Four days of heavy snowfall, the regions first in six weeks, set precedence tothe 4th World Longboard Classic in Stuben, Austria making for an unforgettableweekend of festival and freeride.
342 starters converged early morning in the quiet Arlberg mountain village, wideeyed from long train, plane and car travels. Inscription proceeded including lunchpacks, drink coupons, event t-shirts, Hawaiian floral necklaces, all mountainpasses and event forms. The yet untracked mountain that lay dormant in front ofthem was calling. And yes, they were ready to ride. The stage was set. The OP/ANew Day Longboard Classic was well on its way into the record books.
Locals and event regulars shared tales of the poor snow season while beingawed by what laid in front of them. Over one meter of fresh snow hadaccumulated in the last 72 hours, making for this seasons best yet conditions.Newcomers to the event could not believe their luck, taking to the slopes themoment the lifts opened, researching the acres of untracked and undulatingterrain Stuben has to offer.
The 2003 course ( it changes every year) was a leg burner. Contest Director andcourse setter Dani Kiwi Meier had been in Stuben 5 days prior to the event,officially planning the new course, unofficially consuming heavy doses of steeptree runs and bottomless pillow lines with close friends. The course was going tobe demanding yet fun was receipt of the day.
As every year, the competitors carry their boards for the first leg of the course,then strap in and blaze, or cruise to the valley below. Kick off was at midday withthe traditional 200 meter uphill sprint to the edge of a bowl consisting of steep,bottomless powder fields as far as the eye could see. The athletes chargedforward stretching the almost 350 strong field into a 1/2 hour stream of floralnecklace enthusiasts. 7 minutes later the first arrived. 35 minutes later the last.The expression on everyone’s face was the same. Elated!
All who rode were winners receiving certificates of excellence for “Riding withfriends. Yet the true stand out was none other that Swiss dynamite Ralf
Castelberg. Fresh from his victory at the 2nd Longboard Classic in Japan,Ralf charged, literally straight-lining the first 500 vertical meters of the course,then proceeding to destroy the lower undulated section of the mountain on his2000 meter freeride board. An elated chap, Ralf joined a series of elated menand women in the post events Chilli con Carne feast and prize giving.
Festivities continued till well after midnight thanks to Oliver Holzman and crewWith their Red Bull traveling DJ village!
2003 was a memorable event, a fabulous gathering of friends and new faces,moments of contemplation for world peace and a fusion of yet another perfectlyorganized happening. Thanks to Paul Gruber and his tight posse at “A New Day.Thanks to Stuben for being the moist reliable powder resort worldwide.
See you 17th April 2004 for the 5th Longboard Classic in Stuben, Austria
ResultsFemaleMale1.Heidi Gunesch (D)1.Ralph Castelberg (CH)2.Michi Rossi (CH)2.Alex Deubl (D)3.Kelly Kellenberger (CH)3.Matt Waibel (CH)4.Nadine Dobry (D)4.Urs Ickler (D)5.Gaby Deutschenbauer (D)5.Chris Settele (D)Winner of special spontaneous category:
Boards older than 1990 Alex Tittel (D)