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Superpipe finals always a show

Top skiers, snowboarders compete for best run, best trick

Members of the national ski and snowboard halfpipe teams and dozens of other pros will be on Blackcomb Saturday, April 19 for the exciting conclusion of the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s Superpipe contest, and as always the afternoon promises to be memorable.

On the skier side, a field of qualifiers will be narrowed down from 58 men and 23 women. Six men have already pre-qualified for the semi-finals — Justin Dorey, Sean Field, Charles Gagnier, Matt Hayward, Jossi Wells and Colby West. The three podium winners from last year — Mike Riddle, Kevin Rolland and Xavier Bertoni — were given a bye into the finals. For the women, Sarah Burke and Jessica Cumming pre-qualified for the final, and will compete against the top-eight from the qualifier round.

For snowboarders, 46 men are competing for the right to be one of the 17 riders to take on Japanese riders Taka Ishihara, Ryo Aono, and Kazuumi Fujita. The women’s contest will include Soko Yamaoka and Yuki Furihata, plus the top eighth women from the qualifier.

The snowboard semi-final is from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Friday, April 18, followed by the finals from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday. As in past years the final will be followed by a half hour snowboard SuperHit contest where the athletes themselves judge the best trick.

The skier semi-final is from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and the final is from 12:50 to 2:15 p.m. Saturday, followed by the SuperHit contest.