Winter Dew Tour: Jossi Wells starts perfectly
It was the first big event of the season, and winter left no doubt to have finally arrived in North America. However, Jossi Wells couldnʻt be deterred by the difficult conditions and entered the podium with a magnificent run.
The Winter Dew Tour, run by American TV giant NBC, has been the bench mark in the summer action-sports world for quite a while. Now the prestigious event series starts its first winter edition with a total prize money of 1.500.000 US Dollar and three stops at Breckenridge, Mt. Snow and Northstar-at-Tahoe. It gathers the worldʻs best freeskiers and snowboarders to cast an extra-ordinary show in the disciplines of Superpipe and Slopestyle.
Last weekend saw the opening event in Breckenridge, the first big competition of the freeskiing season, and the results show that we once again have to watch out for many young riders. At the forefront of these youngsters are brothers Jossi and Byron Wells of the Freeskiing Team.
The open qualification held prior to the main event already had to cope with snowfall and strong winds. Among the victims: Ian Cosco, who had entered the slopestyle qualification as a favourite, but whose ambitions got blown away. Byron Wells, Jossiʻs younger brother, was better off. Finishing second in the Superpipe qualification, he made the finals in superior style.
As the superpipe competition had to be postponed due to poor weather, the first finals went down on the slopestyle course. The higher score of two runs counted for the twelve finalists, and Jossi Wells took off for a great start. A switch 630° onto the flatdown box, both a leftside and a rightside switch 1080° as well as an immaculate switch 900° nose grab on the kicker line, and finally a blind 630° off at the up-rail earned him the pole position after the first round ahead of Henrik Harlaut, who had been dominating the semi-finals. And even in the second round the whole world-class field, including big names Simon Dumont, PK Hunder and Sammy Carlson, couldnʻt get a grip on the New Zealanderʻs score. Only 17-year-old local hero Bobby Brown managed to knock the star off the top spot with two double flips in his second run, reaching out for the biggest triumph of his career. Nevertheless a great success for Jossi Wells, who had been dealing with injuries all summer long and has now returned on top form for the start of the season.
It did not go so well for the Wells brothers in the superpipe finals. After making the Top 12 with a sixth and seventh place in the semi-finals respectively, the wind upset Jossiʻs and Byronʻs plans, leaving them with ranks twelve and eleven. But they were not the only unlucky competitors, as the example of Simon Dumont shows. The big favourite only placed fifth after he had dominated the semi-finals with a superb performance. So it was up to Tanner Hall to win this winterʻs first superpipe competition in front of Justin Dorey and Duncan Adams.
The second stop of the Winter Dew Tour is scheduled from 8th to 11th of January in Mt. Snow, Vermont, before the season culminates with the X-Games at the end of January. Of course, Jossi Wells is considered a favorite for both events as well as his ATOMIC team mate Andreas Håtveit, who had decided to skip the event in Breckenridge.
Staged for the third time on February 14th, the event featuring the most challenging course ever, additional obstacles and the world’s best new school skiers is certainly going to be a breathtaking spectacle.
For one week it was all about the subject “art on snow” in the Kleinwalsertal. The unique art project succeeded to bridge the board riders art and the sport itself with exhibitions, vernissages, workshops, movie screenings and several parties.