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Boarders go big before going home

Brad Martin biggest winner at World Snowboarding Invitatational



If you didn’t make it to either the slopestyle or superpipe events at the World Snowboarding Invitational this year, here’s some of what you missed.

• Whistler’s Neil Connolly out-airing and out-spinning the competition with switch 720s and corked 900s to claim the men’s slopestyle title;

• Brad Martin’s weekend – he was second in the slopestyle, then went on to win the halfpipe;

• Former big air champion Mike Page launching almost 15 feet out of the quarterpipe in the Big Hit contest;

• Pro rookie Spencer O’Brien of Courtenay, fourth in the U.S. Open this year, easily winning the women’s slopestyle;

• Crispin Lipscomb landing 1080s in the superpipe;

• 13-year-old Jed Anderson of Calgary boosting 540s more than 10-feet out of the pipe;

• Justin Lamoureux’s spins and flips, broken arm and all;

• Tricia Byrnes getting 10 feet out of the pipe in the women’s contest;

• Elijah Teeter launching almost 20 feet out to win the men’s SuperHit contest.

Whistler riders, including members of the national team, figured prominently in both events and shared in the $50,000 prize purse.

WSBI Slopestyle

Although the XL jumps in the Blackcomb Park are always on the big side, they got a lot bigger after all the snow in recent weeks. The tombstones were huge, the tables were long, and the transitions were steep – perfect for spinning, but on the dangerous side if you came in too slow or too fast.

Whistler’s Neil Connolly, a member of the World Cup big air team, came into the competition relaxed and did the run he always does in the park. He nailed every landing perfectly to finish second in the final, and first in the superfinal.

"It was a bit of a surprise," he said. "There was a little bit of luck involved I think. I didn’t have my best run in the superfinal, but neither did anybody else. I just did what I usually do out there, I wasn’t taking anything super seriously, and everything worked out."

His run started big with a cab 900 off the first jump, landed a switch backside 540 off the second jump, then followed up with a frontside 360, a backside 720 and a huge backflip on the quarterpipe.

Brad Martin finished a close second, followed by Marc-Andre Tarte, who launched the biggest airs but had some trouble with his landings.

In the women’s event, Whistler’s Star of Peace Quinn was the big surprise, making it through the qualifier and onto the podium behind 16-year-old Spencer O’Brien and Susi Davis of Whistler. O’Brien was the top rookie at the U.S. Open this year, finishing fourth behind the top slopestyle riders in the world, and Davis is an accomplished pro rider.

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