Kiran Pershad and Rebecca Ballantyne competed in their first Revolution tour stop at Copper Mountain in Colorado in early December. With a warm November and a low snow pack, the Park crew at Copper Mountain were able to assemble a 22ft super pipe at the last Minute, just in time for a modified schedule event to take place with only one day of training.
With Olympic qualifying points on offer, some big names showed up to compete, much to the surprise of many athletes in the event. Reigning Olympic Gold Medalist from Switzerland Iouri Podlotchikov (iPod), 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist and Multiple Snowboard World Tour Overall Champion Peetu Piironen from Finland and multiple national team athletes from many different countries, were lining up in the gate.
The short one-day training window meant that everyone had to go straight into their best on the day, without a lot of preparation time. Kiran got right into the groove with some lofty airs and clean style, while Rebecca opted to get straight into spinning on her first run. Extremely cold temperatures had the pipe running slow for training, but the competition day started with no wind and milder conditions, meaning that the veterans in the field all stepped up their riding significantly over training. Kiran unfortunately over-rotated a frontside 540 on his first run, but managed to keep it together and followed up with a frontside 360 to Cab 540 two hits later, nudging his way into 47th position ahead of Quebec’s Remi hogue in 48th and Alberta’s Deion Adams and Jack Collins in 53rd and 57th respectively. National Team athlete Trevor Niblett was the top finishing Canadian in 14th place.
Rebecca opted to throw three 360’s into her runs, riding away clean on both and pushing her height a bit more on the second run to end up in 26th place with notable young Quebec rider Elizabeth Hosking finishing back in 31st after unfortunately falling on both runs on the last hit. National team athlete Mercedes Nicoll was the only Canadian to make the finals and finished in a respectable 6th place. China dominated both categories with 1st in the mens and a 1-2 in the women's events.
All in all it was a great experience for the two athletes and had to be thrilling to get to compete with some high-level riders in the field. Soon the pipes will be open here at home and everyone will get to work on some new skills for the next one!