Canadian riders share top of the podium in Halaw Snowboard Invitational at World Ski & Snowboard Festival
WHISTLER, B.C. April 12, 2019 – It was a day of sun, slush, ruts, big air and bigger tricks at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF). 16 of the best freestyle snowboarders in the world descended on Whistler, each vying for a piece of the nearly $75,000 pie, under the watchful eye of 1500+ spectators gathered in Whistler Village, and thousands more tuning in live around in the world.
The challenge? Go big over a 66 foot jump set up at the base of Whistler Mountain for the Halaw (/Hah-l-ow/) Snowboard Invitational, and do it with more style than anyone else.
In the end, two young Canadian snowboarders each walked away with $20,000. Jasmine Baird (CAN) and Jack MacDougall (CAN) end their 2019 competition seasons on a winning note under champagne and sparkling apple showers. The latter for MacDougall who, at only 18, isn’t old enough for alcoholic bubbly just yet.
The WSSF podium is familiar territory for the men’s winner. The Grande Prairie, Alberta rider came second in the event last year.
This year, his cab 12 triple cork, and backside 14 triple cork, boosted him to the top step with a combined score of 179.5. Right behind him with a combined score of 174.5, veteran competitor Mark McMorris (CAN), known as one of the most decorated athletes in competitive snowboarding history. Third place went to Quebec’s Francis Jobin (CAN) with 171.75.
For Georgetown, Ontario’s Baird, it was a backside seven and cab underfoot 540 that set her apart, earning her a total of 142. The 19-year-old had some steep competition Julia Marino (USA), who won the event last year, taking second with 141.75, and Olympic silver-medallist Laurie Blouin (CAN) coming in third with 131.25.
Both MacDougall and Baird said conditions were a big consideration today. While the spring sun set a great vibe for the contest, the double-digit temperatures made for a soft, slushy landing.
“I was really thankful the run in and the takeoff was pretty solid, so that was a luxury actually,” said Baird. “The landing was a bit hard to deal with though.” Working with what Mother Nature had dealt, the 19-year-old said she changed how she rode throughout the course of the contest. “That’s just how it goes.”
MacDougall said it was all about strategy and faith.
“As I’m watching people riding, before I drop, I start to think about what I’m going to do, and how I should start to formulate my runs – what tricks to do and how to do them and in what order,” said the 18-year-old. “It gets tougher when you can’t really tell what the landing is like, because you don’t know where’s good to land. You’ve just got to trust yourself.”
“It worked out tonight,” he added. “So I’m happy.”
As for ending his season on a winning note?
“I’m so hyped.”
The Halaw Snowboard Invitational is a snowboarding Big Air competition, a discipline in which competitors perform tricks after launching off a large jump. In Whistler, the jump is built at the base of Whistler Mountain, making it the perfect event for spectators eager to witness the incredible skill and creativity that shine at this event.
The event was renamed in 2019. “Halaw” means “Eagle,” weaving in tradition from the Lil’Wat First Nation.
The WSSF’s Big Air competitions are proudly supported by the Resort Municipality of Whistler, in partnership with funding from the Province of British Columbia.
Tomorrow, it’s the skiers time to shine, as the Sp’awkus Ski Invitational goes live from Whistler to the world on WSSF.com at 4:30 p.m.
The time is now: Soak it in. Go all out. Make it count.
Release assets: Flickr
About the World Ski & Snowboard Festival
The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is North America’s largest festival of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture, April 10-14, 2019. Get fired up for progression, speed and excitement as the Ski and Snowboard Big Air competitions, the steepest ski race in the world, and finals of the Monster Energy Boarderstyle World Championships launch from Whistler. Soak in the best of mountain culture at art, film, photography, and speaker events. Get loud alongside musicians and DJs at the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series. Then keep the party going through elevated après sessions at Whistler’s renowned restaurants and bars.
This is the après of your season.
Soak it in. Go all out. Make it count.
WSSF was born in 1996, created by event producer Doug Perry. It is currently produced but the Crankworx Events Inc. team in Whistler, B.C.