LAKE PLACID, NY (Feb. 18) – Had the new Whiteface Mountain gondola beenhung any lower, it may havebeen in some serious trouble Friday as Ross Powers (South Londonderry,VT) was busting huge airs enroute to winning the inaugural Winter Goodwill Games halfpipe event.

The 2,000 spectators at the pipe and riders on the gondola, which runsdirectly over the top section of thepipe, were treated to an aerial assault as Powers boosted his way to awinning score of 45.50. U.S.Snowboard Team riders followed, with Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, CA)in second with a 43.00 andRob Kingwill (Jackson Hole, WY) in third with a 42.50. Teammate RickyBower (Park City, UT) continued theU.S. domination with a score of 42.10, placing him in fourth.

Powers, the 1998 U.S. Open halfpipe winner, went huge in his first run,but apparently not huge enough tosatisfy himself. He upped his score by two whole points in the secondpass, starting with a gigantic backsideair ten feet above the lip. While the gondola riders were ducking outof the way, Powers was concentrating onhis next hit. He had no problems pulling his tricks-and landing them-cleanly,even when the snowfall began topick up during second runs.

“The first day I showed up, it seemed like the pipe was smaller and thewalls weren’t as smooth on the waydown,” said Powers. “Today, the snow was good. It stayed pretty smoothand everything. It was a fun pipe.”

Czeschin, who looked comfortable in the small pipe during practice, postedthe 43.00 in his first run. He pulledback-to-back 900s and stayed smooth throughout the run. Czeschin falteredin his second run, recording justa 29.70 after sketching in the lower section.

“The pipe was much better today than the previous days,” said Czeschin.”It’s a little bit smaller than the pipeswe’ve been riding, so I’m still trying to get used to it. We had a waxtech up there and he fixed us up.”

Riders have been used to riding SuperPipes this season at contests inthe United States. They are longerand wider with less vertical section at the lip, allowing for easier re-entrywhich will keep a riders speed up.The Whiteface pipe was more comparable to a European pipe ridden on theWorld Cup tour.

The contest included many international riders from Canada, Sweden, Italyand Austria. The top foreignfinisher was Canadian Justin Lamoureux, who took fifth with a score of39.90.

“The pipe from the first day was a bit of a concern,” said U.S. coachPete DelGiudice. “But our groomer, PatMalendoski, I have alot of faith in him and he did a tremendous job. Thebiggest problem that my riders haveis adjusting to a pipe like this. It requires a changing of how they dotheir runs and how we put it together. Theyreally rallied well to that and the guys did an excellent job-that’s whatI’m stoked about.”

The Winter Goodwill Games snowboard events continue Saturday with men’sand women’s super G.

1. Ross Powers 43.5 45.5
2. Tommy Czeschin 43 29.7
3. Rob Kingwill 42.5 36.9
4. Ricky Bower 42.1 38.8
5. Justin Lamoureux 38.6 39.9
6. Hampus Mosesson 37.6 15.2
7. Jonas Hagsrom 29 34.9
8. Daniel Migneault 34.3 32.2
9. Francisco Simonazzi 31.3 34.2
10. Guillaume Morisset 33.7 14.4
11. Daniel Nordin 17 32.5
12. Erik Ringner 23.3 32.2
13. Erik Penisco 22.8 31.0
14. Charles Perreault 30.4 27.6
15. Christian Percival 29.0 22.9
16. Philipp Troger