Seasonís second halfpipe contest

Only a few days after the first big air of the Snowboard FIS World Cup wrapped up in London with a deserved victory of Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), itís time for the freestyle aces to drop in the halfpipe of Saas-Fee.

Christophe Schmidt from Germany.  Copyright: FIS Ė Oliver KrausOn October 30th and 31st, 2008, this winter’s second halfpipe competition will be staged in the Freestyle Park Allalin. It’s the fifth consecutive season now the riders will meet in the glacier village. No wonder that more than 130 athletes from 22 nations including some top stars from overseas will enter the anniversary event.

The contest in her home country will be the first one in the current World Cup season for Manuela Pesko. The Swiss wasn’t able to compete at the opener in Cardrona, New Zealand, due to illness. Therefore, the 2007 World Champion is keen to compete again although Pesko, who won the last three Halfpipe World Cup titles in a row, has to face some strong contenders. End of this week, she will meet 2006 Olympic Bronze medallist Kjersti Buaas (NOR), who triumphed in the halfpipe of Saas-Fee last year. In addition, with current World Cup leader from Japan, Shiho Nakashima, Jiayu Liu (CHN), Sina Candrian (SUI), Queralt Castellet (ESP) and Paulina Ligocka (POL) some other top ladies will drop in the halfpipe who already proofed their riding skills in previous contests.

On the men’s side, the Swiss hopes are pinned on Sergio Berger who just claimed victory in last week’s Europacup in the glacier village. But he is not alone. For example, Stephan Maurer and Christian Haller are also competing for Switzerland. But they all have to deal with some famous competition as the two top guns Keir Dillon and Andy Finch are travelling all the way from the US to show it all. Some other stars on the current entry list are Kazuhiro Kokubo who will lead the Japanese samurais, Frenchmen Mathieu Crepel and Gary Zebrowski, Finland’s Janne Korpi, Peetu Piiroinen and Risto Mattila as well as Tore Holvik and Roger Kleivdal from Norway, Germany’s Christophe Schmidt and Canadians Crispin Lipscomb and Brad Martin.



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