Sharpe cashes in during Showcase Showdown 

Whistler-based rider nets $12K during two-day version of 17th annual snowboard contest

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAVID BUZZARD / WWW.DAVIDBUZZARD.COM - showdown champs Darcy Sharpe, left, and Maxence Parrot celebrate on the pro men's slopestyle podium of the 17th annual Showcase Showdown. Sharpe placed second behind Parrot in that event, then won the big air contest to take home a total of $12,000.
  • Photo by David Buzzard / www.davidbuzzard.com
  • showdown champs Darcy Sharpe, left, and Maxence Parrot celebrate on the pro men's slopestyle podium of the 17th annual Showcase Showdown. Sharpe placed second behind Parrot in that event, then won the big air contest to take home a total of $12,000.

For his next trick, maybe Darcy Sharpe should look into being a contestant on The Price Is Right, because he's certainly shown he can cash in during a Showcase Showdown.

Sharpe finished second to Canadian Olympian Maxence Parrot in slopestyle on Friday, March 14, and won the pro men's big air the following day to end Whistler's 17th annual Showcase Showdown — a two-day event for the first time — with a cool $12,000 in his pocket.

The Whistler-based 18-year-old thrived in the soggy conditions outside the GLC for his big air victory on Saturday, scoring a 91.3 with a frontside double cork 1080 on his second of two jumps.

"Not too impressive, but it was tough conditions, so it was really whoever could put down a trick," said Sharpe. "It wasn't a lot of fun snowboarding today."

But it was certainly enjoyable for the Comox native to collect the $8,000 big-air grand prize for winning, something he's done at the Showdown before.

"It was one of the first events I ever won, so it's kind of a sick contest for me to come to, and I just like riding with all the homies from Whistler, so it's fun," said Sharpe, who won his first Showdown title in 2011.

"I won three years ago and that kind of kicked off my snowboarding, being sponsored by some cool companies."

Ryan Manning finished in second place on Saturday, taking home $4,000 as the runner-up, while Matts Kulisek finished third.

Though Parrot felt sick both days, he managed to emerge with the slopestyle win in Blackcomb's Nintendo Terrain Park on Friday following a back-and-forth battle with Sharpe.

Parrot led after the first of two runs, but Sharpe surpassed him with a second-run, score of 339 (judges' total). Parrot then reclaimed the lead by scoring a 346 on his final attempt.

"The final was kinda hard," said Parrot, who could barely speak due to illness. "Darcy got higher than me, so on the last run I had a lot of pressure to get by him for first place, and it worked out."

Ryan Stassel (323) grabbed the other podium spot in Friday's contest.

Parrot finished out of the money on Saturday, feeling even worse than he did on Friday, but the slopestyle win added to what's been a phenomenal season for the 19-year-old, including a pair of Winter X Games gold medals.

"It's been my best year so far," said Parrot. "I've been on just about every podium since December, so I'm pretty stoked."

The Showdown, Canada's longest-running snowboard competition, put up $40,000 in prize money and berths into next month's Monster Energy Shred Show this year, which helped to draw a very deep field for the two days of competition.

"There were some heavy hitters here for sure," said Sharpe. "You don't really think about the other guys, though. You focus on the tricks you want to do, or else you get psyched out."

Sean Fitzsimons (slopestyle) and Gord Lehane (big air) were the weekend's men's amateur winners.

RICH, LACROIX-VOGEL TAKE WOMEN'S TITLES

Katherine Lacroix-Vogel ended up going for broke on her first big air attempt Saturday, and the strategy paid off. She put a frontside 720 to her feet that held up for the victory and a cheque for $2,500.

"I was thinking about doing a safety run and I'm really glad I didn't, and just went for it," said Lacroix-Vogel, who earned a score of 80.3 from judges. "The second run, it was too slow to do anything else.

"I felt pretty bad for the pro guys, because it got worse and worse as the day went on."

Canadian Olympian Jenna Blasman was the runner-up and Molly Milligan finished third on Saturday.

In Friday's slopestyle, Aussie local Jess Rich claimed her second Showdown victory in three years, having also won the pro women's title in 2012.

Rich garnered a second-run score of 329 from judges to take the win. Blasman hit the podium in that event as well, placing third behind fellow Canadian slopestyle team rider Breanna Stangeland, last year's Showdown champ.

Visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events for full results.

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