Everything about the B&E Invitational is different, and quite frankly better than your average competition. Henrik Harlaut and Phil Casabon, the two brains and brawn behind the event have been perfecting these five days for three years now. Each year they invite 22 of their favorite skiers and two fan selected riders to Les Arcs, France. This group of skiing’s best does everything from airport arrival to airport departure together. They interact more like a group of old college buds on a ski trip than competing athletes. Hilarious communal meals, late night dice games, everyone in one epic hotel, and skiing on the most creative and perfect course in freeskiing all makes for a happy bunch at Chez Boubou, the local watering hole every night.
Two days of practice in perfectly warm and sunny spring days leads to four hours of perfectly warm and sunny competition. The only structure regulating the jam format competition was splitting the sessions into two hours for best run, followed by two hours for best trick. Judging was even simpler. After the final tricks and the sun went down, the riders were given a sheet with each skier’s name and four boxes. They were instructed to check one for best trick, best style, best run, and best overall. The live stream allowed viewers around the world to vote on the public choice award, which went to Candide Thovex. Harlaut took home all other prizes. Harlaut, being the nicest guy ever, went well beyond the 10 percent homie rule and divided all of his $10,000 prize among the other competitors.