The final Ontario contest of the year went down this past weekend, Saturday March 3rd, and Sunday March 4th at Mount St Louis Moonstone, The Ontario Championships. The event took the Outback by storm, with over 40 riders competing across two disciplines, Halfpipe and Slopestyle. This was the biggest turn out of freestyle athletes of any Snowboard Ontario event this year, and I think everyone would agree that it was one of the best.
Friday, March 2nd things kicked off with open practice for both Halfpipe and Slopestyle. With a perfectly cut pipe, well-groomed jumps and blue skies, athletes were hungry to ride the course and start piecing together their competition runs. The days following, the weather remained gorgeous and the jumps and pipe only got better.
Saturday, the Ontario Halfpipe Championships were underway. Featuring team riders Emma Brearley, Rachel Secord, Colin Hunter, Wyatt, Spalding, Connor Todd, Chris Fava, Liam Brearley and Kiran Pershad, we had a stacked list of riders across all different age categories. Starting with the Womens Open division, team riders Rachel Secord and Emma Brearley showed their skills putting together full top to bottom runs. Rachel was boosting through the pipe with some stylish grabs, going a little bigger and looking more solid with every run. Emma managed to put down a frontside 360 followed by a cab 360 after a solid top section. In the Grom division, team riders Wyatt and Colin were holding it down for The Senders. Colin was going big on every hit and mixed a handplant into his run to top things off. Wyatt dropped in with one of the most creative runs of the day, getting tons of hits and spinning multiple directions, stomping an alley oop 540 and earning himself a spot on the podium. In the Men’s Am Division, Chris was going big and managed to put down some different spins and alley oops, while Connor followed that up with back to back 360s with a 540 at the bottom. The Mens Open division was last to drop featuring team riders Kiran Pershad and Liam Brearley. Liam managed to put together a fantastic run linking some 360s and 540s, and finishing it all of with a stylish euro carve. Halfpipe phenom Kiran Pershad dropped in with a 10 foot frontside air, followed by pair of 540s, into a backside air and closed things off with a massive frontside 720 just before he ran out of pipe. This run earned him the gold medal, with Liam next to him in the second spot and Louis rider Ryan Kangas taking home the bronze. It was a great finish for everyone who competed and for most; this only marked the first of two events of the weekend. With the exception of Kiran Persahad, who left for halfpipe Nationals the next day, everyone was excited to drop in and do it all again Sunday, for the Ontario Slopestyle Championships.
Sunday was another great day with a huge turnout. With multiple team riders in every division from GROM to Open; the Senders had a strong presence at the Slopestyle Championships. First, Men’s Open dropped in being the only division to compete on the main Outback jump line featuring 55’ plus sized jumps. The jumps were big and the tricks were even bigger, seeing team riders Sam Koven putting down a frontside 1080 and Patrice Poulin back that up with what was undoubtedly Ontario’s favourite backside double cork 1080. Liam Brearley put down a smooth jump run with some very technical and flawlessly executed rail tricks to top it all off and secure the top spot next to Patrice and Sam in second and third respectively. Other highlights included Josephs, frontside 720, Thomas’s backside 720, Joel’s cab 270 and backside 720, Evans method to the bottom, Coltan’s switch backside 540, Carters frontside 720 and Cameron linking back-to-back 720s after a rough bail in practice. In the Am division, tons of tricks were going down on the small line. Adam Cohen linked two 540’s, Brenden was getting stylish on the rails with a clean cab 180 back 360 combo on jumps, Liam had a smooth frontside 540, Connor with a beauty frontside blunt 270 on the flat bar and Ben with a huge frontside 720 on the money booter to secure the top spot in the amateur division. For the Groms, Colin and Andrew Wyatt were all having some fun. Colin managed to put down a grabbed backside 360 while Andrew was consistently landing his frontside 180 to cab 180 combo and managed to mix a 360 in on his final run. In the Girls Amateur division Rachel and Emma Secord set things off with some well-held grabs while Avery and Emma Brearley were spinning some frontside and cab 180s. Madison Gale stepped things up in the Women’s Open division with a clean cab 180 into a frontside 360 and had some technical rail tricks at the top.
At the end of the day, almost everyone managed to land a run and ride away happy. It was a great turnout and fun to watch everyone’s hard work and progression throughout the season pay off. The contest was a huge success and everyone had a blast.