Kirkwood, California- The final day of The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, presented by PrimaLoft, went off in epic style under bluebird, California skies. With 100 mile-per-hour winds and heavy snowfall pushing the competition back one day, competitors were treated to fresh powder and sunny spring conditions on Kirkwood's famously steep venue,The Cirque for the one-run finals.
It was an amazing day here at Kirkwood, said Competition Director Patrick Brennan.Sun, powder and an incredible field of athletes made for a perfect day of competition.
With The Cirque permanently closed to the public, Kirkwood patrollers were hard at work yesterday morning performing avalanche and safety control after two feet of snow fell overnight. Due to high winds, the venue was left with variable snow conditions, which created another challenging aspect to an already difficult competition venue.
A leg-burning 1300 feet long, the venue had every type of snow condition and terrain feature imaginable for the 42 big-mountain snowboarders who made it to the finals after Day 1. Riders were judged for line choice, control, style and fluidity by big mountain legends Tom Burt, Andy Hetzel, Temple Cummins and Julie Zell.
The womens champion for 2012 at Kirkwood was local rider Casey Lucas. This is a dream to win at Kirkwood, said Lucas after her high score of 80.33 was announced. Judges and fans were impressed with Lucas s double cliff drop at the top, showcasing her confident and controlled riding skills honed here at Kirkwood.
In second was Snowbirds Laura Dewey whose strong, athletic style earned her a 78.67. Rounding out the podium at Kirkwood was fellow Snowbird rider Camila Brown with a score of 78.00 thanks to her solid line choice.
Coming back with a vengeance after being sidelined with injury was Wolfcreeks Charlie Hoch, who took the mens field with a winning score of 81.33. Hoch stuck his landing on a big double cliff drop off the top, rode fluid and fast down the fall line, and showed impeccable control on the variable snow. His solid riding earned him the Clif Bar Best Moment of the competition on top of his first place finish.
Scoring an 80.33 to finish second place amid the stacked field was seasoned rider Tim Carlson out of Stevens Pass, WA. Carlson showed zero hesitation as he straight-lined chutes, stuck every landing and carved fast, fluid turns. Earning the final podium spot was Squaw Valleys Christopher Galvin with a score of 78.67.
Now in its fifth season, the three-stop tour is the only open competition for big mountain snowboarders, with an overall prize purse of $50,000.
$20,000 of prize money was awarded to the top finishers, as well the famous Katana Sword to Hoch and Lucas. The North Face Young Gun Award, given to the most impressive rider under the age of 25, went to Jann Eberharter of Bogus Basin.
The North Face Masters of Snowboarding is presented by PrimaLoft and supported by The North Face, Subaru of America, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Bern, Lib Tech, Gnu, Mountain Sports International, Comcast Sportsnet, Snowboard Magazine, Clif Bar, Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, Crystal Mountain and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.