The QUIK CUP 2002
March 10th to 20th – Anglet / Les Arcs (France).
The most talented boardriders on the planet came to France for the 10th edition of the QUIK CUP. For over a decade now, the QUIK CUP has brought together the world’s boardriding elite in a combined contest involving surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. The event is held in two locations, firstly in Anglet near Biarritz (south west of France) for surf and skate contests, and then up in Les Arcs 1800, in the French Alps for the snowboard contest.
The riders, internationally reputed for their excellence in their own sports, were invited to battle it out over three legs. The winner will be the rider who obtains the best ranking over all three disciplines. The lynch pin of this intense yet festive event is the temptingly large pool of prize money, set at: US$70,000 of which US$22,000 for first place.
Twenty carefully selected competitors have been invited to participate in the QUIK CUP : Fletcher Brothers Nathan (who won last year) and Christian, Eric Sorensen (3rd overall last year), Omar Hassan and Mike Morrissey, and Australians Rohan Smiles and Marcus Stocker to name just a few. Amongst the newcomers, young American snowboarding prodigy Shaun White and Clint Allan.
After 2 contests (surf and skate), Mike Morrissey is actually the leader of the overall ranking. Second place is held by Christian Fletcher and third by Omar Hassan who made huge progress in surfing.
Surf Contest : Surf conditions were perfect at Cavaliers beach break during three days. Qualification trial events and the semi-finals were dramatic. First big surprise was the premature elimination of one of the favorites, Nathan Fletcher in the semi finals. As always, the surf final turned into a confrontation between Australian and Californian surfers. With two peaks to choose from, Stocker chose to sit down the beach on a left hand peak leaving the rest of the finalists to fight it out on the predominantly right hand peak in front of the judges tower. This tactic paid off. The Australian goofy foot Stocker took several deep long barrels that convinced the judges. Mike Morrissey went ever so close to pulling off a kick flip on one wave and also managed a couple of nice barrels. Josh Sleigh was impressive once again with his big snaps and a nice backhand barrel. On one wave in particular, he pulled off a switch foot and then got a little barrel while riding switch. At the end of the day, it was Marcus Stocker (AUS) in first, Mike Morrissey (USA) in second, Josh Sleigh (USA) in third, Christian Fletcher (USA) in fourth, Eric Sorensen (USA) in fifth and Rohan Smiles (AUS) in sixth.
Skate contest : For the second year, skate is part of the Quik Cup contest and for the second year the Californian Omar Hassan won the skate contest. Located in Anglet indoor sports complex Haitz Péan, the skateboard park combines a bowl, a vert and a mini ramp offering great opportunities for the riders to express themselves. Every trick, old and new, was exploited by one or more of the skaters : Japan airs, Christ air to fakie, lipslides, smith grinds, stalefish transfers, huge 540° airs, the list goes on and on. The highlight of the skate contest was the final. The competitors qualified for the final, Omar Hassan (USA), Shaun White (USA), Chad Shetler (USA), Aaron Astorga (USA), Christian Fletcher (USA) and the only non American rider, Tomi Toiminen (fin) did not hold anything back. The crowd of 600 went wild for every air, slide, grind and transfer. The 15-year-old whiz kid, Shaun White went big and hard on the vert ramp. The highlight of his final was a Mctwist, three feet above the coping, landed perfectly. True to his word, Omar Hassan chose to ride the whole configuration and not just one part of it. He made a huge 540°, big kick flip airs to fakie and a pop, demonstrated his incredible technical ability on the mini ramp. On hiss final run, Omar had the crowd in a frenzy when he skated the whole ramp (vert, mini and bowl) with beverage in his hand.
Four out of five judges awarded first place to Omar Hassan for his huge bag of tricks and superb exploitation of the whole skate configuration. Shaun White, clearly a name to watch for the future, was second, Chad Shetler third, Astorga fourth, Toiminen fifth and Fletcher in sixth place. The snowboarding event will begin Monday, March 18th in Les Arcs (French alps).