It was a day of heavy snow and a big upset Saturday during the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships at Breckenridge, Colo.
Bellevue’s Kaitlyn Farrington, three days shy of her 23rd birthday, scored the upset by winning the Women’s Snowboard Superpipe Final. She debuted new tricks and took the win away from favored Kelly Clark.
Vermont native Clark, 29, was expected to ride with style and throw her well-recognized 1080. In the past three years Clark has ridden away with five stop victories and three consecutive Dew Cups.
But Farrington dropped into her first run and nailed every wall to score an 85.00, while Clark took a back seat on one wall causing her to put all the pressure on her final run.
Farrington, hungry for the win, took her second run to new heights and upped her score to a 90.00.
As Clark dropped in for her final run, she was airing higher than any other woman in the pipe, but on her second-to-last trick took another back seat and slipped out leaving it to Farrington.
Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Snowboard Team program director Andy Gilbert said about SVSEF Gold Teamer Farrington, “This is as big as it gets next to X-Games or the Olympics!”
Farrington’s best run included a backside 900, a frontside 900, a backside 540, an alley-oop 540, a straight air and a frontside 720. It was the first time Farrington had back-to-back 900s in a competition run.
“I was practicing well, so I knew I had the tricks and the run that I wanted to do—I wasn’t too nervous going in,” said a confident Farrington. “The pipe at Breckenridge is so good! It couldn’t be better.”
She added, “I qualified last for the finals and really squeaked in, so it was a really nice surprise to end up in first today. It’s such a good feeling to land both my runs and win the Dew Cup again. The last time I won it was in 2010 and it’s great to be back.”
Contested on Peak 8 of the Breckenridge Ski Resort, the Dec. 13-16 Dew Tour was a four-day action sports and lifestyle festival. Competition took place in men’s and women’s ski/snowboard superpipe, men’s and women’s ski/snowboard slopestyle, plus men’s ski/snowboard Big Air.
Like the semi-final, each rider took two runs with only the best score counting toward the final standings.
Men’s pipe winner was two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, 26, of Carlsbad, Ca., coming off a summer knee injury. His run featured huge amplitude with his signature double McTwist 1200.
Final placings for the women’s pipe final: 1—Kaitlyn Farrington 90.00. 2—Queralt Castellet 80.00. 3—Maddy Schaffrick 71.75. 4—Torah Bright 66.00. 5—Kelly Clark 44.75. 6—Elena Hight 39.50.
Barrymore returns to action
In his first competition after dual knee surgery, SVSEF Gold Team and U.S. Ski Team member Wing Tai Barrymore finished 12th in the Dew Tour Men’s Ski Superpipe at Breckenridge Thursday.
Barrymore’s high score of 74.75 was three points off the top 10 that advanced to the finals in a field of 21 skiers.
The 20-year-old Barrymore injured his ACL in both knees last January competing in the X-Games at Aspen, Colo.
Subsequent surgery and an aggressive rehabilitation campaign have him "around 75 percent," just 11 months later, coach Ben Verge said in a SVSEF Web site article.
Former SVSEF Freeskiing head coach Verge, now the head coach of the U.S. Development Team, said, "Tai skied really well considering. I don't think he was considering making finals. I am happy with how he is coming along with the basics.”