**UPDATE: Due to unfavorable weather conditions, part two of the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Pro Competition on the jumps was cancelled. Early on in the week Dew Tour adjusted accordingly to incoming weather conditions and rescheduled all jump runs to Friday. Still, the jump section for the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Pro Competition was rescheduled as the last jump discipline to run on Friday, but unfortunately the weather moved in too fast to run the event.
As a result, the final placings for the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Pro Competition were determined based on the scores earned during part one of the contest on the jib section. For the complete recap on the jib section, read below.
The all new jib garden took it's first official beating of the weekend when the women of Snowboard Slopestyle took on the rail section first thing on Saturday morning.
This year Dew Tour Breckenridge has experienced the full spectrum of weather. Due to heavy snowfall and flat light the day prior, the women's competition on the jump section was postponed to Sunday for safety. That was not the case on Saturday for the rails as the course was graced with bright sunshine mixed with the occasional wind gust moving through the course.
As part of the reimagined Dew Tour, Slopestyle has been divided into two sections this year with a new format that scores jumps and rails on separate courses for an equal weight on the final score. For the contest in the jib garden, each rider was given three attempts to earn their best overall score by linking complete runs through the four groups of jib features.
The final set of rails in the jib garden included four serious rails that drop the riders right in front of the Dew Tour VIP tower and the corral of fans. Mixed into that corral was one man who has been in attendance at every single winter Dew Tour, Ryan O'Brien.
Spencer O'Brien has a special relationship with the Dew Tour as it marked her first-ever career win as professional. For her father, though, "It's a real pleasure! If she didn't do another thing, I would still die happy."
As it stands after the rails section, O'Brien is far from finished. Coming into today's event, she had been vocal about favoring a traditional style Slopestyle event, but following her performance on the rails she admitted that format was something she was absolutely interested in seeing more of at future events.
"I'm still a very firm believer in spinning four directions and having to put together a full run, but seeing the technicality that the girls were doing on the rails today I think [this new format] is really cool," explained O'Brien between wind gusts. "I don't think every Slopestyle event should be like this, but I think it is cool to have a couple throughout the year that really switch it up and challenge the riders."
O'Brien's best run began with a 50-50 gap to frontside boardslide, a backside lipslide, 50-50 off the pole jam and into the Toyota cage wallride and a 50-50 frontside 360 out on the final rails. O'Brien may have been surprised to land in third on the day, but the crowds seemed to agree with the judges.
Landing just outside the top three was the young gun, Julia Marino. After having her first run missed by the cameras, Marino bailed on her second run only to get that much more fired to up to bring it together on her final run. Marino managed to link together noseslide pretzel 270 out, cab 270 lipslide to fakie, cab 50-50 to backside 360 out of the C-ledge, and finished with a 50-50 frontside 360 out of the down to flat kinked rail.
The second place finisher from the rails section was Hailey Langland, a.k.a. Yung Hails. One of the few riders that has ever ridden a format similar to this, Langland knows how to stand out.
"For a contest like this, I try to make everything look really good and solid," began Langland as she explained her strategy. "Even if it is not the bigger trick, I try to make everything point to perfect. That is my best strategy, to make everything look good, and I think when the jumps and rails are split up it really helps."
Langland linked together a very clean run, and the judges did reward her accordingly. Langland pulled together a full run that included a frontside boardslide, gap to backside liplide, board slide to frontside 270 out of the C-ledge, and a 50-50 to backside 360 out of the down to flat kink rail.
The top rider of the morning, though, was none other than Jamie Anderson. Anderson had also mentioned earlier in the week that she was a bit of a traditionalist with regard to Slopestyle formats. However, after absolutely slaughtering the rails section, she was excited to perform so well under the new circumstances.
"I was a little hesitant at first, definitely intimidated riding a whole rail line - I usually shine on the jumps. So yeah, I was a little afraid but it is good to get out of our comfort zone and change it up," said Anderson after her final onslaught on the rails where she bettered her already high score. "I'm stoked that Dew Tour is open to do things a little different. It keeps it fresh."
Anderson's last run earned her a score of 91.33 by linking together a cab tail switch-up to back tail, frontside 270 on the down rail, 50-50 off the pole jam to slide across the Toyota cage with a stalefish off, and a tail side to fakie on the flat to down kink rail.
Despite being on top of the leaderboard at the end of the rails section, Anderson assured that she would be taking on the jump section to the best of her ability.
Don't miss part two of the new Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Pro Competition as it continues with the jump section on Sunday.
1. Jamie Anderson, 91.33
2. Hailey Langland, 86.00
3. Spencer O’Brien, 80.00
4. Julia Marino, 79.00
5. Enni Rukajarvi, 77.66
6. Katie Ormerod, 70.00
7. Silje Norendal, 69.66
8. Klaudia Medlova, 69.00
9. Sina Candrian, 57.66
10. Kjersti Buass, 20.33