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Team Volkl takes soggy Orage Masters


The motto of the Cub Scouts is to always "Do Your Best," and it was the motto and costume theme of Team Volkl at the Orage Masters this year, which took place on Sunday in some horrible conditions. While the 2008 contest was sunny and warm, competitors this year huddled under umbrellas and Gore-Tex, and spent their time between runs drying their gloves or applying coats of rainy-day wax.

Out of the fog, however, came some truly inspired skiing. The top ski companies each sent a team of four to the event - three male skiers and a female - with other teams and a panel of judges scoring the team effort on every trip down the slopestyle course.

While skiing is the most important thing, the Orage Masters are also all about style. That's why the athletes dress up, and why they might score a more difficult costume a little bit higher.

Volkl (Ahmet Dadali, Tim Russell, Matt Phillipi and Anna Borgman) won the event in their scout uniforms, even putting on a demonstration of how to start a fire by rubbing skis and poles together. It was the first time that a team has won an event two years in a row.

In head-to-head matchups Volkl bested 4FRNT in the first round and K2 in round two to go head to head against Team Armada in the finals. Volkl won that contest, largely based on the log-of-love-riding theatrics of Matt Phillipi. All four members and the team manager were presented with white Orage blazers, gold plated chains and medals that probably weighed five kilos each, Zune players, Sorel boots, and gift certificates from Contiki to fly to any surf destination in the world, as well as a cash prize.

Armada, which featured the hot dog suit, placed second, while last year's runner ups at K2 placed third with their Trailer Park Boys theme.

The Volkl team manager was proud of his team.

"It was a little more soggy than last year, a little cloudy and a little rainy, but I think it worked to our advantage," he said. "It's nice for us to be able to come out at the end of the year, dress up, and have a few drinks. I don't know if we set out to win, but we did set out to be the team that has the most fun out there and the judges liked our attitude."

The course was built in the Blackcomb Terrain Park this year and started with a table, followed by two rails, followed by another table, followed by two up-boxes, followed by another jump and a jib area that includes moguls, walls, and a quarter pipe with a 30-foot log sticking straight up. Volkl's Matt Phillipi won over the judges when he touched the top of the log with his skis, going higher than other competitors to clinch the competition.

Adams knew his team could ski, but was especially impressed by Anna Borgman. "We actually had trouble finding a female member this year, there were a few injuries that left us searching for a last-minute replacement," he said. "Anna fit right in, she held her own out there and really helped the team."