Although it may come as a suprise to some, the East Coast does host competitons that don’t invlove a halfpipe. On January 16th, 1999, the season for non-pipe contests got started with the WAAF Stimilon Air and Style Challenge, the most recognized big air series in the east. Stimilon took on the small area of Sunapee, NH, building a huge kicker just feet from the base lodge, and attracting talent from all over New England. Weather rarely agrees with competition days here in the East, but the sun seemed to like us today, and stayed out for a good part of the afternoon. When the sun wasn’t out, it still remained relatively nice and warm, that is, if you compare it to the previous week of sub zero temperatures.

Dave Olcott and his devoted crew did not dissapoint on this day. A lthough many complained the jump was small by Stimilon standards, everyone was quick to point out it was the biggest jump of the season so far. There was a lot of tension circulating throughout the competitors because of this. As soon as the contest started, most people got their kicker legs back pretty quickly.

The day began with practice, and then went straight into qualifiers. The format was best of two, although each catagory had a certain number of bye’s. This meant the riders with the highest scores on thier first qualifying run automatically advanced to the finals. Twenty pros and ten amatuers moved on to the finals. Qualifiers ran through fairly smoothly, and having the bye system saved quite a bit of time. The event stayed remarkably on schedule. It seemed though, that a lot of people were having trouble putting their feet down. The cut basically came down to who landed their tricks, even if they weren’t the most technical.

The finals took place under the afternoon sun. The women’s pro division was especially exciting, with all five competitiors doing exactly the same trick, the stock method. The only real variation came with Anna Bock’s runs, as she tweaked one method too far and pulled it into a late 180. She wasn’t able to stick though, and ended up with second place. In first was Michelle Cote, who did by far the cleanest female air of the day, and stomped her method with out so much as a hand down. Rounding out the top three was Karen Plourde, who also did a method.

The men’s competiton was a little more exciting. Many of the men also had trouble with landings, but the technical level of tricks was very high. There was quite a bit of switch spinning going on, along with plenty of mulitple grabs. Shawn Durst’s half cab double grabs were certainly a crowd pleaser, but they weren’t enough to earn him a check, afterall, Preston Strout’s fakie 7′s only earned him third. Adam Moran started off his runs with a super clean spin, and secured second place on his first run. In the grand tradition of the Air and Style Challenge, it was last year’s over all champ Myles Hallen who walked away victorious, with his backside 900.

For the first event of the series, the Sunapee ASC ran extremely well, and everyone involved seemed to be having a good time, only to have a better once when Myles chipped in 10 percent of his winnings for beer.

Final Results

Women

1 Michelle Cote
2 Anna Bock
3 Karen Plourde
4 Lindsay Preda
5 Kristin Games

 

Men

1 Myles Hallen
2 Adam Moran
3 Preston Strout
4 Rich Nesshover
5 Scotti Arnold
6 Drew Heifetz
7 Travis Wright
8 Brian Barb
9 Jeramiah Cook
10 Zach Diamond
11 Charlie Morace
12 Tony Chiuchiolo
13 Shawn Durst
14 Nick Schofield
15 Tom Flocco
16 Pat Bridges