2011 Winter Dew Tour Toyota Championship Slopestyle ~ Sunday, February 13
Willett wins Men's Snowboard Slopestyle, Horgmo wins Dew Cup
Eric Willett came out on top after his second Slopestyle run at the final stop of Winter Dew Tour at Snowbasin, Utah. His run included 50-50 to backlip in the rails, board slide switch-up to frontside boardslide on the A-frame feature, front board to 450 out on the cannon rail, then a switch backside double cork 1260 and a frontside double cork 1080 on the jumps, beating out Mark McMorris and Torstein Horgmo, who placed second and third respectively.
"First place among a group of guys like this is just sick," Willett said. "I'm really happy to come here and put down the run I've been thinking about for the entire week and finish off the Dew with a win, something I hadn't done on the Dew Tour before today."
Willett's win today bumped him to third place in the Winter Dew Tour's overall standings with 262 points, behind McMorris (270) and Dew Cup champ Horgmo (286).
"You've got to stay motivated," Willett says. "If you slack for a little bit the whole sport just takes off and leaves you behind. But you feed off of each other, you see someone else do something and you know you've got to answer with something else."
After wins at the Nike 6.0 Open in Breckenridge in December and at Killington in January, Horgmo's third place at Snowbasin was enough to win the overall Dew Cup. Horgmo was riding injured after taking two big slams on his way to winning Winter X Big Air last month.
"It's been a really painful contest season, but it's also been the best season of my whole career," Horgmo says. "I smacked my head and rattled my ribs pretty good going for the triple in the middle of the whole crazy Big Air night at X Games and then couldn't finish the slopestyle contest there the way I wanted. It was the only contest this season where I didn't finish a single run, so I just wanted to come here and put one down for my own ego, you know?"
Janna Weatherby wins Women's Slopestyle; Jamie Anderson takes Dew Cup
Nobody was more surprised than 34-year-old Janna Meyen-Weatherby when she won the Women's Slopestyle contest at Snowbasin Sunday, beating out Jamie Anderson and Spencer O'Brien for the win at the last stop of the Winter Dew Tour.
Weatherby blazed through the top section of the course with 50-50s and boardslides, then floated a Cab 540 mute and a backside 360 stalefish on the jumps. "I've been competing for more than two decades," she said. "When I started riding, snowboarding wasn't even allowed at most mountains, so I'm honored to still be able to hang out on a podium with people like Jamie and Spencer."
After wins at the first two stops of the tour, Jamie Anderson's second place finish Sunday was enough to secure her second Dew Cup trophy in a row, ahead of Rebecca Torr and Jordie Karlinski.
"I've been having a great year and I'm so stoked to take the Dew Cup," Anderson says. "I'm so inspired to see Janna out here laying it down and I hope I can keep progressing and stay in this for a long time."
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2011 Winter Dew Tour Toyota Championship Superpipe ~ Saturday, February 12
Luke Mitrani wins Men's Superpipe, Louie Vito wins Dew Cup
The Men's Snowboard Superpipe Dew Cup was Louie Vito's to lose coming into last stop of the Winter Dew Tour, and that's what he nearly did. After winning decisively in Breckenridge and Killington, Vito only needed a sixth place finish tonight to definitively close the deal. He finished in sevent, to the surprise of nearly everyone at Snowbasin -- himself included -- leaving it to the rest of the field to decide his fate.
"It would have been nice to make it a perfect season, but Luke Mitrani, Greg Bretz, and Steve Fisher rode super well tonight and I can't be anything but stoked for those guys," Vito says. "Luke got his first win on the Dew Tour, which is huge, and Steve got his first double cork. I'm bummed because I always want to get up there, but I ended up with the Dew Cup, which is definitely a nice way to cap off the Dew Tour season, so I really can't complain."
Mitrani stomped a huge second run with a double Michalchuk flip melon grab, frontside 900 tailgrab, backside 540 mute, frontside 1080 tailgrab, and Cab double cork 1080 mute grab, posting a 97.00, the highest score for the event in the Winter Dew Tour's three-year history.
Mitrani's score also stoked some good old-fashioned sibling rivalry, bumping his brother Jack off the podium and into fourth place and sparking a fun fake fight at the base of the pipe.
"It's wild -- the competition level is scary," Mitrani says. "People are chucking doubles left and right, and for me it's scary every single time. To be able to land them when it counts has me feeling good. Now I feel like I can give myself a break. I'm looking forward to getting out in the backcountry to do some filming and focus on just riding for the love of it."
Bretz, who came in second, landed back-to-back doubles for the first time. His run included a backside 540, frontside double cork 1080, Cab 1080 double cork, frontside 900, backside 900, and frontside 1080.
"I put down the run I wanted to put down and I'm happier than ever," Bretz says. "Keeping up with the level of progression with everyone doing double corks is fun for me. I get some kind of sick enjoyment from pushing myself."
Fisher had a first, too: After missing the cut for the Olympics, losing his board sponsor, and getting passed over for an invitation to Winter X -- in part because he didn't have double corks in his bag of tricks -- he landed his first-ever double cork 1080 in his second run.
"I've been working on it in secret as a nice little F-you to the people who tried to write me off," Fisher says. "It sucks that people need something like this to take notice, but I did realize I needed to keep up with the progression if I was going to keep at this."
With none of the other Dew Cup contenders on the podium at Snowbasin, Vito finished the season with 270 points to take the Dew Cup, ahead of 2010 champ JJ Thomas (248), Fisher (238), and Bretz and Matt Ladley (tied at 228).
With several conspicuous absences on this year's tour, including 2009 champ Shaun White, we asked Vito why he thought the Dew Tour wasn't attracting some of the top competitors.
"You know, It's snowboarding and you don't have to do anything," Vito says. " You can do a couple contests, or go film, or do whatever you want to do. That's what's great about our sport. As long as those other guys are having fun snowboarding, then more power to them. Personally, I love doing contests. Now I'm looking forward to finishing the year off strong, staying healthy, and hopefully getting back on that podium at the next contest, because being in seventh sucks -- even when you do win the Dew Cup."
Kelly Clark wins Women's Superpipe and Dew Cup
Kelly Clark looked more calm and confident than ever in the Snowbasin pipe tonight, following up her win last month at Winter X Games with another huge night. She threw a massive 1080 on her way to winning the Toyota Championships and walking away with the Dew Cup.
"I was frustrated with my sixth-place finish in Breckenridge, so to come back and win the last two and walk away with the Dew Cup feels really good," Clark says. "I've been doing well and I'm really happy with my riding. It's given me a new level of confidence."
Clark's 1080 last month at the Winter X Games was the first time the trick had ever been landed in women's competition. Tonight it looked like she'd been doing them daily, and, it turns out, she has been.
"It's something I'm practicing all the time now and it's going to be a component of all my runs going forward," Clark says. "It's a privilege to be part of a sport that's always progressing and to be in a position to show people what's possible and really take it to a new level. Having the 1080 down solid has me looking forward to what's next."
Clark beat out 2010 Dew Cup champion Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese rider Soko Yamaoka for the win, picking up enough points in the overall Dew Cup points race to edge out Spanish rider Queralt Castellat 274 to 264.
"It's great to see so many women stepping up all around the world and to have these amazing venues for these contests so that we can really show everybody where we're taking the sport," Clark says. "Standing on the podium with these girls you can't help but smile at how far it's all come."