Monday, November 12, 2012

Wrap Up

Tag zusammen! A busy contest week has come to a close and with one day left in Austria it’s time to reflect. After two days of powder riding at Planai we reported for duty at Dachstein. Graduates Hunter Wood, Eric Beauchemin, and Phoebe Novello joined Biba, Ezra and Serena to complete an aggressive squad. The contest set-up was a two-jump line into a rail option. The jumps were sizeable and took a slight toll on the minds and bodies of a crew pushing hard to get tricks back on lock. With only one day of practice before qualifiers there was some inevitable pressure to perform. 180s, 360’s, 5s, 7s and 9s were landed, regular and switch. Eric has been in Austria riding for the past month and was clearly ahead of the game. This would become glaringly evident by the end of the weekend. Qualifiers went smashingly with Hunter Wood and Serena Shaw both qualifying second into Semis. Top 3 qualifiers received cash prizes which is always nice on an international mission. Serena landed a switch 180, backside 360 combo on the jumps and Hunter went back 7, double backflip. Biba landed her first run of the year which included a backside 360 on jump 2.
The next day brought the forecasted high winds. The start time was pushed back and semi’s were changed to finals. Serena landed her first run which landed her in a respectable 7th. Hunter’s first run was an easy top 5 but he went a bit to big on jump 2. Eric Beauchemin took top spot by 3 points with his first run, a rodeo 7, front 7, 270 on and off the rainbow rail. The winds had held the riders off the big side of jump 2 and as run 1 drew to a close there was talk of calling the event. A brief break in the wind led them to start dropping the men for run 2 and Hunter was ready to put himself in contention. Three men dropped before gale-force winds forced a submission. The call was bittersweet as Hunter didn’t get to shine but Eric walked with an easy victory. He became the first American to win the Pleasurejam in its 10 year history.
The wind swapped out for rain for our last two days, making those original pow days seem like some strange dream. Schladming keeps us busy with shopping and food until our departure tomorrow. It was a great trip filled with new and old friends. This trip has become a tradition and Austria is becoming familiar to us all. Our German is improving and it gets harder to get on that plane home each year. Board the plane we will though, and the thought of Thanksgiving in the states has us all eager to rejoin American loved ones.

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