Oakley Women Own European Open

photo_15219_630x-1_0

Oakley’s female skiers owned the podium at the Orage European Freeski Open in Laax, Switzerland, winning both the women’s Slopestyle and the women’s halfpipe contests.

Saturday’s bountiful pageant at the Orage European Freeski Open by Swatch included both men’s and women’s slopestyle semi-finals and finals. Eleven women and 48 men battled wind, icy conditions, variable light and the rest of the field, as they vied for the top spots. But in the end, it was Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut and Canada’s Kaya Turski who ended up on top, taking home cash and prizes worthy of such a great open event.

Ladies first. The girls stepped it up in their finals, notably on the guitar box, spinning on and off the feature, as they rocketed towards the halfpipe features. Multiple women threw down 720s, including Aspen’s Whitney Wickes. Eva Patscheider lip-slid the guitar box to get things started on her way to third place, while Keri Herman switch 540 and cork 360ed her way to a silver finish. But in the end, it could only be Kaya Turski. Switch on to 270, switch 720 to switch 540 to 540 easily catapulted Kaya straight to the bank, and almost 10 points higher than the next competitor.

Alas, the Orage European Freeski Open by Swatch has come to an end here in beautiful Laax, Switzerland. Under an auspicious sky (read: sun and no wind), the men’s and women’s halfpipe events came to a close today, as we have crowned one new champion and crowned an old-champion, in a new discipline here. On the men’s side, Matt Philippi took it to the international field to take home the W for the good old USA. And on the women’s side, it was none other than Virginie Faivre, who won the previous three Euro Open slopestyle competitions, now winning her 4th title in a row – in halfpipe.

As for Sunday’s halfpipe comp, it was none other than Oakley’s Virginie Faivre, who won the previous three Euro Open slopestyle competitions, now winning her 4th title in a row – in halfpipe. Faivre, who rode with her jacket open (read: pimp steeze), boosted big airs, back-to-back 540s and the 360 to switch alley-oop 540 combo that boosted her score nine points higher than the next woman.

There was no better way to end a great week of events, than with the sun shining and the crowd cheering and the athletes going off. Also, as is tradition, the Banana Bar was constructed to keep onlookers and knocked out athletes refreshed and loose.

As the event almost officially draws to an end, we have to remember that none of this could be possible without Orage, Laax, Swatch, and all the other sponsors. The Orage European Freeski Open by Swatch, a truly international affair, is a wonderful event and hopefully we can crown more Euro Open champs in the future (and see if Virginie can keep her streak alive).

Author

Shay Williams/Freeskier

Date

March 23, 2009