Montreal—Youth took the spotlight at the Empire Shakedown 2006, a professional snowboard competition at which the riders execute a jump and a series of maneuvers on one of three rails at the bottom of the run.
Sébastien Toutant of l’Assomption, Que., a 13-year-old amateur rider, stole the show at Mont St-Sauveur. He mastered the technique and displayed superb style to wow the judges and pocket the $10,000 first prize.
Frank April, 18, of Notre-Dame-du-Portage, Que., another amateur, was second while Will Lavigne of Victoriaville, Que., was the only pro on the podium. They win $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.
“I’m totally shocked,” said Toutant, a snowboarder for five years. “I love extreme sports.” Asked if he had any fears, Toutant was honest. “Not at all.”
Toutant stayed calm performing in front of his parents and competing against his idols. “When you’re with older competitors it pushes you to try different things and attempt tricks. I still can’t believe it. It’s the greatest day of my life.” What will he do with his earnings?. “I’ll go to snow parks and the rest I’ll put in the bank.” Wise guy!
Empire Shakedown’s best year
Empire Shakedown 2006 was a big success. More than 28,000 people attended the competitions. Organizers Patryck Bernier and Brendan O’Dowd were delighted. “We’re very satisfied. It’s the biggest turnout yet for Empire Shakedown. It’s a big success thanks to our partners who helped us improve the quality of the event and assured visibility. Next year we’re confident we’ll crack 30,000 in attendance.”www.shakedown.ca