Posts Tagged ‘Norway’


Top stars ‘no show’ at US Snowboarding Open Championships

March 23, 2009

Sunday’s United States Open Snowboarding Championships final was somewhat lackluster, with several of the sport’s biggest stars out with injuries. Several contenders for spots on the United States Olympic team next season were absent, including Mason Aguirre, Danny Davis and Kevin Pearce.

But the most conspicuous absence was that of Shaun White, a gold medal winner in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, and the defending champion in halfpipe and slopestyle at the Open. White pulled out of competition before the halfpipe finals Saturday afternoon with an ankle injury. He injured his left ankle during training last week. A trainer worked with him Saturday morning, but White decided he could not compete. By doing so, White forfeited a chance to win the Ticket to Ride World Snowboard Tour championship.

After competing in the slopestyle finals the women who finished in the top three spots engaged in another competition at the awards ceremony to see who could drink a bottle of Champagne the fastest. Just as on the mountain, Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas won. “My mom would probably be like, Ohhh,” Oestgaard Buaas said, shaking her head. Speed on the course was another matter.

 After several days of sun and warm weather, a snow squall blew through the Green Mountains just as the finals began. That led to poor visibility and slowed the slopestyle course so that several riders struggled to gain enough speed to launch over the jumps. “I still had speed for my first run, but no vision,” said Oestgaard Buaas, a 26-year-old from Norway, who won her second consecutive slopestyle title at the United States Open.

 Eventually, the skies cleared in time for Oestgaard Buaas, and for Chas Guldemond in the men’s final, to produce winning runs on the 1,800-foot-long course, which consisted of two rails and four jumps.

On her third and final run, Oestgaard Buaas pulled her winning routine, a nosepress to 180 spin off the rail, followed by a 540 spin, a backside 360, a frontside 360, and finished with a frontside 720 — two full rotations — for a score of 92.0. Jenny Jones of Britain finished second with a score of 87.0, and Chanelle Sladics of Newport Beach, Calif., third with a 73.0.

Oestgaard Buaas, who finished fourth in the women’s halfpipe final Saturday, was named the women’s best overall rider.

For Guldemond, of Laconia, N.H., the stormy New England weather was no problem. He put together a winning run on his first run with a 270-degree spin onto the rail, and a 180 off, followed by a backside 900 spin, a backside 1,260 — four rotations — and finished with a 900-degree spin for a score of 94.5. “I don’t ever mind cruddy conditions,” Guldemond said. “I do pretty good in bad conditions.”

The United States Open was Guldemond’s 22nd competition this season. With the victory, he also clinched the Burton Global Open Series championship, a six-stop series. The payday for the two amounted to $120,000.

Sébastien Toutant, a 16-year-old from Montreal, was second in men’s slopestyle with a score of 92.17. Toutant had a loud cheering section during each of his runs. Afterward, his fans chanted, “Olé, olé, olé,” when his name was announced at the awards ceremony. Scotty Lago, of Seabrook, N.H., finished third with a score of 90.83.

Lago also won the quarterpipe competition at the Open on Friday night and was named the men’s best overall rider. “I am so pumped being the best overall rider at a contest with so much history,” Lago said about the Open, now in its 27th year. “Today is the best day I’ve ever had in snowboarding.” For the men, the Open was the last competitive event before the Olympic qualifying season begins next winter.

But  with White out, Peetu Piiroinen, of Finland, clinched the season points standings and received the award Sunday night. Piiroinen finished second in the halfpipe finals Saturday and fourth in slopestyle. Jamie Anderson, the defending champion of the women’s T.T.R. World Tour, missed the Open competition because of an injury. Anderson leads the points standings this season heading into the final women’s event at the Roxy Chicken Jam from March 27 to 29 at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. Oestgaard Buaas is seventh in the standings. With her victory Sunday, she remains in contention for the title.

