Photos: Amy Jimmerson
Kirkwood, CA, April 8, 2012—Another sunny spring day greeted the world’s best big mountain freeskiers for the final day of competition of the 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (FWT). Host to the World Freeskiing Championships, Kirkwood served as the final stop of the season, with two days of action deciding both the Kirkwood champions and the winners of the McConkey Cup, which is given to the FWT tour champions.
Hosted on the looker’s left-hand side of the “forbidden Cirque”, a permanently closed 1,500-foot run in Kirkwood’s backcountry, the finals venue was littered with rock features and exposure due to the low snow year.
“It was a different venue than we are used to because of the lack of snow, yet performances from our athletes were exceptional,” said Competition Director Ron Pankey.
Heading into the finals, the ladies field was filled with suspense, as the battle for the McConkey Cup came down to Crystal Wright and Angel Collinson’s final run of the season. Posting a huge score of 34.23, Jackson Hole’s Crystal Wright accumulated a combined two-day score of 63.90, which clinched both the event win and the overall 2012 tour championship.
“Winning both today was surreal,” said Wright. “Angel and I had so much fun pushing each other all season. The girl’s game is being upped every year, and it is so great to be a part of this tour.”
Angel Collinson of Snowbird took home second place for both awards, finishing the 2012 season in second overall. Collinson’s strength, athleticism and smart line choice earned her a two-day combined score of 61.27. Holding the third spot on the podium was Australian Natalie Segal, who came back from seventh place after day one. Segal earned a 33.43 in today’s finals, the second highest score of the day, giving her a combined score of 60.93. Finishing third overall this season was Jay Peak’s Ashley Maxfield.
On the men’s Kirkwood’s own Josh Daiek finished the season with a bang, taking the World Freeskiing Championships on his home mountain with a 72.83 and sealing the overall title, winning his first McConkey Cup.
“Daiek hit two of the biggest cliffs of the day, setting himself apart from the pack,” judge Skogen Sprang said of the winner. “He came out of the gate super fast, throwing down a super smooth run.”
Consistent throughout the weekend, Sean Collin of Squaw Valley took second place today with a score of 70.67. Standing third on the podium was Jake Sakson from Aspen Snowmass with a score of 69.77.
Sakson sat in the leader’s “hot seat” much of the day, with his final day score of 38.67 beat only by Daiek. The young telemark skier threw two massive 360s, taking home the final backcountry.com Sickbird belt buckle of the year in addition to his third place at the Championships.
In his first year on the 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour, Fernie’s Dylan Siggers was awarded The North Face Young Gun Overall 2012 winner. The 18-year-old Canadian had an impressive debut, placing second at the Moonlight Basin Qualifier event. This award will allow Siggers entry to the 2013 FWT and a head-to-toe kit from The North Face.
This concludes the 15th year of the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour, the largest and longest running big mountain freesking competition series in the world.
The 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour is presented by: Subaru, The North Face, Sierra Nevada, Black Diamond, Clif Bar, Powder, Comcast Sportsnet, Backcountry.com, Ski Channel and Replay XD.
About Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (FWT) The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour is the largest and longest running competitive big mountain freeskiing tour in the history of the sport with an unprecedented six stops. Founded in 1998, the FWT, created and produced by Mountain Sports International, Inc., is heading into its 15th year. In addition to up to $110,000 in winnings, the world tour champions are awarded the McConkey Cup, honoring legendary skier Shane McConkey, founder of the IFSA. The FWT also features the coveted backcountry.com Sickbird Award, which honors the athlete with the most spirit, style and wow-factor. For more information, visit www.freeskiingworldtour.com