2014 Freeride World Tour Schedule Announced

For Immediate Release

SALT LAKE CITY, USA / LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (May 29, 2013) – Event organizers of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face have announced the details of the 2013-14 season schedule. Following the tremendous success of the inaugural, globally unified Freeride World Tour (FWT), athletes and fans alike are eagerly awaiting next season's competition to unfold live via webcast of all six stops. Over 637,000 viewers tuned in to FreerideWorldTour.com and Powder.com during the 2013 season to watch the world's top freeride skiers and snowboarders compete on the most impressive terrain on the planet.

“To me, the 2013 season has marked a turning point for the FWT and for our sport," says FWT Europe Region General Manager Nicolas Hale-Woods. "Freeride has achieved a certain maturity after existing for 20 years through competitions, and its legitimacy has been proven. Its future is promising and we can even tell you now that the 2014 season is going to be awesome with six stops in the world's most famous mountain resorts. The always growing list of FWT qualification events proves that young people's interest for freeride is increasing.”

“This past season was an incredible achievement for everyone involved on the Freeride World Tour," says FWT Americas Region General Manager Adam Comey. "Finally, we have crowned four true world champions in both men's and women's freeride skiing and snowboarding. This achievement represents the necessary progression of the sport and foreshadows even greater visibility for the sport to come.”

“I’m super excited for the 2014 edition of the Freeride World Tour,” says Men's 2013 Overall Ski Champion Drew Tabke of Seattle. “I’ve found the desire to continue improving my riding keeps me stoked and that feeling positive leads to good results. In particular, I’m looking forward to seeing the riders qualified from the FWQ bring new elements in riding styles to the FWT. Athletes like Rafael Webhofer (AUT), Ian Borgeson (USA) and Francesca Pavillard-Cain (USA) are going to blow people’s minds.”

The 2013-14 FWT will take place at the same six stops as the previous season. Each stop has a five- to eight-day weather window designed to provide optimal competition conditions. The tour will start at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, CAN (Dec. 18, 2013) and then cross the Atlantic to Courmayeur, ITA (Jan. 18, 2014) and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA (Jan. 25, 2014). From there, the tour will continue in Europe at Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT (Feb. 1, 2014) before returning to North America at Kirkwood Mountain Resort (March 1, 2014). After the Kirkwood stop an athlete cut will be made determining which riders will advance to the Swatch Xtreme Verbier by The North FaceĀ® (March 22, 2014) and compete to be the new Freeride world champions. Additionally, the tour is thrilled to have the continued support of its title sponsor, Swatch, and presenting partner, The North Face.

Carlo Giordanetti, Creative Director at Swatch, said, “Nothing compares with the thrills and excitement of freeride skiing and snowboarding. We're delighted to be the title sponsor, for the third year running, of this most spectacular freeride event. As a global brand, we help promote worldwide visibility for the sport as the Freeride World Tour jumps from one spectacular venue to the next. We are proud to support these amazing athletes, as they represent Swatch values at their best: dynamism, youth, provocation and the wish to go beyond the limits! They are a real expression of freedom and beauty.”

In addition to top tier Freeride World Tour competitions, nearly 50 Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events, ranging from one to five stars, will take place around the world, providing opportunities for talent to develop and emerge. The first FWQs will take place in the Southern Hemisphere in New Zealand and Chile. Riders participating in FWQ events throughout the season will earn points, which could potentially advance them to the 2015 FWT.

“After the very successful 2013 edition of the newly unified Tour, both in terms of the level of the competition itself and the communication with an everyday growing audience for the sport, we are very excited to confirm our support to big mountain freeriding and the entire The North Face team is very much looking forward to a second edition that will surely bring us again amazing riding and new heights in engagement with the fans,” says Eric Pansier, VP Marketing EMEA The North Face.

Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face Competition Calendar:

1. Swatch Freeride World Tour Revelstoke by The North Face
Dates: Dec. 18, 2013; Location: Revelstoke, CAN
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

2. Swatch Freeride World Tour Courmayeur by The North Face
Dates: Jan. 18, 2014; Location: Courmayeur, ITA
Disciplines: Men’s Ski and Snowboard

3. Swatch Freeride World Tour Chamonix/Mont-Blanc by The North Face
Dates: Jan. 25, 2014; Location: Chamonix/Mont-Blanc, FRA
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

4. Swatch Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal by The North Face
Dates: Feb. 1, 2014; Location: Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

5. Swatch Freeride World Tour Kirkwood by The North Face
Dates: March 1, 2014; Location: Kirkwood, USA
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

6. Swatch Xtreme Verbier by The North Face
Dates: March 22, 2014; Location: Verbier, SUI
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

Follow the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE on Facebook at: facebook.com/freerideworldtour and on Twitter: @FreerideWTour.

Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch 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 commitment to snowboarding, freeskiing, surfing, FMX and ice cross downhill. 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, david@freerideworldtour.com

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.