Sunday’s practice session at Waterville surprised everyone, as the quarterpipe actually was the twenty feet that the boys from Snowboarder had been claiming for the last two years. However, the weather was less than pleasing, warm enough for the QP to be soft, but also warm enough for it to rain. Still the devoted crowd of East Coast riders hiked as fast as they could, and perhaps rode too hard. Before practice ended, one of the major contenders, Zach Leach had already been eliminated with a dislocated thumb. Jeremy Baye was waiting until the big show the next day to ride, saying, “Everyone was just showboating” and he would wait until the actual contest to come in and take it all, hopefully avoiding injury.
That evening Waterville’s condos were filled with complimentary Budweiser and a large group of snowboard guys looking for chicks. The real event started when Andrew Mutty was arrested for underage drinking. He paid his $20 bail, avoiding any actual time in a cell, and then curiously appeared at the 21+ bar, where the same cop who arrested him was present. An underage bar patron seemed to be okay with him though. Later Matt Gormley and Rob Z. got in an actual fist fight over a girl, who ended up going home with Zach Diamond anyway.
When everyone woke up the sun was shining, and it was almost even warm. Around noon they started passing a hat around to collect the days pot. The $2000 promised by Red Bull, had apparently disappeared, or perhaps been spent on beer. The contest was to start as soon as Mark Sullivan and Pat Bridges were satisfied with the size of the prize purse. There was also some hesitation to start as the US Snowboard Team was rumored to be ten minutes down the road in Campton.
By the time the contest actually started, there had already been two broken appendages, belonging to David Carrier-Porcheron and Eric”Man-Child” Koval. It seems the quarterpipe was cursed. However, once things got under way Rob Kingwill, Tommy Chezchin and Mitch Nelson were indeed in attendance. If DCP hadn’t taken off after his injury, the World Quarterpipe Championships would have been international, but they were at least somewhat national.
There were two prizes at stake, the grand prize and a three hundred dollar prize for the biggest air to fakie. It seemed some people were only interested in the latter prize. Although many air to fakies went down, despite the somewhat icy/sketchy-ness of the quarterpipe, but it was Mark Reilly who went by far the highest. His only real competition was from Nick Francke, but his backflip to fakie was deemed not to actually count.
Until the “finals” it looked like Kyle Clancy would be taking home the prize, with his backside 720’s. Although Shane was doing plenty of McTwists, he was yet to land one. As soon as he put his feet down though, it was clear he would take it all. He raised the bar fairly early on in the finals, and the airs from fellow competitors did increase in size, but none were as impressive as the Southern New Englander’s.Incase you were waiting for Jeremy Baye to bust out, he never ended up hitting the Quarterpipe seriously after all. By the time he was ready to show everyone up, the quarterpipe was “too kinked.”
As somewhat of a consolation prize, Nick Francke was awarded the “Biggest Drunkard of the Year,” carrying a $100 purse. I suppose he deserves to win for being one of the few riders who actually participates in the contest every year.
Once the QP festivities were finished Andrew Mutty pulled his car, complete with rainbow rail on top up to the mountain. With the help on a keg for a kicker, the day ennded with a jib session from many of the competitors. In his true Rhode Island flavor, Shane had only one thing to say about the contest, “It was wicked fun.”