Hjelmstadstuen & Lipscomb triumph over talented field of riders in Big Air & Superpipe Events

WHISTLER, BC, April 19, 2004 — Some of the best riders from around the world converged on Whistler this weekend for the infamous Ripzone Snowboard Invitational. Kicking-off the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival with a high-octane blast of action, the Invitational drew record crowds to Whistler to take in the events and cheer on their favourite riders.

The Ripzone Snowboard Invitational dished out $59,000 in cash and prizes to the riders who threw down the biggest airs and the best tricks. Featuring a nighttime Big Air, Superpipe, SuperHit, and Jibzone competitions, the Invitational was an exciting weekend of snowboard action, and a supercharged conclusion to the competitive season. “This year’s event was incredible, said Adrian Millar, Ripzone Marketing & Late Night Drive Thru Manager. “The athletes were going big, the crowds were pumped and the whole scene just went off.

Complete results for the Ripzone Snowboard Invitational are attached at the end of this release and are also available at whistler2004.com/ripzone_results.html. A summary of the action-packed line-up appears below.

Ripzone Big Air Finals

The Ripzone Big Air Finals attracted the biggest crowd ever for a Snowboard Big Air in Whistler — estimated at 12,000-15,000. From the adrenalin-pumping snowboard action fused with killer beats on the DKNY//JEANS Mainstage, to the fireworks, dancers and multi-media show, the Big Air Finals delivered a stellar line-up of leading international athletes, superstar MCs, hip-hip heavyweights, and was a three-hour, action-packed party.

The intensity level was off the charts as the Big Air competition moved from the semi-finals to the finals where riders Guillaume Morisett and Neil Connolly just kept going bigger. In the Super Finals, it came down to Canadians Marc-Andre Tarte and Mike Page, and Norway’s Roger Hjelmstadstuen. Tarte’s final air, a cab 1080, took third, while Page’s switch backside 720 put him in second, and Hjelmstadstuen’s huge and super clean Cab 900 landed him in first.

“I love it, said Hjelmstadstuen. “I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to compete in this year’s event, so to come in and win is just awesome.

Casting their votes with TELUS Mobility cell phones, the lively crowd selected Marc-Andre Tarte as the TELUS Peoples Choice winner in the Big Air competition. Tarte won a total talk package from TELUS (includes a cool Kyocera colour cell phone with six-months talk time) and a funky Panasonic D-Snap (a mini digital camera/recorder, with MP3 player and voice recorder).

Superpipe Final — Men

The Blackcomb pipe conditions were ideal and riders took full advantage, laying down massive airs and linking complex tricks in an endless flurry of action. The Finals saw the pros launching up to 20-feet above the pipe wall, with the crowd cheering for more.

Crispin Lipscomb set the pipe on fire with huge airs and could have walked away as the champion on his first run. Jan Michaelis and Justin Lamoureux, however, weren’t going to let Lipscomb take an easy victory. They pushed Crispin to go even bigger, and in the end it was his monstrous run, including a Cab 720, Alley-oop 540, huge straight airs and a Crippler 900 that clinched the win. “He’s going big off the wall with super clean airs, tight tricks, and he just refuses to fall down, said Announcer Andrew Singleton. “I just can’t believe that run, said Lipscomb. “Look at me, I’m shaking with adrenalin.

Jan Michaelis of Germany, who finished second, started off with back-to-back 1080s at the top of the pipe, went to a monster Cab 720, before finishing with a massive straight air. “The back-to-back 1080s were really impressive, said Superpipe Judge Paul Rak. “That’s one of the most technically-challenging tricks we saw today.

Local favourite Justin Lamoureux was going big all day and finished third wwith a sizzling run that included a front side 900, a massive McTwist, an incredible front side 720 to Cab 900.

Superpipe Final — Women

The Women’s Superpipe Final was a closely contested mêlée between Sarah Conrad, Hannah Teter and Tricia Byrnes. From Conrad’s amplitude, to Teter’s effortless spinning and Byrnes’ complex combinations, the women’s Ripzone Superpipe Final was an action-packed line-up of girls going big.

USA riders Byrnes and Teter finished first and second, with Canada’s Conrad taking third. Byrnes’ winning run included a front 540 to a front 360 lean, then into a fakie 540 before finishing with a big switch straight hit. “The pipe is in amazing condition and was calling me to just go for it, said Byrnes.

“Hannah Teter — who finished second — was going off all day and might have won if not for a few sketchy landings, said Judge Paul Rak. “Hannah is really pushing the limits in women’s Superpipe competition and we expect to continue seeing great things from her.

SuperHit

The Superpipe finale, the rider-judged SuperHit saw the pros giving it everything they had for the best single trick. SuperHit winner Guy Deschenes went from a big Cab 720, and then unbuckled his back boot in the transition before launching a front side one-foot straight air 10 feet out of the pipe. This daring move secured the win and a $5,000 cash prize for Deschenes. “I just went for it, said Deschenes. “The one-foot air is really difficult, said Head Judge, Remi Laliberte, “especially when you’re going 10 feet above the pipe wall.

Ripzone Jibzone — Men’s

Riders jibbed and grinded the straight and kinked rails, a barrel, and slopestyle snow features in the Ripzone Jibzone. Logan Short won the rider-judged men’s Jibzone, fighting off tough competition from fellow Whistler locals Jeff Pepperdine and Dennis Bannock who finished second and third.

Ripzone Jibzone — Women’s

The women put on a great show of rail and slopestyle talent. In a repeat of last year’s event, Canadian Leanne Pelosi won the women’s Jibzone, but had to contend with stiff competition from Americans Erin Comstock and Marni Yamada who finished second and third.