Michael Mawn and Finn Eisenman head across the pond for the Freeride World Tour and Freeride Junior World Championships.
Finn Eisenman - Freeride Junior World Championships
Jan 23rd - Jan 26th
Finn Eisenman's win at Big Sky, Montana last season earned him the top overall ranking in the U18 Mens Snowboard Category for the North American region, therefore earning him a ticket to this years Freeride Junior World Championships in Kappl, Austria. Finn goes into the competition as the top ranked competitor, edging out his counterparts from the Europe Oceana region with 2900 points.
Finn flew out to Austria today with his family who have travelled with him to show their support in his first ever European competition. The Freeride Junior World Championships will be the biggest event of Finn's career so far and he is eager to make the most of this opportunity on the world stage. Typically, those successful in the World Junior Championships have gone on to qualify for the World Tour itself. Just last year, Junior Champs winner Max Palm was given a wildcard to the World Tour and burst onto the scene by winning his debut stage in Baqueira Beret with the first double backflip in FWT history.
Finn is feeling great following his recovery from a tailbone injury and was very happy to finally see some decent snowfall in Austria before the competition starts. Snow conditions have been difficult in Europe this winter but this latest dump will ensure the competition goes ahead as planned. That being said, the base is still not what we would expect it to be in late January so it could still be a little spicy in places by the time competition comes around.
Best of luck Finn, we will all be cheering for you!
You can watch the Freeride Junior World Championships live on www.freerideworldtour.com
Michael Mawn - Freeride World Tour - Stage 1
Baqueira Beret, Spain
Jan 28th-Feb 2nd
Michael has made his way up to British Columbia to get some last minute training in at Revelstoke. He's been working hard, hitting big lines at his local resorts (and now in BC) in preparation for his first title defence on the Freeride World Tour, having won in Spain last year.
It's hard to believe that it's been almost a whole year since I woke up my housemates celebrating (in the middle of the night here in Canada) when I saw the judges verdict pop up on the screen to confirm that Michael had taken the top spot for the first stage of the FWT 21/22 season. That victory was an emotional one as I knew how hard Michael had worked to re-qualify for the World Tour following a couple of disappointing falls the season before.
When Michael didn't qualify for the final two stages in the 20/21 season he went straight back home and into the gym to recover from a concussion and get himself ready to compete again. He went on to win 3 Qualifier events back to back to back, which propelled him once more to the main event and straight to the top of the podium in Spain.
Michael finished last season joint 3rd overall (Tied with Cody Bramwell) and hopes this year to keep his performances consistent with his sights set on the top of the overall podium in Verbier. The competition is fierce, but a strong result in Spain would be a great first step. His confidence is as high as ever, he's been riding well this season and most importantly he's been enjoying it.
After all the drama of rearranging the Kicking Horse event and worrying that there wouldn't be enough snow in Europe, we are glad that things are all falling into place and we're sure this will be a FWT season for the books.
Good luck Michael! And don't forget to tune in live at www.freerideworldtour.com to watch Michael Compete.