Rail Session draws a crowd, Stompeders wrestle with snow 

10,000 show up for rail jam in Skiers' Plaza

Judges scored every spin, grind and press at rail jam. Photo by Andrew Mitchell
  • Judges scored every spin, grind and press at rail jam. Photo by Andrew Mitchell

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Meanwhile the snowboard competition picked up considerably in the afternoon’s final from the morning’s semi-final, thanks to a change of wax. In the morning riders were having a hard time clearing the top table, but in the afternoon they even had enough speed to make the top box, 18 feet over the quarterpipe gap. Most of the time, anyway – Mike Osachuk fell into the air bag at the bottom on his second run after a bobbled takeoff. He was okay, but a little slow getting up.

Craig Beaulieu had his best day of the season, squeaking through the qualifier and going on to win the men’s snowboard title ahead of Ontario’s Brad Martin, the 2005 slopestyle winner. Squamish rider Dennis Bannock, who charged the hip/stump with so much speed he completely cleared it. Was third.

"My first final run I decided to keep it simple, keep it stock, and I’m so glad I did because in my second run I actually fell," said Bealieu. "I was quite nervous waiting for the scores."

Bealieu’s best trick was a backside 720 off the top table – not the only one attempted, but definitely the best of the day.

"The competition was very high," he said. "Dennis Bannock has been all over Whistler for a long time… and he is still killing it. He’s turning 34 and I’m only 20, but he’s still killing it twice as hard as I am.

"And I was definitely watching Brad Martin, he’s definitely a big name. I’m amazingly happy."

Whistler’s Neil Connolly finished fourth by two-tenths of a point, but won the Whistler Bungee award after nailing the A-frame.

This week’s events are the Salomon Superpipe, which wraps up on Saturday afternoon, and Saturday’s night’s Playstation Big Air.

Stompede Scores

Ski Women

1. Kaya Turski – 8.1

2. Michelle Parker – 7.5

3. Denise Jaworsky – 6.8

Ski Men

1. Mike Henitiuk – 9.1

2. Riley Leboe – 8.9

3. Taylor Felton

Snowboard Women

1. Star of Peace Quinn – 6.7

2. Charmaine Ironside – 5.9

3. Bev Vuillemier – 5.5

Snowboard Men

1. Craig Beaulieu – 9.2

2. Brad Martin – 8.5

3. Dennis Bannock – 8.4

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