Alaska Freeride World Tour 2015 Highlights
With the familiar dulcet tones of Ed Leigh joining us for the fourth stop on the 2015 Freeride World Tour things were already off to a great start, but when the cameras panned up to see the Alaskan face the riders would be dropping in to it became clear that the people tuning in for the live stream were in for a treat. For the first time the FWT was about to kick off in Haines.
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Sammy Luebke First Place Run Alaska FWT 2015
But as Sammy Luebke set off- the first rider to drop - suddenly the gnarliness of the terrain that had been hyped up seemed a little tame - he was flowing down the massive face, carving, getting in the white room and taking a few cheeky drops that seemed to just take him miles down the face. The back 360 in the second steep zone almost looked casual, he was obviously enjoying every turn on the way down.
But as the score of 90.00 came in, it was obvious that we'd just witnessed something special, Luebke had just tamed 'The Venue', setting the score that would ultimately take the win, simultaneously putting him in first place overall on the tour.
Flo Orley Second Place Run Alaska FWT 2015
Flo Orley was the last rider to drop from the men's snowboard category, knowing exactly what he had to do to score big and qualify for the 20th Anniversary of the Verbier Xtreme: the last stop of the 2015 Freeride World Tour.
He actually took a very similar line to Sascha Hamm, going wide out skier's right in the middle section to hit a natural halfpipe that led to one of the biggest airs of the day, out Sascha-ing Sascha and going double the distance. In fact, if Sascha had held on to his very last hit he would have scored higher, but yet again he held on to the bubble position to just squeak through into Verbier.
Orley's score of 87.00 probably could have been enough to put him in first, but a serious case of crazy arms right at the end might have knocked those crucial points off. Still, second place in Haines ain't bad, especially for someone who clocks in at 6'4"!
Colin Boyd Third Place Run Alaska FWT 2015
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Colin Boyd finished off the podium with a solid run down the face, following roughly the same line as Sammy but with a more solid than styled approach. The biggest surprise of the day was tour leader Jonathon Charlet washing out a simple half cab in a deep snow pocket right at the top - even though he smashed the rest of his run it meant that the judges only awarded him a score in the fifties, only enough for eighth place.
He could have won the tour outright right here, but now the standings at the top are as tight as ever, with Sammy Luebke just perched in first place as the pack readies to head to Verbier on Saturday... Exciting stuff awaits.
Sascha Hamm's Alaskan Run FWT 2015
There's no footage from the women's side of things on the internet yet, but as soon as there is we'll let you know exactly what happened. For now though, here's Sascha absolutely sending it as always - an inspiration to weekend warriors everywhere!