The Freeride World Tour is Coming - And 'Brit' Sascha Hamm is Competing!

MERCURIALLY TALENTED FREERIDER RETURNS FOR THE WORLD'S BIGGEST CONTEST SERIES

This weekend will see the Freeride World Tour kick off in Courmayeur, Italy.

This year the prestigious series of freeride comps will take in stops in Italy, France, Austria, Canada and the USA, before finishing in the traditional extravaganza of insanity that is the Verbier Xtreme in Switzerland, where riders tackle this face – the legendary Bec du Rosses.

All that would be exciting enough but for us at least, this year’s tour has an extra spice added to it, because the UK’s Sascha Hamm is competing.

Sascha’s name may not be instantly familiar to many British shredders, especially younger riders, but there was a time back in the early 2000s where this man was widely considered to be among the best freeriders – or snowboarders full stop for that matter – ever to come out of the British scene.

Sascha was the greatest freerider we’ve ever produced. He was also clearly mad.

- Chris Moran

 

Spencer Claridge, when nominating Sascha for Whitelines list of the top 20 British riders ever back in 2009 said “Sascha possessed the greatest level of board control I ever witnessed from a UK rider”.

Another contemporary, Si Brass (no slouch himself on a snowboard) reckoned Sascha was “so far ahead of his time. Cab 9 warm up tricks in the backcountry says it all.”

Yet despite his obvious talents, Sascha never pursued sponsorship or contest wins. After a few seasons of killing it while riding for himself, and a nasty avalanche scare, he quit snowboarding – seemingly for good – to pursue a career as a racing driver.

Clearly the need for speed was something that ran deep, but like the snowboarding equivalent of Sid Barrett, he’d quit when he was arguably at his peak.

SACHAHAMM_LESARCS_HAMILTON-small
Sascha Hamm hooning it down a couloir in Les Arcs at the height of his powers. Photo: Nick Hamilton

The fact that this mercurial talent is back would be news enough in itself. The fact that he’s qualified for the Freeride World Tour (no mean feat in itself) and will be the first British man representing on the largest freeriding stage since James Stentiford’s last comp a couple of years ago, means this season could be a seriously exciting one for us Brits.

After all, this is a man who Whitelines contributor Chris Moran said was “the greatest freerider we’ve produced. He was effortless and had style beyond his years. He was also clearly mad.” How could that not be fun to watch?

We’ll be following Sascha’s progress this season and live-casting every stop of the Freeride World Tour here on whitelines.com, starting with the Courmayeur event which (thanks to the weather window) has been scheduled to go ahead tomorrow (January 17th).

Here are the dates for the rest of the tour.

SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2014 COMPETITION DATES

1. Swatch Freeride World Tour Courmayeur Mont-Blanc by The North Face

Date: 17 January; Location: Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Italy

Disciplines: Men’s Ski and Snowboard

 

2. Swatch Freeride World Tour Chamonix-Mont-Blanc by The North Face

Date: 25 January; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

 

3. Swatch Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen by The North Face

Date: 1 February; Location: Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal, Austria

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

 

4. Swatch Freeride World Tour Kirkwood by The North Face

Date: 1 March; Location: Kirkwood, California, USA

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

 

5. Swatch Freeride World Tour Revelstoke by The North Face

Date: 10 March; Location: Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

 

6. Swatch Xtreme Verbier by The North Face

Date: 22 March; Location: Verbier, Switzerland

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

 

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