HEAD-TO-HEAD BATTLE AT MOLSON EXPORT AIR RAID 2000 DELIVERS THE CASH TO BIG AIR UNDERDOGS
Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario, March 5, 2000 — Toronto, February 1, 2000 ¿ After a week of warm weather and marginal conditions in Southern Ontario the snow gods returned with a blast of cold air and fresh snow to set the stage for Ontario’s biggest snowboard and freeski event of the year.
Over 3000 spectators watched the excitement of the Molson Export Air Raid 2000 finals with blue skies and perfect snow providing excellent conditions for competitors to battle it out for the $20,000 cash purse that was up for grabs in the Halfpipe and Big Air competitions.
BIG AIR SNOWBOARDING – After the qualifying rounds of the Big Air contest former local, Craig Ballantyne, was leading the way into the four man finals. The format for the final four consisted of a head-to-head elimination jump-off with the best-of-two jumps result moving each pairing’s winner onto the final pairing for the Molson Export Air Raid title. Ballantyne executed smooth switch rodeo 720’s flawlessly to lead him to the finals over Alberta’s Wade Cose where he was then pitted against local underdog Josh Nelson, who had eliminated Benjamin Ritchie of Quebec. In the final head-to-head pairing Ballantyne stepped up big on the first jump with another perfect switch rodeo 720 but responding to the pressure, Josh Nelson laid out a switch off-axis front-side 900 on his second jump to set the new benchmark. Ballatyne, who now rides out of Whistler, attempted to step up the anti with a switch rodeo 900 but was unable to stick a clean landing and left Josh Nelson as the local hero and $2500 richer for the win. A very entertaining quarter-pipe in the outrun of the big air was slaughtered by it’s jump builder, Wade Cose, who also competed and took home the $1000 Quarter-Pipe Big Hit bonus to compliment his 4th place finish in the Big Air contest.
PRO HALFPIPE ACTION – Blue Mountain’s Halfpipe was in the best condition of the year for the halfpipe finals with competitors charging big in the entertaining Jam format contest that awarded the best single run of the 1-_ hour final jam session the winner’s checks. Pro Women were lead by Canada’s Lori Glazier who was fresh off the Vans Triple Crown event at Tahoe. After qualifying a jet-lagged last for the finals, Lori boosted huge 7-foot airs on the first hit followed by a mix of smooth tricks including a clean 540 to cruise to a comfortable win over Kristin Shaw and Lyndsay McAlpine.
The Men’s Halfpipe finals were lead by former local Jesse Fox who consistently pulled off big McTwists, smooth grabs and a flawless Haakenflip on his winning run. Jonas Guinn of Alberta charged hard with impressive aly-oop McTwists and aly-oop 360’s finishing second with Craig Ballantyne picking up his second prize check for the day with a third place finish.
The crowd rocked the afternoon away with a couple of great sets from Vancouver based GOB ¿ recently nominated for a Canadian Juno Award for best new Canadian band. The Molson Export Fall Out party kept the action going until the early hours with the winning pro-riders celebrating a day that will long remembered.
BIG AIR SNOWBOARDERS
1. JOSH NELSON ELAN
2. CRAIG BALLANTYNE BURTON
3. BENJAMIN RITCHIE ROSSIGNOL
4. WADE COSE RIPZONE
QUARTER PIPE BIG HIT
SNOWBOARD ¿ WADE COSE ROSSIGNOL
HALFPIPE PRO MEN
1. JESSE FOX BURTON
2. JONAS GUINN K2
3. CRAIG BALLANTYNE BURTON
HALFPIPE PRO WOMEN
1. LORI GLAZIER RIDE
2. KRISTIN SHAW BURTON
3. LYNDSAY MCALPINE BURTON
HALFPIPE AMATEUR MEN 14+ 13 AND UNDER
1. NEIL CONNOLLY 1. OWEN ROTH
2. PARKER FERGUSON 2. BROCK LINDEN
3. BRENDAN DAVIS 3. MICHAEL GOTUACO
HALFPIPE AMATEUR WOMEN
1. LINDSAY SHAW
2. MICHELLE LYSAK
3. KRISTIN BECKER