Arthur Longo wins Arctic Challenge 2009

In the middle of the beautiful and magical forest of Oslo, trolls were holding on to their hats as they were joined by snowboarding’s elite riders and cheering spectators for the epic Quarterpipe contest, the Arctic Challenge.

Matt Ladley in Oslo.  Copyright: Tommy SolstadThis week long shred extravaganza is renowned for spectacular action and providing a platform for the progression of snowboarding. Today’s electrifyingly intense final saw Arthur Longo (FRA) claim the title and walk away with the biggest part of the 100.000 US Dollar total prize purse and 1.000 TTR ranking points, launching him into World No. 7. Newcomer, Matt Ladley (USA) took second place while Antti Autti (FIN) came in third shooting him into World No.5.

To win this contest is not easy and commands respect. One more reason for Longo’s big smile after the competition was the fact that he only recently had taken out the Crans-Montana Champs Open, too.  “It is so good - I just got two big victories in three weeks or even less. But I cannot really realize that I won yet - I am so stoked”, he said.

Despite some clouds and heavy snowfall, the Linderudkollen ski jump arena provided the ideal setup with its perfectly built 10.6 meter Quarterpipe.  Judges were looking for height, style and technical difficulty. Out of five runs, the best three were counted into the final score with extra points rewarded for variation of tricks.  Arthur won the contest with styled out spins which demonstrated a full repertoire of tricks.  His winning runs were a BS Alley-oop 360, BS 5 Mute and a super smooth FS Alley-oop Stalefish. 

No one expected Matt Ladley to finish second but he earned his spot with a Chuck Flip Melon Grab, BS 7 Mute and BS 5 Mute (which was also awarded as ‘Best Trick’ of the day).  Antti Autti’s third place finish was a result of his ability to consistently land super technical spins.  Despite some heavy slams, he pulled off a FS 7 Melon, BS 5 Nosegrab and FS 9 Inverted Tailgrab.  Haakonsen (NOR), apart from fighting against unfavorable conditions all day, still managed to post the ‘Highest Air’ with a 6.5m BS 5 Nosegrab. 

The TTR Ranking was truly shaken after the event, setting up heavy showdowns for the upcoming Asian Open in Japan and the Burton U.S. Open. Risto Mattila finished 4th but still managed to defend his World No.3 Ranking. “It feels good to be World No. 3 of course, but I am bummed because I bailed on my last trick. I got some good points so that's ok”.

Last year’s TTR Tour Champion Kevin Pearce has moved into World No. 4 with a 12th place finish, as Antti Autti follows behind in World No.5.  Both these riders are still in contention to take out the TTR Title in the coming weeks. Olivier Gittler (FRA), who had only missed the finale by inches, jumped up into World No.14, with Thursday’s joint ‘Highest Air’ winner, Shayne Pospisil (USA) snapping at his heels in World No.15.  Veteran rider Gian Simmen (SUI) has also continued his ascent up the TTR Ranking and now sits at World No.19.

Terje Haakonsen.  Copyright: Tommy Solstad

Joint winners at Oakley Arctic Challenge Highest Air

The Oakley Arctic Challenge kicked off with the ‘Highest Air’ format, a separate contest allocated only to straight Airs and does not account for TTR points.

Oakley Arctic Challenge.  Foto: Veranstalter

Oakley Arctic Challenge 2009: Epic final in Oslo

The TTR World Snowboard Tour is rocketing along to an epic final and with just two 6Star competitions remaining, it is do or die time for the riders. Coming up in Oslo, Norway, is the world’s most prestigious contest, The Oakley Arctic Challenge 2009.


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