Big Air Triple Victory for Finland
Whistler, BC (Canada). Big Air concluded the fifth stage of the 2001/2002 Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup at Whistler today at much better weather conditions than for any of the previous competions there this week. The Fins made it a triple with Jukka Eratuli taking the win.
Originally the Big Air event was scheduled for Grouse Mountain/Vancouver but had to be moved up to Whistler due to unsufficiant snow conditions at Grouse. Sunshine all day with just a bit of fog in between qualification and finals made it a consolation for all that snow and fog over the last couple of days on Blackcomb Mountain.
Out of two qualifying runs the best 12 riders participated in a best two out of three runs final and it turned out to be a pure Finish thing when they claimed all three podium spots.
Jukka Eratuli had been in fourth place after the qualification but then took the lead after the first final run by performing a Switch Backside 720. For the second jump he changed to a Frontside 720 and still kept the lead. When it got to the third jump he reverted to the Switch Backside 720 again and finally got the win under his belt. “The last was my best today,” he said. “I switched back to it because I got so good points. I was forced to push if I wanted to make it to the podium and that’s what I did. It was a great competition with excellent conditions ¿ the cold didn’t hurt, as a Fin I am used to it…
Risto Mattila, second after the qualification, pulled fourth after the first jump, 720 with a Nose Grab and dropped back to seventh when he massed up his second jump. In the third run he put in a 900 Indy Grab and got the score to move up to second place finally. “I’m really happy,” he said, “that’s my first Big Air this year. My first and third jump has been pretty good but I failed in the second run. I’m glad I made it up finally ¿ it feels great. I’ll go home now and get back to competition in early January for the next FIS Halfpipe events.”
Antti Autti, sixth after the qualifying, had some problems with his landing. However, he moved up to second place after the first run where he performed a Frontside 900 with Melon Grab but then dropped back to third after the second run. For his third jump choose a Frontside 900 with a Mute Grab and finally pulled third overall. “I had taken some revert in the landing of my third jump but the trick was very good – I was really happy with it. The site was perfect, just great ¿ it was my first World Cup competition so I’m really stoked.”
The two Fins Sami Tuoriniemi, not at the start in Whistler, and Eratuli are leading the Big Air World Cup standings ahead of Germany’s Jens Anselstaetter, who didn’t compete today either.
The World Cup now heads on to Mont-Sainte-Anne/Quebec, Canada, featuring Parallel Giant Slalom and Parallel Slalom next weekend, 14 and 15 December.
NOKIA SNOWBOARD FIS WORLD CUP
Whistler, CAN – Dec. 11th, 2001
Big Air – Final Ranking Men
1. 28 1311440 ERATULI Jukka FIN
2. 20 1668303 MATTILA Risto FIN
3. 18 1184953 AUTTI Antti FIN
4. 8 1104987 CHAPMAN Josh CAN 7
5. 9 1211530 FOX Jesse CAN
6. 14 1216477 BROWN Chris CAN
7. 1 1314932 JUSTAFRE Mathieu FRA
8. 6 1109991 SCHOVANEK Kelly CAN
9. 3 1719519 HOLT Logan NZE
10. 23 1104988 COSE Wade CAN
11. 17 1556656 MURAKAMI Fumiyuki JPN
12. 27 1104989 AUCHU Alex CAN
13. 16 1474109 RITCHIE Benjamin CAN
14. 7 1104990 SCOTT Risto CAN
15. 11 1572661 TRINIDAD Daryl CAN
16. 22 1427743 LIGOCKI Mateusz POL
17. 15 1449762 ZARTARIAN Samuel FRA
18. 21 1351986 DOI Hayato JPN