SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE 2013 features top Female competitors
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – November 28, 2012 – The first season of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE (FWT) after the unification of the Swatch Freeride World Tour, Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding will bring world-class skiers and snowboarders together on a global big mountain stage. Included on the roster are highly talented feminine freeriders who will put on a great show this coming season in FWT competitions and also at Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Freeride Juniors events.
Highly decorated competitors and athletes, these women come from all aspects of snowboarding and skiing. Many have had vast training with national alpine race teams, freestyle and freeride programs from around the world. Women have been featured in big mountain competitions and films for many years. The continued increase of interest amongst women in the sport as well as recent advances in gear specifically designed for and by women have heightened the female playing field.
Overall women’s 2012 Freeskiing World Tour Champion Crystal Wright (USA) of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, couldn’t be more excited about the merger between the tours and the competition between the female athletes. “It is so cool to have the best athletes from both tours throw down! I am hoping it will help benefit the women with more media coverage and recognition of how strong the women have been skiing the last couple of years,” stated Wright.
Eva Walkner (AUT) who finished 2nd in the 2012 FWT added, “I think the level of women freeskiing has grown enormously over the last couple of years. We’re pushing each other a lot. The girls on the tour are going bigger and faster every year and show a pretty high level of women’s freeskiing.” Walkner continued, “freeskiing is not a just-for-fun sport anymore. In the past few years, it has become more and more professional on a very high level. For a run at the Freeride World Tour we have to know our line very exactly. And the preparation takes time, we need one or two days for only one run. Everything is very professional.”
Freeskiing females are not the only women athletes on the tour. The merger has also combined the top snowboarding ladies. “This tour has given me the opportunity to travel the world and to test my abilities on some of the toughest venues with snowboarding’s most talented athletes,” stated female snowboarding athlete, Shannan Yates (USA) who successfully took part in the FWT and Masters of Snowboarding last winter. “The level of competition from the female athletes continues to impress me. I am so thrilled that I get the privilege to ride with some of the most talented women on snow.”
The women and men kick off the 2013 SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE competition season at Revelstoke, British Columbia, CAN on January 7. The female tour continues onto Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA (Jan. 26), Kirkwood, USA (Feb. 27), Fieberbrunn-PillerseeTal, AUT (March 9), and concludes at Verbier, SUI (March 23).
Pre-qualified Female Athletes:
Christine Hargin – SWE
Eva Walkner – AUT
Janina Kuzma – NZL
Nadine Wallner – AUT
Natalie Segal – AUS
Crystal Wright – USA
Ashley Maxfield – USA
Jackie Paaso – USA
Sonja Lercher – CAN
Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch and jewelry maker and one of the world’s most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its big-brand support for snowboarding, free skiing, FMX and surfing, along with Beach Volleyball. Right from the start, Swatch connected with art and artists, and Swatch watches remain a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines. www.swatch.com
The North Face
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers, and major outdoor specialty retail chains. For more information, go to www.thenorthface.com.
FWT Management SA, based in Lutry/Lausanne-Switzerland, is organizing world-class sports events in mountain resorts and regions since 1996. Founder of “Verbier Xtreme” -iconic event in Freeride skiing & snowboarding -, FWT Management SA has taken the stand-alone Verbier Xtreme event to create Freeride World Tour, Freeride World Qualifying Series, Freeride Junior Series, and a Freeride Skiing Team Competition (Swatch Skiers Cup) with events in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. For further information, please contact: David Carlier, [email protected]
Mountain Sports International
Mountain Sports International (MSI) is a private company, founded in 1997, to develop and produce action/adventure sports events and programming in North America. MSI founded the Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters, The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series, as well as several other properties and concepts. MSI launched MSI Live in 2009, to provide live HD webcast production, content management, encoding, and satellite uplink & delivery. MSI provides event management services, infrastructure and expertise for high-end brands, including The North Face, Burton, Red Bull, Subaru, UFC, and Sierra Nevada. MSI specializes in matching clients with events for brand penetration into target demographics, developing product identification and loyalty. MSI matches brand and culture, company and credibility, to create sought-after events that help to define the action sports culture.