Laax Open 2019
There go the winners while the crowd celebrated Snowboarding!
The LAAX OPEN 2019 were a blast culminating in a special highlight, the first ever Superpipe Night Finals up on Crap Sogn Gion. When the sun went down on Saturday, LAAX was ready for a spectacular evening. The madness peaked at 6 o’clock with the moon as wittness. The Laax Gallaaxy hub was ready to take off with a large enthusiastic crowd and outstanding riding performances from all of the riders making it up to the finals. In the end it was golden girl and defending champion Chloe Kim/USA and the new born star Scotty James/AUS who took the Halfpipe title 2019.
Humble Chloe Kim fulfilled all expectations. She clearly took over the lead after the first run which earned her 93,75 points which no other finalist was able to beat! Her winning run consisted of a huge Method, Back-to-back 1080s, followed by a Frontside 900 and ending with a Backside 360 Stalefish.
“Thanks for having us Laax. I was nervous about the night finals, but it turned out really well, the ladies were killing it!” Chloe said.
Queralt Castellet from Spain, who regularly returns to LAAX, came in on 2nd place and Arielle Gold/USA, 2016 LAAX OPEN Champion, completed the podium ending up 3rd.
Also in the men’s field, the top favorite succeeded tonight, with Scotty James claiming the prestigious Halfpipe title. He took over the lead after his first run, earning a score of 95,85 which none of the other finalists were able to beat in their 2nd run. With a victory lap ahead, Scotty grabbed the mic before dropping in to thank LAAX and the huge crowd who made it up the mountain tonight, and instead of trying to improve his score, opted to give back to the crowd with high-fives down the pipe.
“The LAAX OPEN was an event I wanted to win for a while. I always enjoy coming back here and I’m glad to be a part of it.” - Scotty James
Scotty started his winning run with a Switch Backside 1080 Indy, a Backside 1260 Mute, Frontside 1080 Tail, Cab Double 1080 Mute ending with a Frontside Double 1260 Stale. Joining Scotty on the podium today were Japanese Yuto Totsuka in 2nd and Jake Pates in 3rd. Jake was stoked: “One of the most insane events I have ever been part of. My first run was probably the best one I’ve ever put down. Riding at night time is a lot different and was super fun and people are really hyped”.
After lots of fresh snow earlier this week the Laax Snowpark crew did an outstanding job preparing a creative and fun 550 m long course. The challenging course was demanding with many of the favorites not making it into the finals. The riders had two runs, with the best one counting.
In the women’s field Silje Norendal from Norway, multiple X-Games medalist, took home the prestigious LAAX OPEN title, which is actually her first ever World Cup win. She is sharing the podium with Swiss riders Celia Petrig on 2nd and LAAX local Sina Candrian on 3rd place. Silje clearly was the best rider today taking over the lead after the first run, and therefore had a lot of pressure taken off her shoulders for her second run, where she was able to improve her score. Silje started her winning run with a Switch Nosepress at the first rail section, followed by a Switch Backside 540 Mute over the so-called Jumpbox feature, impressed on the kicker-line with a Frontside 540 Indy, a Cab 900 Mute and a Backside 720 Mute and finished with a Bluntslide to Fakie on the rail feature at the end.
In the men’s decision it was Chris Corning (USA) who impressed most with a really strong 2nd run earning him 89,10 points. Chris’ winning run consisted of a Frontside 180 to Cab 180 to 50-50-Frontside 360 Out on the first rail section, a Backside Rodeo 540 Melon on the Jumpbox, Cab 12 Nose, Frontside 1440 Melon and a massive Backside Triple Melon over the kickers, finishing off with a Backside 270 to 270 out.
„I am so proud for bringing it home to the US!” Chris said. Norwegian Stale Sandbech, a regular here in LAAX, was unlucky in his first run but managed to throw down a great 2nd run with a Cab 1440 which earned him the 2nd place. “I am super happy with my 2nd place, I did my best, but Chris was better today.” The sensation of today was Swiss rider Moritz Thoenen (22 years). “It couldn’t be better. I had troubles in the qualification but today everything just worked out well for me. I never expected to end up on the podium.”
All results on laax.com/open
pics by Christian Stadler, Marcel Lämmerhirt and Rüggli.