The Swatch Freeride World Tour Comes To Kirkwood

PRESS RELEASE - The fourth stop of the SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2013 (FWT) continues its season of exciting global big mountain freeride competition stateside at Kirkwood, California, USA on Feb. 27, 2013. The competition can be witnessed from anywhere in the world via live webcast available the day of competition on www.freerideworldtour.com. The first possible day of competition is scheduled for Feb. 27 with a weather window extending to March 3.

“It comes as no surprise that Kirkwood has been having a very snowy first half of the season. Conditions are setting up the mountain to have prime coverage needed for this event,” observed FWT Americas Competition Director Bryan Barlow.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort’s big mountain venue, The Cirque, is the ideal location for the fourth stop of the 2013 FWT. The Cirque is comprised of exposed, steep and raw terrain, which is permanently closed to the general public, allowing for a unique and exciting North American freeride venue.

“With unmatched inbounds terrain and some of the deepest snow in the country, Kirkwood is an appropriate choice as the only U.S. stop for the Freeride World Tour,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s general manager. “This event really solidifies our position as one of the premier big mountains in the country, and I personally can’t wait to see these athletes tackle The Cirque.”

On its fourth stop for the season, competition amongst the deeply talented international athlete field is heating up. The tour started with a roster of 36 prequalified male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers and seven female snowboarders. The 2013 FWT features five stops for male skiers and snowboarders, and four stops for female skiers and snowboarders before a cut will be made for the SWATCH Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland. After the fifth stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria, the top three results out of five events for men and the top three results out of four events for women will be used to qualify riders for Verbier and the 2014 FWT.

Tahoe area local and 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Champion Josh Daiek is looking forward to competing at his home mountain this season.

“I’m simply stoked for the competition to be at Kirkwood!” said Daiek ‟It has some of the most fun terrain and is one of the best competition venues in the world.”

The SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face at Kirkwood Mountain Resort begins Mon., Feb. 25, 2013 with athlete arrival. The opening ceremonies for the FWT will be on Tues., Feb. 26 with possible competition dates beginning on Weds., Feb. 27 through March 3.

SWATCH Freeride World Tour by the North Face 2013 Kirkwood Schedule:

Monday, February 25 Athlete Arrival Day Location
9:00am – 4:00pm Athlete Check In Red Cliffs Lodge
6:00pm – 8:00pm FWT Welcome Party TBD
     
Tuesday, February 26 Athlete/Media Check In Location
9:00am – 4:00pm Athlete Check In Red Cliffs Lodge
9:00am – 4:00pm Media Check In Red Cliffs Lodge
9:00am – 4:00pm Venue Inspection The Cirque
5:00pm – 5:30pm Mandatory Athlete Meeting Red Cliffs Lodge
6:00pm – 8:00pm Opening Ceremonies/Bib draw TBD
     
Wednesday, February 27 First Possible Contest Date Location
8:00am – 8:30am Athlete/Media Load Kirkwood Mountain Resort
10:00am – 3:00pm Kirkwood Mountain Resort The Cirque
5:00pm – 5:30pm Mandatory Athlete Meeting Red Cliffs Lodge
     
February 28 – March 3 Weather Days

For athlete information visit: www.FreerideWorldTour.com

SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face

The Freeride World Tour is the premier big mountain Freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing on the biggest mountain resort venues. Riders compete one at a time and receive an overall score from a judging panel based on numerous categories including line difficulty, control, fluidity, technique and style. The event features natural terrain features found on the most exciting format possible. A start gate is positioned at the summit with a finish gate at the bottom. The best complete runs win. The sport is similar in context to big-wave surfing with skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and couloirs. Competition runs are enhanced with progressive big jumps and mach-speed turns at an aggressive pace.

The North Face

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers, and major outdoor specialty retail chains. For more information, go to: www.thenorthface.com

SWATCH

Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch and jewelry maker and one of the world’s most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its big-brand support for snowboarding, free skiing, FMX and surfing, along with Beach Volleyball. Right from the start, Swatch connected with art and artists, and Swatch watches remain a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines. www.swatch.com

Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is one of the nation’s top destination resorts. Located just 177 miles from the Bay Area along scenic Highway 88, its base elevation of 7,800-feet, assures skiers more annual snowfall than any other resort in North America. Kirkwood is recognized by winter purists and national media alike for the quality of its snow and terrain variety and is a true skier’s destination. Known for its pristine beauty and action-packed expeditions and events, winter fun includes skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sled dog tours, and backcountry expeditions. An ideal location for weddings and corporate meetings, the Kirkwood Village includes boutique shopping, live music and dining.

FWT MANAGEMENT

FWT Management SA, based in Lutry/Lausanne-Switzerland, is organizing world-class sports events in mountain resorts and regions since 1996. Founder of “Verbier Xtreme” – iconic event in Freeride skiing & snowboarding –, FWT Management SA has taken the stand-alone Verbier Xtreme event to create Freeride World Tour, Freeride World Qualifying Series, Freeride Junior Series, and a Freeride Skiing Team Competition (Swatch Skiers Cup) with events in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.

Mountain Sports International, Inc. (MSI)

Mountain Sports International (MSI) is a private company, founded in 1997, to develop and produce action/adventure sports events and programming in North America. MSI operates the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face, in addition to several other properties and concepts. MSI launched MSI Live in 2009, to provide live HD webcast production, content management, encoding, and satellite uplink & delivery. MSI provides event management services, infrastructure and expertise for high-end brands, including The North Face, Red Bull, Subaru, UFC, Burton and Sierra Nevada. MSI matches brand and culture, company and credibility, to create sought-after events that help to define the action sports culture. For more information visit: www.mtsports.com