The 2000 CuervoPipe Quarterpipe was a series of two invitational events that took place last spring: the first event at Mammoth Mountain, California on March 11 and the second at Squaw Valley, California on April Fool’s Day. Each event followed the same format: eighteen riders; three jumps in round one, best two counting; an elimination to eight riders for round two, two jumps with best single jump counting; and a final round of only four riders, again two jumps with the best single jump earning the score. Both events offered a prize purse of 31,500 dollars: the top eight riders from round one received 750 dollars; the top four from round two got 850 dollars; fourth place earned 1,000, third 2,000, second 3,000, and the winner took home a cool ten Gs.
Where’d the other 6,100 dollars go, you ask? Since it’s a quarterpipe where height is a main part of the program, Cuervo initiated the Red Jersey Bonus System. During each round, the rider with the highest air received the red jersey to wear in his next round. He also earned a 1,700-dollar bonus for each round that he held on to the red jersey. But air wasn’t all Cuervo wanted-they also gave a contest bonus of 1,000 dollars to the rider with the most innovative trick of the day.
In Mammoth, the eighteen-rider field included quarterpipe killers such as Tom Gilles and Timmy Ostler. Chris Brown earned the first 1,700-dollar bonus with a twenty-foot air and a spot in round two, but gave it up to Kale Stephens’ 20.5-footer in round two. Kale kept the jersey for the finals and ended up fourth overall. Brent Myer and Aaron Bishop finished third and second, respectively, while Jamie Parker won every single round to take home the big money and even added an extra 1,000 dollars for a 540 with a double grab, making him the Cuervo gold-medal winner for the first event.
The Squaw event hosted a more international field of riders including David Aubry, Jussi Oksanen, and Joni Makinen. Unfortunately, they all got injured during their jumps, as did Jamie, which put them out of the contest early. Jim Moran received the red jersey for boosting the first round’s highest air, but it wasn’t enough to beat Tom Gilles’ nineteen feet in round two and 19.5 in the finals, though, so Gilles earned the jersey and pocketed the cash.
Although Gilles was all about pointing it to get the height, the final three riders to compete in the finals at Squaw, Sylvain Beauchense, Wille Yli-Luoma, and Bjorn Leines, pushed each other with actual tricks. Bjorn’s first hit of the final round was a perfect McTwist that not only earned him the 1,000 dollars for the most innovative trick of the day, it cemented his Cuervo Gold status. Beauchense and Gilles ended up a very close second and third, respectively (only three-tenths of a point separating them), and Yli-Luoma came in fourth.
Although Gilles was all about pointing it to get the height, the final three riders to compete in the finals at Squaw, Sylvain Beauchense, Wille Yli-Luoma, and Bjorn Leines, pushed each other with actual tricks.