Oakley Rails London
It is said that all distances in London are measured from Trafalgar Square. Therefore it would be fair to say, “the centre of London was shut down….to have a snowboard competition!” Quite a beautiful thing to witness indeed! Even more beautiful again was that out of the 36 riders invited from around the world, 13 Oakley team riders were included. They were; Scott McMorris, Tyler Chorlton, Heikki Sorsa, Eero Ettala, Florian Burgel, Alex Evequez, Viktor Hjartson, Eiki Helgason, Gulli Gudmundsson, Marie France Roy, Aaron Bittner, Stu Edwards and Sam Cullum.
In the days leading up to the event, as riders arrived from all over the place, the Oakley UK team took on a seek-and-destroy schedule. Starting in Covent Garden at the London O-Store’s very first signing session, Finland’s Heikki Sorsa and Eero Ettala and the U.K’s Scott McMorris and Tyler Chorlton pulled in the hardcore snowboard fans.
Later that day, following the signing, the two U.K. pros (Scott and Tyler) hit nearly every landmark from the O-Store to Trafalgar Square in hope of capturing their first lifestyle advert. The day was rounded out with the official competition draw and gourmet pizzas for dinner, as the substantial Rail Storm structure received its final touches.
The following morning, and the dawn of the event, the international field of press and snowboarders were gathered in Trafalgar Square. From here the crowd was taken on a short walk down The Mall to view the UK premiere of “The Community Project” at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. A very fitting start to the day, as it distracted the competitors’ from their nerves, and pumped them up to ride.
Well in the end, Finland got their revenge on Sweden after closely following them through each group to finish second, and surprise, surprise the winners were the USA. All I recall is Eero stomping something ridiculous, and leaving them with the win, if only the U.S. would fall! But to no avail as the last rider for USA was Oakley’s Aaron Bittner who had to have been the most consistent performer throughout the event and handled the pressure with ease!! The Finish team including Oakley’s Heikki Sorsa and Eero Etalla took away 10 ounces of gold bars and the Swedes with 5 ounces! But the big congratulations goes to Oakley Inc’s Aaron Bittner along with the USA’s Eddie Wall and Mike Casanova, who took away 20 ounces of gold bars worth £17,000! Not a bad day at work!
Witnessing the centre of London covered in snow had to include a big celebration for such an achievement. Boy was it done with some style! London’s super club was transformed as all sponsors involved occupied dedicated rooms for the after party, and have one guess who it was that again outshone the rest! Oakley UK invited their numerous UK rap and grime artists including, L-Star, Mr Mouth, Hindzy D, J2K, The Mitchell Brother and DJ Wonder to entertain the international guests!
Well now it’s Monday, everyone looks like they had a good time! But it wasn’t until the riders were boarding the airport shuttle buses that it became truly apparent! No one wanted to leave! With several riders saying it was the ‘best’ and ‘most fun’ they have had at an event! Praise that will stay with all the crew involved for a very long time!
For more photos and vid clips check out www.redbullrailstorm.co.uk