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Roster shaping up for WSSF events

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Ripzone Snowboard Invitational and World Skiing Invitational athlete invite lists released.

A few RSVPs are probably still in the mail, but with just over a month left until the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival the competitive field is starting to take shape for the Ripzone Snowboard Invitational and World Skiing Invitational.

The Ripzone Invitational kicks off a week of art, music and competition with a superpipe jam contest on April 17-18, including an athlete-judged superhit contest, and the Big Air event at the base of Whistler Mountain on the afternoon of April 17.

The top athletes from the snowboarding world were extended invitations to the competitions which boast a combined prize purse of $55,000. Some wildcard spots are also being held open for the top riders from the superpipe qualifier.

The World Skiing Invitational takes place the following weekend with the superpipe qualifier on Friday, Apr. 23 and the Salomon Superpipe and Salomon Big Air the following day.

Over $50,000 in cash will be handed out to the winners of the two events.

Ripzone Snowboard Invitational

Ripzone Superpipe

There is $37,000 up for grabs in the Superpipe events, including $5,000 in the athlete-judged Superhit contest after the finals. The top five men will receive $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, $1,250 and $750 respectively and the top four women will receive $7,000, $3,500, $1,100 and $400.

The list of invited athletes includes David Carrier-Porcheron, Guy Deschenes, Keir Dillon, Josh Duncan, Steve Fisher, Andrew Hardingham, Danny Kass, Rob Kingwill, Kazuhiro Kokubo, Justin Lamoureux, Crispin Lipscomb, David Melancon, Jan Maichaelis, Daniel Migneault, Guillaume Morisset, Abe Teter, Elijah Teter, and Luke Wynen.

The list of athletes on stand-by includes Hugo Lemay, David Aubry, Dennis Bannock, Brad Martin, Trevor Jennings, Jesse Kumlea, Mike Michalchuk, Kelly Schovanek, Dan Raymond and Rube Goldberg.

The list of prequalified women includes Gretchen Bleiler, Tricia Byrnes, Kelly Clark, Sarah Conrad, Anna Hellman, Avery MacKenzie, Mercedes Nicoll, Maelle Ricker, Hannah Teter, Dominique Vallee and Natasza Zurek. Stand-by competitors include Lesley McKenna, Amanda Mourant, Michelle Ford, Sarah Kopinya and Hanna Lundmark.

Ripzone Big Air

The Big Air event has an $18,000 prize purse this year, and should attract upwards of 10,000 spectators on late Saturday afternoon. This event is open to men only, with prizes starting at $10,000 for first, $5,000 for second, $2,000 for third, $500 for fourth, and $250 for fifth and sixth.

The list of invited jumpers includes Neil Connolly, Josh Feliciano, Andrew Hardingham, Roger Hjelmstadstuen, Lukas Huffman, Tyler Massey, Marc-Frank Montoya, Guillaume Morisset, Eero Niemela, Henki Oedegaard, Mike Osachuk, Ryan Paris, Mikey Rencz, Benji Ritchie, Nate Sheehan, Marc-Andre Tartre, Paavo Tikkanen and Travis Williams.

The standby list includes Chris Dufficy, Daryl Trinidad, Kevin Sansalone, Iikka Backstrom, Dionne Delesalle, Justin Lamoureux, Jon Roth, Kelly Schovanek, Scott Gaffney, Chris Brown, Guy Deschenes, Patrick McCarthy, Nick Gregory, David Melancon and Abe Teter.

All of the athletes invited were selected by a Competition Design Team which included event organizers, industry reps and pro athletes. The group includes Justin Lamoureux, Kevin Sansalone, Maelle Ricker, Tara Teigen, Adrian Millar and Brandon Wong.

Riders not on the list can try to get on it in the qualifier on Friday. You can register online at www.whistler2004.com/registration-forms/snowboard.php.

World Skiing Invitational

WSI Salomon Superpipe and Superhit Competition

For the men’s contest the top 30 new school freeskiers will hit the pipe in an extended jam session, including 20 invites and 10 additional skiers from the qualifier heats. A prize purse of $18,500 is up for grabs including $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,000 for third, $1,000 for fourth and $500 for fifth.

The Superhit purse, which goes to the athlete with the best single trick in the pipe as decided by the athletes themselves is $5,000.

In the women’s event there will be 10 skiers, including five invites and five skiers chosen in the qualifier on Friday. The first prize is $5,000, second prize is $2,100 and third prize is $1,000.

The 20 men invited to the Superpipe competition are Josh Bibby, Rory Bushfield, David Crichton, Simon Dumont, Charles Gagnier, Tanner Hall, Scott Hibbert, Phil Larose, Dan Marion, Shoya Okazaki, Peter Olenick, Jon Olsson, Jon Reedy, TJ Schiller, JP Solberg, John Symms, Stefan Thomas, Greg Tuffelmire, Henrik Winstedt and Andrew Woods.

The stand-by list includes Brent Abrams, Andy Mahre, Philou Poirier, Rex Thomas and Oakley White-Allen.

The women’s superpipe invites went to Sarah Burke, Hannah Epps, Virginie Faivre, Marie Martinod and Jamie Sundberg. The stand-by athletes are Grete Eliassen, Kristi Leskinen and Kim Stacey.

As with the Ripzone Superpipe, the qualifier is open to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis. You can register online at www.whistler2004.com/registration-forms/skiing.php.

WSI Salomon Big Air

The Salomon Big Air competition, which takes place under the lights at the base of Whistler Mountain, has a prize purse of $18,400 – $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,000 for third, $1,000 for fourth and $100 each for fifth through eighth.

Each athlete will get two jumps in the elimination round, with only the top score counting. The top eight skiers will move into the semi-finals in a one-jump head-to-head format before the top four advance to the final showdown.

The list of invited athletes includes Mark Abma, Chris Benchetler, Josh Bibby, Rory Bushfield, David Crichton, Mikael Deschenauz, Tom Dolezel, Simon Dumont, Charles Gagnier, Tanner Hall, Peter Olenick, Jon Olsson, Tanner Rainville, TJ Schiller, Rory Silva, Rex Thomas, Mike Wilson, Henrik Winstedt, Andrew Woods and the winner of Japan’s Canada Cup, which is still to be determined.

The stand-by list includes Iannick B., Stefan Thomas, Michael Olenick, Chris Booth, Shoya Okazaki, Matt Sterbenz, Heath Ordway, Jon Kozody, Andy Mahre and Mauro Nunez.

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