The weather was cold and overcast during the Big Air, but the landing was soft, at least that’s what it looked like when half of the field landed on their tail bone’s on the deck and bounced to the landing below. Practice went on for an hour or so, and then the final run of the jump was to get underway.
As in most contests, time efficiency was forgotten. Competitors anxiously waited their runs as the announcers made some last minute plugs about the event, and a few course workers raked the inrun. By the time the event finally got under way, my hands had frozen solid, and the noise from the crowd of spectators on the side of the jump was drowning out the voices of the announcers.
After the first few competitors dropped in for their runs, I noticed a big difference from the day before; people were actually pulling some pretty good tricks. Brian Bott’s of DC was super pumped on Todd Richards, even though Todd was not to arrive until the next day. The French Canadian, David Carrier-Porcheron AKA DCP, was the crowd’s early favorite when he stomped a super smooth, switch backside 720 Indy. Aaron Bishop should get a raise from his sponsors after he landed a clean, off axis switch frontside 720. Marc-Andre Tarte managed to throw his board under his feet after he had chucked a pretty smooth frontside 1080. But despite the efforts of the above, and Marc’s claim that the rest of the competitor’s were trying for second place, none of the above would end up on the podium in first place. No, that honor would be bestowed on someone else, and it wasn’t Lukas Huffman, who was tied for first after his first run ¿even though he’s my dawg, and that would have been cool. Instead the glory fell on number 136, Jimmy Halopoff.
Fifteen minutes before his run, number 136′s muscles were tense and he was discussing with one of his best friends, Sean Johnson, if he should even take his run. They stopped into the lodge on top of Grand View Express and pondered the inevitable, while they stretched and sipped a hot cup of tea. After a few minutes, the two decided he should go for it and rode down to the starting area, where there were only three competitors in front of them. I’m sure they laughed at each other, when they realized they had almost missed their runs.
As the announcer called out bib number 136, my numb hands fumbled to turn on the digi camera number 136 had asked me to film him with. Number 136′s white numbers appeared in my shaky, out of focus viewfinder as he headed off the jump. Time stood still as he popped off the lip with style and grace, spun a Cab 900 Melon and rode away so clean, I could have sworn he had just done a mellow method off a table top in the park. A few seconds after his jump, the announcement was made¿number 136 had just taken the lead. My numb hands were instantly stinging as I high fived all my friends that were standing around me, the hometown hero of South Lake, Jimmy Halopoff had won the Vans Triple Crown Big Air Event.
Twenty minutes later, four of the top five finishers were called to the podium in the order of; Lukas Huffman in fifth place; Josh Chapman in fourth; eighteen-year-old Charlie Morace in third, and Marc-Andre Tarte in second. Then it was time for Jimmy Halopoff, number 136 to climb onto the highest block of snow in front of his friends, his peers, and his proud sister and father, to accept his trophy and a $10,000 dollar check. He took the money and and congratulations and assurance from an ecstatic Steve Van Doren that indeed, today was a good day.
News on the rest of the event’s; the Snowboard Cross qualifications took place on a course that looked super fun, but a little bit on the slow side. It’s safe to say, that however spends the most on wax, will take tthe event. As for the pipe, it’s going to be amazing; as I left for home, Frank Wells was working overtime, putting the final touches on the fifteen foot high, three hundred plus foot long, ditch. Which is on a hill so steep, competitors have to use an ice axe and crampons to make it to the starting point. I’m making no guesses of who make take the event, put I’m positive the competitors will put in a good showing.
PlaceName1st Run2nd RunBest Run
9David Carrier-Porcheron14.431.1 31.10