Vancouver, BC ¿ The sun broke through the fog on Saturday for the Finals of the Kokanee Boardercross® North American Championships at Vancouver’s Mount Seymour. 158 competitors representing 10 nations competed in Friday’s Time Trials, and only the fastest 48 men and 24 women advanced to the Finals.
The race was an International Snowboard Federation (ISF) sanctioned World Series competition.
Dominating the long, fast and challenging course was 2000 ISF Boardercross World Champion Philippe Conte of France, taking home first place and $3,500 of the $25,000 cash purse. Norway’s Line Oestvold battled the women to take first and $2,000. Philippe’s twin brother Nicolas Conte of France took second place and Whistler’s Robert Fagan third, while West Vancouver’s Erin Simmons and Switzerland’s Claudia Hausermann took home second and third respectively for the women.
There was much talk of rivalries going into the competition. The top two ISF World Ranked men and Philippe Conte and Xavier Delerue were both in contention for first at Seymour. Unfortunately, Delerue was eliminated in a semi-final heat, letting Conte contend with his brother for first place. On the women’s side, the number one World Ranking has been switching between Austria’s Ine Poetzl and Norway’s Line Oestvold all season. During Friday morning’s training, Poetzl went down with a knee injury leaving Oestvold to battle Simmons for the top spot.
“The course was very challenging and very technical, which is just what I like”, said Philippe Conte, while celebrating his win in the Kokanee Beer Garden after the race. “I am very happy with my win”, said a grinning Oestvold. Both Conte and Oestvold won the Swatch Boardercross® World Tour in Aspen earlier this year, further solidifying their mastery of high speeds and technical features.
The event wrapped up with the Slush Cup Race and everyone partying in the Kokanee Beer Garden to Vancouver band Templar.
Boardercross has fast become the world’s premier snowboard event due to the unbeatable excitement created when riders race head-to-head, six at a time, down a course laden with features such as jumps, banked turns, whoops and rollers. Each athlete must make it through all the gates while avoiding contact and clearing every feature. The first rider across the finish line wins!
Kokanee Boardercross® North American Champions (Top 6)
1st Philippe Conte (France) 1st Line Oestvold (Norway)
2nd Nicolas Conte (France) 2nd Erin Simmons (Canada)
3rd Robert Fagan (Canada) 3rd Claudia Hausermann (Switzerland)
4th Bertrand Denervaud (Switzerland) 4th Alison Clark (Canada)
5th Gabriele Santopietro (Italy) 5th Candice Drouin (Canada)
6th Michael Hart (Canada) 6th Alessia Follador (Italy)
Top 3 ISF Boardercross World Rankings (as of February 26, 2001)
#1 Xavier Delerue (France) #1 Line Oestvold (Norway)
#2 Philippe Conte (France) #2 Ine Poetzl (Austria)
#3 Nicolas Conte (France) #3 Erin Simmons (Canada)