 720 to round out the day for pipe.
R: Kiran Pershad boosting / P: Mike Hopkins Photography
L>R (Kiran Pershad in 2nd / Shawn Fair in 1st / Jack Collins in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
Riders ages 12 and under got to showcase their skills under the lights at the Mazda Super Grom on mini slopestyle course. Next Gen riders dressed in Star Wars costumes and assumed the role of judges while these mini rippers showcased their skills off the jumps and boxes, looking to impress their snowboard idols. In between runs riders were acquainted with a fire pit on the awards deck where serious smore session’s ensued. The awards deck turned into dance party before the highly anticipated prizing was given out to the many age categories accompanying the night.
P: Mike Hopkins Photography
P: Mike Hopkins Photography
The following day was the senior slopestyle contest taking place on Winsport’s east line with a fun -3 rail- section at the top with three 55ft jumps that allowed the riders to initiate a no-holds-barred approach allowing them to showcase their bigger tricks. Nic Laframboise (St-Jean, QC) grabbed gold with a backside 270 on the down bar, frontside 270 sameway, cab 270, cab double 900, frontside double 1080, and a backside double 1080. Jack MacDougall (Grande Prarie, AB) slide into Silver with fs 270 on, front board 450 sameway, cab 270 on 270 out, cab 900 double, front double 1080, and a backside 1080 double. Finn Finestone (Whistler, BC) followed suit with an impressive cab double 900, Front 1080 melon, backside double 1080.
R: Finn Finestone / P: Mike Hopkins
L>R (Jack MacDougall in 2nd / Nic Laframboise in 1st / Finn Finestone in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
On the ladies side the crown went to Jasmine Baird (Georgetown, ON) with a switch fs lip to regular, front lip to pretzel, switch front board same-ways on the teardrop rail, followed by a cab underflip 540, backside 720, and a frontside 360. Silver went to Sommer Gendron (Toronto, ON) with a switch board to regular, 50-50 frontside 360 out, back board to switch, Cab 540, Backside 360, frontside360. Jackie Carlson (Whistler, BC) started the run off in similar fashion with switch lip to regular, frontside lipside, backboard to switch, with a switch backside 540 (cork), frontside 360, followed by a backside 360.
R: Jackie Carlson / P: Mike Hopkins
L>R (Sommer Gendron in 2nd / Jasmine Baird in 1st / Jackie Carlson in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
Friday night marked the banquet at the Olympic Hall of Fame building where riders were greeted by an entrance way illuminated with Air Nation Nationals – presented by Mazda and Burton – logo. Food was prepared by Spolumbo’s Fine Food & Deli over a fun night of awards and volunteer acknowledgements. Prizing for a fun day in the halfpipe for Pipe Fest only moments early was presented by the National Halfpipe Team with awards going to ‘Best Coach Challenge’ - Josh Duncan - and Best Women’s Trick’ – Brook D’hondt and ‘Family Jam Award’ – Team Stastook took the ‘W’, Winsport Development 9 Team placed 2nd, and Stacey Burke and her adopted fellow boarders Jordan MacIsaac and Brooke D’hondt placed 3rd.
The Big Air event took place Saturday, making it home to the first ever triple cork in competition at an Canadian National Championships. Nic Laframboise (St-Jean, QC) took to the sky with a winning combo in a best-of-two out-of-3 jump format with a backside 1260 and a frontside triple cork 1440, in silver Will Buffey (Toronto, ON) performed a cab 1260 and a frontside 1080. The bronze went to Jack MacDougall (Grande Prairie, AB) with a backside 1260 and a frontside 1080.
R: Francis Jobin / P: Mike Hopkins
L>R (William Buffey in 2nd / Nic Laframboise in 1st / Jack MacDougall in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
On the women’s side Jasmine Baird (Georgetown, ON) landed the top spot with a backside 720 and a cab 540, silver went to Baily McDonald (Barrie, ON) with a backside 540 and frontside 540, and Marguerite Sweeney (Lévis, QC) performed a frontside 360 and a backside 360 to grab bronze.
R: Baily McDonald / P: Mike Hopkins
L>R (Baily McDonald in 2nd / Jasmine Baird in 1st / Margurite Sweeney in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
An uncharacteristic change in weather from the sunny event days prior led to a mix of fog and moisture to the west line to kick off the Junior Slopestyle event. The course consisted of 3 jumps followed by a two feature rail line. However due to limited visibility of jump number 1 the jury decided to rule out jump 1 as a judged feature the course shifted to a two jump - two rail competition. On the women’s side Juliette Pelchat (Whistler, BC) performed a frontside 540 into a cab 540, 50-50 front 360 out, and finishing with a front lipslide. Brooke D’hondt (Calgary, AB) landed yet another podium spot and solidified silver with a front 360 to back 540 jump combo. The bronze medal performance went to Madison Gale (Barrie, ON) with a backside 360, frontside 360, 50-50, back blunt same-way 270 out.
P: Mike Hopkins Photography
L>R (Brooke D'hondt in 2nd / Juliette Pelchat in 1st / Madison Gale in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
On the men’s side we had Liam Brearley(Gravenhurst, ON) sweep the gold with a backside 900, switch backside 900, front 270 on 270 out, and hardwaycab 270 on. In silver went to Truth Smith (Whistler, BC) with backside 900, cab 900, front board 450 out, sw lip 270 out. The bronze medal performance went to Liam Gill (Calgary, AB) with a frontside720 and one of the only riders to successfully land a double cork variation –a backside double 1080 – on the west line this day.
R: Lane Weaver / P: Mike Hopkins
L>R (Truth Smith in 2nd / Liam Brearely in 1st / Liam Gill in 3rd) P: Mike Hopkins
To see full results for the 2019 Air Nation Freestyle Nationals presented by Mazda & Burton: >>FULL RESULTS<<