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Two different tales at Style Sessions

Long-time friends emerge on men's side, strangers team up for women's win

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Emma Stevens woke up April 15 not thinking at all about the Gibbons Style Sessions on tap in Whistler Village that evening.

It wasn't that the Park & Pipe NextGen team member is cool and collected — it's that she wasn't even planning on competing.

That night, however, she teamed up with snowboarder Brooke Voigt to earn the $4,000 women's prize at the event.

"I didn't know I was competing until about two hours before the comp. I just had to help a girl out that didn't have a partner," the Nova Scotian said. "I wasn't hoping to compete. I wasn't hoping to win. This is just really surprising!

"Someone just contacted me and said 'Brooke needs a partner.' I said 'OK.'"

Added Voigt: "I was contacted about the event and that there was a spot left, then they told me to find a skier. I hit up the skier girls that I did know, but they were taken or not around at the moment. Someone contacted Emma, or something, I really don't know. I got a text from her this afternoon asking if I wanted to do this with her."

After a relatively short practice, Stevens explained she had the chance to watch some of her competitors try out the run before her, and she took some tips from their attempts.

"The jump looked a little sketchy at first, but it worked out and we made the most of it," Stevens explained. "I saw a couple girls not go fast enough, so I just pinned 'er and it worked, so I kept doing that. It was pretty mellow once you hit it a couple of times."

Voigt noted that she and Stevens were luckily able to sync their tricks, as important for safety as much as anything else, and their 360s and 720s ended up looking appealing.

"We had never met before and usually when you're going off the take-off of a jump with someone, it's someone you've known for years," Voigt said. "It was pretty funny. We just had to talk a little bit of strategy and make sure that we weren't colliding at any point during the landings and take-offs."

After a long season, Stevens acknowledged her share of the cash will come in handy.

"This money is so important. I'm so stoked to buy groceries. I'm pretty hyped," she said.

The story was quite the opposite on the men's side as longtime friends Francis Jobin and Alex Beaulieu-Marchand ended up scoring the win — and $8,000.

"It's insane. I've been riding with my friend ABM, I've known this guy forever. We're both from Quebec City, so it's a dream come true riding together, and winning, too. We didn't expect that," Jobin said. "It's fun to be riding with friends. It's not the craziest setup, not the biggest jump, but you show and jump together and it's something special."

Jobin said while he and Beaulieu-Marchand had some ideas of what they wanted to do on their attempts, their familiarity also paid off in spades.

"Coming down I wasn't really thinking about it. We had our plans before we came here. Honestly, I've been riding with Alex all season, it was nothing different. We just cruised down the park together. It's nice to be competing," he said.

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