2013 Grandvalira Total Fight – CONTEST REPORT
The 9th edition of the Grandvalira Total Fight that went down on this weekend in Andorra is over. What started with the most international lineup in the event’s history of 29 riders (from USA, Canada, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Slovenia, Argentina, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and Spain) in the Qualifiers, got cut down to only 24 finalists for day #2. Two heats and each rider with 2 rounds, best run counting. This year’s setup started with a rail zone, a choice between a 6 metres straight rail or a Down-Flat-Down rail, followed by a Down Box with a 5 metres gap or a wallride, plus the triple kicker line and motivated the riders even more to show their very best on that weekend. Besides a complete new winner -Canadian Québec head Charles Reid- this year’s edition also lived through quite new and surprising weather conditions that almost let to end the contest earlier than expected.
\\ DAY #1 – QUALIFIES
In the first heat it was Eric Willett (USA) to qualify as first for the Finals with a run that included a Front Blunt 270 followed by a Boardslide to Fakie, Switch BS 900 Mute, BS 720 Mute and FS 7 Melon. Charles Reid (USA), Aleksi Partanen (FIN), Spencer Link (USA), Mans Hedberg (SWE), Simen Neraker (NOR), Markku Koski (FIN), Kevin Backstrom (SWE), Robby Balharry (CAN), Ian Thorley (USA), Tor Lundstrom (SWE) and Janne Korpi (FIN), were the rest of Willet’s heat to accompany him into the Finals the day after.
In the second heat it was last year’s Superpark standout Seth Hill (USA) to make it into the Finals as his heat’s favorite, with a very technical and solid run including BS Lipslide, followed by a BS 450 Frontboard to Fakie, Cab 9 Tail, Backflip No Grab and BS 9 Tail. He was followed into the Finals by Brage Richenberg (NOR), Ville Uotila (FIN), Eric Beauchemin (USA), Nuuti Niemela (FIN), Kevin Kok (ITA), Peter Horak (CZE), Tyler Nicholson (CAN), Simon Gruber (ITA), Marco Grigis (ITA), Jeremy Thompson (USA) and Jon Versteeg (CAN).
\\ DAY #2 – FINALS
Day #2 had everything prepared for the riders when talking weather conditions: From bluebird to windy hours, or rain there was everything that slowed down the course pretty hard and the riders couldn’t really speed up enough to get over the jumps and as if that wouldn’t be enough, visibility went to zero what let the event almost end up prematurely. Thank god in Andorra the slopes are rather used to bluebird conditions in these times of the month and took in last minute advantage of their good Karma for the event’s sake, so that the contest could be continued. The Qualifies let everybody have huge expectations for the Finals when looking on the riders line up and the runs that they put down on day #1 already and shouldn’t get disappointed at all the day after.
This year it was Canadian charger Charles Reid, who took the 1st podium spot and put down one hard run including Gap Front 270 Front Board followed by a Gap Front Board to Fakie, Cab Double Cork Mute 900 and a Back Rodeo 5 Melon. Eric Willet (USA) got close behind the winner from Canada, but Front 270 Front Board, Front Board, Front Mute and Back Rodeo 5 Melon were not enough to take Mr. Reid down from his 1st podium spot. Swedish ripper Kevin Backstrom ended up on 3rd podium with a good run including Gap Front Lip, BS 50-50 Front 180 Off, Cab 900 Melon and Back 720 Mute.
Québec local and event’s winner Charles Reid was stoked on the overall contest, his unexpected victory and the contest’s setup:
“It feels pretty good to get up on the podium and win first prize, even more so when it’s a TTR event like this. I didn’t expect to win the competition but I had a lot of confidence in my tricks. The circuit was incredible, you could get a lot of speed, it was really good. I’ll be back next year for sure!”
The € 40.000 prize purse was shared between the first fifteen winners, while the podium winners got back home with each € 15.000 (1st Charles Reis – CAN), € 10.000 (2nd Eric Willet – USA) and € 5.000 (3rd Kevin Backstrom – SWE). Furthermore there is left to say that it is pretty remarkable how positive the impact on this year’s edition was, after getting by the World Snowboard Tour the upgrade up for 5 TTR Stars, making it a bit more prestigious, but foremost a much harder contest when looking also on the rider competition there was on this weekend in Andorra’s El Tarter Park.
\\ footage courtesy and pictures by World Snowboard Tour and Crista Leonard.