So whats all this slopestyle about – if you are new to the sport of snowboarding we thought you would be interested to see what we are talking about above when we refer to Oestgaard Buaas and Chas Gudemond runs above – 180 spins off the rail/onto the rail, 1,260s, backside 900 spins, frontside 720s……well check out the action from the 2007 US Open which was also held at Stratton, Vermont – thanks GuerillaGuru for the great video – now see if you can determine what spins these dudes are demonstrating.


Ski Jump extreme rebuilt in New Hampshire

January 26, 2009

Our attention was grabbed this morning by news that the ski jump at Brattleboro, Vermont, New Hampshire has been restored to its former glory.

For decades, ski jumpers from around the world launched themselves off the ski jump at Brattleboro’s Harris Hill. The 90-meter wooden jump built by Fred Harris in 1922 was an extreme sports mecca before there was such a thing as extreme sports, but it was deemed unsafe in 2005.

Since then, the community has pitched in to regrade the hill, erect new steel towers and spectator steps and put up a new inrun for skiers to speed down before taking off.

As ski jumping is an extreme that we have rarely covered in the XtremeSport4u blog we thought it might interest our readers to learn a little more about this sport – as ever we are indebted to Wikipedia who have kindly provided some information.

Ski jumping originates from Norway when a soldier launched himself 9.5 metres in the air in front of an audience in 1809. By 1862, ski jumpers were tackling much larger jumps and travelling longer. The first proper competition was held in Trysil in 1862.

Today world ski jump competitions are held on one of three types of hill:

Normal hill competitions
for which the calculation line is found at approximately 80–100 metres (260–330 ft). Distances of up to and over 110 metres (360 ft) can be reached.
Large hill competitions
for which the calculation line is found at approximately 120–130 metres (390–430 ft). Distances of over 145 metres (480 ft) can be obtained on the larger hills. Both individual and team competitions are run on these hills.
Ski-flying competitions
for which the calculation line is found at 185 metres (610 ft). The Ski Flying World Record of 239 metres (780 ft) is held by Bjørn Einar Romøren, and was set in Planica, Slovenia in March 2005.

We can only hope that with the restoration of the ski jump at Brattleboro that U.S. ski jumpers will start to challenge for medals in a sport that has always seemed to be the preserve of Scandinavian and Central European athletes with the only exception to this group of countries being Japan.  

The video below from RafalStrek shows six of the biggest ever ski jumps in history with individuals flying through the air for up to 150 metres – awesome, inspiring and frightening but deserving so much respect.

And if you ever wondered why this sport is so extreme take a look at Bjorn Einar Ramoren crashing in competition last year – with thanks to TheFinnKingVIII for the video. Thankfully Bjorn was able to walk away from the incident but it does show that you have to be a certain kind of person to launch yourself into the air – good luck et bon courage to those Vermonters brave enough to let go!


Europe’s greatest ski fest – the Vasaloppet

December 9, 2008

It all began nearly 500 years ago, the year 1520 to be precise, when a Swedish nobleman, Gustav Eriksson Vasa, fled the blood letting troops of King Christian II of Denmark, who only weeks before had executed Vasa’s father and brother with 80 other Swedes, in what became known as Stockholm’s bloodbath. Vasa fled to Mora where he attempted to persuade the people to rise in revolt against the Danes but before they gave him an answer the impending arrival of Danish troops was announed and Vasa fled.

Within days news of the Stockholm bloodbath had arrived in Mora and the people wished Vasa was still with them to lead the rebellion. They sent their two fastest skiers after him and they caught up with him at Salen and persuaded him to turn back. That was Sweden’s first Vasalopp. The rest is history as they say – 3 years later Gustav Eriksson Vasa was elected king of a free Sweden.

It was not until 1922 that the people of Mora voted to hold a race between Salen and Mora, a distance of 90 kms (56 miles) and on March 19th 1922 the Vasaloppet, as it became known, was again raced with 119 starters with the winner, Ernst Alm, coming home in 7 hours 32 minutes 49 seconds.

