First TAC Qualifier
Following the success from last season, Breckenridge will host a specialty Quarterpipe contest once again at the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix on December 16th, 2006. The best Quarterpipe riders in North America will compete for three spots to Terje Haakonsen’s legendary contest; The Oakley Arctic Challenge (TAC).
Oakley Sports Marketing Manager, Matty Swanson initiated this specific qualifier, and states, “Breckenridge puts on one of the best Quarterpipe events in the world. It will definitely showcase some of the best transition riders in North America.”
Big transition events are growing in number all over the world from Japan to The States. The thrilling action of a Quarterpipe contest and easy-to-understand format makes it exciting for riders, spectators and TV-viewers. Based on the success of last year’s Quarterpipe speculate in Breckenridge, TAC looks to capitalize by inviting the top three riders from this year’s event.
“There are two elements that must be in place to make this year’s TAC event a true success: First, the perfect arena and second, the ultimate rider list. By partnering with an exclusive group of events as the Grand Prix in Breckenridge, we know we’re getting the best riders out there.” Henning Andersen, CEO of TAC explains.
Earning a spot to The Oakley Arctic Challenge will come in many forms. The first list of invitees will come from the Top 10 on the TTR (Ticket To Ride) rankings from last season. In addition, three chosen contests will be producing nine more riders for this year’s event in Norway, by inviting the top three finishers from each. The first contest is the Paul Mitchell Progression Session Quarterpipe during the Grand Prix in Breckenridge this weekend, followed by the O’Neill Evolution in Davos, January 2007, and the third round of invites coming from an undisclosed venue in the Nordic taking place in early February. Finally, Terje Haakonsen will announce the remaining spots with wildcards – bringing the total to 24 riders for the 2007 Oakley Arctic Challenge.
“Oakley has been a proud supporter of Terje and his events. TAC has proved pivotal in the development of the snowboard contest scene globally. As title sponsor, we are more excited than ever to be apart of this years event,” says Pat McIlvain, Director of Global Sports Marketing for Oakley.
2007 is expected to be quite a showdown, with more resources being provided than ever before by title sponsor Oakley. This year’s format for The Oakley Arctic Challenge will allow the competitors six days to ride the Quarterpipe in the hopes that one of them will make a new world record and hit the 10-meter mark. The Oakley Arctic Challenge is set to begin on Monday, February 26 with the finals taking place on Saturday, March 3. The event will be giving out 50,000 dollars in prize money as well as the prestigious Oakley 24 karat Gold “Timebomb” watch for first rider reaching 10 meters or higher from the Quarterpipe deck. All eyes will be focused on beating current world record holder Heikki Sorsa’s infamous 9.3-meter air from 2001.