30/04/2010 | by Tom Copsey
Where: Ischgl, Austria
Snowboard connoisseurs don’t turn away from competitions after the US Open: They focus their attention on the smaller events of the season in search of some new talent and the ginger-boys of tomorrow. No really! How else would you fill your AM team? And since you were asking: The riding in 9 out of 10 sponsor-me-videos is worse than ours. That’s how bad they are. That’s why we’d rather talk about the World Rookie Fest Finals. Let’s cut to the chase: The riders await many team managers’ googly eyes, prize money, a spot in the next Pirates movie, a freeriding trip to Chile, an Onboard mag shooting, and a wild-card for the next Air&Style rookie challenge. You almost wonder why you would want to become a pro if all of this is up for grabs for rookies?!
This 4Star TTR even goes down from April 7th to 10th 2010 in Ischgl, Austria. It features the hopefuls of the Swatch TTR Tour battling for some of the last points available this season. All throughout the season, upcoming snowboard talents from all over the globe have been competing at international 1, 2, and 3Star World Rookie Fests that were held under the wings of the World Snowboard Federation in corporation with National Associations. Now the 4Star finals are up ahead which offer up to 500 Swatch TTR ranking points and the title of the 2009/2010 WSF World Rookie Champion.
One of the most impressive rookies of the season, Roope Tonteri (FIN), is back to defend his World Rookie Champion title in Ischgl. After a successful season at 5 and 6Star Swatch TTR events around the world, Tonteri is now ranked 8th in the TTR world ranking list and is certainly more prepared than ever for the rookie battle this weekend. Also on the start list is one of the youngest talents out of Switzerland, Patrick Burgener who currently sits in World No. 46 due to his good performances at the 4Star Nescafe Champs Leysin, where he placed second and the 5Star Burton Canadian Open where he finished in 8th in the halfpipe. In the mix are also Max Glatzl out of Austria, and World No. 43, Tor Lundström from Norway who has collected some good results at the 5Star Burn River Jump and the 3Star Protest World Rookie Fest this season.
On the women’s side Katarzyna Rusin (POL), currently sitting in World No. 43, comes to Ischgl to try to repeat her victory at the 3Star World Rookie Fest in Livigno, Italy earlier this season. Other rookie girls eager to measure their talents include Finnish Kristina Nisula and Italian Lisa Caserotti who will be making some of their first appearances on the competition circuit outside their home countries this weekend, after many victories at 1 and 2 Star events in their home countries.
The Protest World Rookie Fest is presented by the new Austrian snowboard association (n.asa) and offers additional prizes such as an invitation to film with Pirate Movie Productions, a freeride film trip in Chile with international Red Bull pros, shooting with Onboard European Snowboard Magazine and a wild card for the Billabong Air & Style Rookie Challenge 2010 in Innsbruck. This event is a true opportunity for newcomers to enter the international stage. Furthermore, it forms the link between the WSF and the TTR and their rookie to pro structure set up.