Today there is a whole week of fun, sking, music and festivities. The skiing now includes non competitive events, 30 kms races, races for girls only and for all ages – as many as 140,000 people have participated in one year alone! This is Europe’s greatest ski fest and the big race itself, which is now completed in as little as 3 hours 40 minutes has been won, other than by Swedes, by individuals from Norway, Finland, Germany, Russia and France. There have been many unique and sporting occurences in the 86 years of the race. Below you will see the profile of the 90 km course from Salen to Mora.

Entries for the 2009 event – which starts on February 20th and finishes with the Vasaloppet itself on March 1st have already reached over 30,000 and can be found on the official website – jusy click on the following link  and choose which event is for you.

 Finally you can see some of the fun in the video below from magnuslindgren – this sport is very tough and very extreme.


Extreme Marathon

November 27, 2008

Surely this must be the most extreme marathon on earth – and the use of the word ‘earth’ is meant in the sense that earth is a planet. For understand that this marathon is not run on terra firma – no it is run on between 6 and 12 feet of ice aabove 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean.

The 2009 North Pole Marathon  will be held in early April – runners will rendez vous at Spitzbergen in northern Norway on April 6th and then be flown to the North Pole for the race which is somewhat weather dependent, in terms of the actual start time, but is scheduled for April 7th to 9th.

Competitors are then flown back to Spitbergen – and the cost for this extreme experience – a cool 11,900 euros. The race is organised by Richard Donovan and is recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Road races and has in the past attracted such luminaries as Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

The 2008  men’s race was won by a Korean – Byeung Sik Ahn in a time of 4:02:37 and the ladies race was won dy Cathrine Due from Denmark in a time of 5:37:14.

So if you want to do something incredibly extreme, something you could talk about at many a party to come, and you like running (note in snow shoes) then get on down to and fill out the entry form. At this stage there are 15 nations represented in the 2009 race – there is also a team competition.

Below is a video of the 2007 event from polarmarathon – it will give you a good idea of what the race is about even if you cannot not feel the -30 degree celsius temperatures!

  Unique Attributes of the Race

  • Certified 26.2 mile marathon distance (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races)
  • Only certified marathon that is run entirely ‘on’ water, the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean
  • Recognised by Guinness World Records as the Northernmost Marathon on Earth
  • Participants are eligible to join the exclusive North Pole Marathon Grand Slam Club by finishing a marathon on each of the seven continents and this race on the Arctic Ocean.


  April 5     Arrive at Spitsbergen (Norway)
April 6     Fly to North Pole Camp & 90N
April 7     2009 North Pole Marathon
April 8     Return to Spitsbergen (Norway)
April 9     Return to Homeland

Japanese snowboarding triumph in World Cup event Wanaka

September 8, 2008

There was double joy for Japanese snowboarders on the final day of the halfpipe World Cup event at the Cardrona ski field near Wanaka today.

Kohhei Kudoh won a spectacular men’s final, the 18-year-old drawing gasps of amazement with his final run which scored 48.9 points, among the highest in World Cup history.

He sometimes cleared 4m above the lip of the pipe to claim his first World Cup win, having twice finished second behind compatriot Ryoh Aono.

The order was reversed today, with yesterday’s top qualifier Aono still leading after the first run today before being passed by his brilliant compatroit.

However, Aono holds onto his position atop the World Cup rankings.

The highest-placed New Zealander in a respectable sixth place was Aucklander James Hamilton, with Ben Stewart 13th.

Shiho Nakashima took out her second women’s World Cup win with a technical and well-executed first run that put her clear in the final.

Nakashima headed Sina Candrian of Switzerland and Linn Haug of Norway third to climb to the top of the women’s world rankings.

New Zealand’s Juliane Bray was ninth in the women’s competition.

The next stop on the snowboard halfpipe World Cup tour is at Saas Fee, Switzerland next month.

The video below shows you where these guys learnt their skills – sure looks like fun and do you notice the slopes are almost empty – not sure whetehr that has something to do with the distance you will have to travel or whether people are put off by the Japanese attempt at yoddling! Thanks japantravel for the video and to the Otago Daily Times for the report.