And So It Begins
As the reigning TAC Champion (Kevin Pearce) defeated the current world number one (Risto Mattila) at roshambo to be the first guinea pig to hit the Holmenkollen Arena Quarterpipe, The 2008 Oakley Arctic Challenge was officially underway. Known to many as the best transition contest in snowboarding, TAC has moved back to it’s home from the 2001 event, which saw Heikki Sorsa set the “then” World Record air of 9.3 meters.
Yesterday’s practice was a mellow / fun vibe with the sun being out the majority of the session. The young guns were charging while the veterans of the field took their time to settle into what looks to be another record setting year. Claus and his crew once again should be congratulated on producing a near flawless quarterpipe. Aside from a slight speed factor and an unusually warm temperature for this time of year in Oslo, the riders were boosting for the first day.
After about two hours into the session everyone seemed to take a break, while at the same time Terje Haakonsen decided to start hitting the transition. The best part being that Mr. Haakonsen chose to hike the Holmenkollen stairs to get back to the top of the drop in. Not sure if you realize how much of a hike this is, but watching a Viking hit the quarterpipe a half dozen times all the while earning each run by climbing to the top was a site to see (everyone else took the car escort to the drop in area).
With day one in the books its anyone’s guess as to when the 10 meter mark will fall, but one thing is certain this field has enough transition riding fire power to pull it off and take home the Gold Oakley Timebomb watch.
Check back here daily to get the report on the days events from the people here at Oakley that are on site as well as Preston Strout’s webcast coverage.