Ashley Battersby And JF Houle Win The European Freeski Open 2010

Despite the terrible weather conditions, the event organizers of the 2010 European Freeski Open avoided disappointment by putting on a Stair Rail Battle. Ashley Battersby and JF Houle are the winners of the impromptu competition.

Ashley Battersby.  Photo: event hostAshley Battersby and JF Houle were the winners of the Stair Rail Battle that replaced the slopestyle finals of the 2010 European Freeski Open

The world’s best riders battled it out for $50,000 prize money this year in Laax.  To drop a few names,  Russ Henshaw, JF Houle, Virginie Faivre and Jen Hudak of the Marker Völkl Freeski Team were all present. 

The weather during the qualifications on Wednesday and Thursday started out as unpleasant, but by the finals on Friday and Saturday, it was enough to halt competition.

Both the slopestyle finals on Friday and the halfpipe showdown on Saturday were cancelled due to fog, snowfall and most of all high winds . A Stair Rail set-up at the bottom of the resort turned out to be the back-up plan.

Consisting of a down rail, a down box and a double-kinked box, this stair rail was the perfect arena possible for a hit rail contest.

Jibbing heroes like Henrik Harlaut, Tom Wallisch and Kaya Turski gave impressive performances, but in the end, the Völkl Freeski Team dominated.

JF Houle won the men’s category with a nose butter 450° in and a pretzel 270° out on the down rail to take home 5.000 dollars in front of Tom Wallisch and French newcomer Sam Favret. 

The competition was also hot on the girl's end. Ashley Battersby lived up to her reputation as best female jibber with a 270° in 270° out on the down rail. She topped the podium above British youngster Katie Summerhayes and Canadian veteran Kaya Turski.

The 2010 European Freeski Open may not have been a great success for the organisers, but at least it was for the Marker Völkl Freeski Team.

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