The most extreme event of the winter shaking up slopes of Igora
On March, 9th the most spectacular event of this winter, the Quiksilver New Star by Nokia, took place just off Saint-Petersburg. Russia’s top snowboarders and well as best European stars, freeskiers and world-level aces of snowmobile riding, the KAMAZ-master team headed by Edward Nikolayev – they all gathered on the slopes of Igora ski resort in order to stretch and showcase their limits in front of 10 000 spectators.
The chilly yet sunny day went off with a swish from under the skis of the freestylers – with freeski being a brand new discipline for the Quiksilver New Star by Nokia; and it sure stood strong against snowboarding in terms of its visual appeal. The massive big-air designed and built by Geoffrey Bostwick of Colorado had the big players of the ski freestyle from Russia and Europe throw sw 1260s, 900 tails and cork 900 mutes like there’s no tomorrow. The top 3 riders in the end of the day were Thomas Ritsch, Rene Schawabl and Pavel Karamyshev.
The major part of the event was represented by the 4* TTR World Tour snowboarding competition. This year there was not a single soul who wouldn’t just love the snowboarders’ 20-meter jump – including the spectators, not just the riders. The favourite rider of the event and the winner of last year’s New Star battle, Alexey Sobolev came on top of things yet again, taking the 1st spot, all equipped with high-amplitude and stylish tricks – such as fs 900 tail and sw double cork 900 mute. The big-air 2011 World champion Petja Petja Piiroinen came in second, having landed a bs double cork 1080 mute and a fs 900 tail. Henri Lakkonen took the third place honours back to his Finnish homeland.
Alexey Sobolev: “Somehow I’m not super emotional about my win – I must be really tired, I guess. I’ve been practicing really hard over the few days leading up to the event, and I loved it – not least thanks to the jump. It’s perfect! I just want to stay here and never leave for Europe. Sure, the weather was not its best: the strong wind that blew right in my face wasn’t really helping me pick up speed. It didn’t bother me too much though: I love competing – it’s a way of having a good time, spending time with my friends.”
It was also the third time that the slopes of Igora witnessed the heavy-duty freestyle show, and the crowd was hyped once again. The backflips (backward somersaults) with massive airs on a huge machine performed by a multiple X-Games Best Trick winner Daniel Bodin, as well as tricks by the longest-air record holder Jimmy Blaze, made the spectators literally catch their breaths and scream in awe.
The performance by the KAMAZ-master team was welcomed by inspired cheering – Edward Nikolayev, the team captain, has been increasingly popular after his team’s victory in the Paris-Dakar 2013 rally. Many could still remember the sight of the uber-heavy KAMAZ vehicle flying off the jump back from the previous year.
Edward Nikolayev, KAMAZ-master team: “It’s the second year running that KAMAZ-master team is taking part in the winter event of Quiksilver New Star by Nokia thanks to Red Bull’s kind invitation. It’s a huge honour for us, and it is always an interesting new experience. Firstly, winter is a genuine challenge for a 9-ton KAMAZ and its summer-season tires; secondly, events like this attract top-of-the-league riders, all true aces of their craft, which is fantastic!”
The evening was reserved for the most visually outstanding part – the Nokia Crossover Session: all the participants of all the disciplines rode the same jumps together – at the same time, and the spectators picked the best of the night. The live act of a Moscow-bred indie rock band Biting Elbows was like a cherry on a cake: the guitar riffs accompanied the snowmobiles, skiers, snowboarders and the KAMAZ truck flying all over the night sky. The spectators nominated Daniel Bodin’s snowmobile performance as the most visually spectacular, with this particular title – Top Discipline of the Quiksilver New Star 2013 by Nokia – going out to snowmobiling.