15-Year-Old Wins World Ski and Snowboard Festival Big Air

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – WHISTLER, BC, April 13 2008 – Whistler's thirteenth TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival launched with an auspicious start this weekend with two hugely successful competitions, the Orage Masters, and the Big Air.

The Big Air saw $44,000 in cash prizes awarded to the top skiers and snowboarders, who truly lit up the night sky, before a record-sized crowd that packed Whistler's Skiers Plaza, launching and spinning over a massive 65 foot step over gap jump with fireworks and flames blasting off the side of the takeoff.

The competition format for qualification was run with the best trick of two counting and the top 3 results going to the super final. They ran the skiers and the boarders at the same time so there was plenty of action to check out. The final for was a 540, 720, 900 and then your own choice of trick event. Thing went pretty smooth for most of the finals competitors except last years winner Matt Belzile over rotated his 720 into a 9 which took him out of the running. The last hit of the night was a backside 1080 affair with both Sabastien Toutant and Matt stomping their tricks solidly.apr13sebastien.jpg

The mens snowboard competition was won by fifteen year old rising star Sebastien Toutant of L'Assomption, Quebec, ahead of Norway's Kim Andre Eliassen in second, and last year's Big Air Champion, Matt Belzile in third.

The women's snowboard competition was won by Megan Whiteside of Boulder, Colorado. The Superpipe competition was held Saturday, April 13, and the finals are on Saturday the 19th, bringing the total prize money for athletes at this year's TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival to almost $150,000 for all the events.

There had been plenty of partying going on off the slopes too. The Pro Ride camp crew have been checking out the likes of John Butler Trio, Daniel Wesley and Swollen Members. The Trews play today on the main stage and Blackalicious tomorrow. A blast from the past De La Soul played Saturday night for free as part of the outdoor concert series.

It has been a awesome winter of riding out here in Whistler and if you would like to check our some pictures of the riding you can take a look at HERE.

apr13jump.jpgPro Ride Snowboard Development Ltd (est 1997), North Americas leading adult snowboard training company, designs and conducts winter freeride, freestyle and snowboard instructor training camps and travel adventures. Based in Whistler, Canada Pro Ride specializes in training camps that run from December to April for intermediate and advanced riders. Camps range in length from 5 days to a full season. Its brand symbolizes a long standing commitment to progressive, technical instruction and the opportunity to be trained by world class athletes.

Pro Ride's instructional coaching methodologies are based on a 10 year history of fun, flexible, personal and progressive snowboard specific training.

'World Camps' are an opportunity to experience Pro Ride's signature world class coaching at some of the premier snowboarding locations around the world. The next 'World Camp' will be held in Wanaka NZ September 2008.

For further information about Pro Ride, check out www.pro-ride.com.