Photos: Nick Atkins/Scene Images
We caught up with Dan Wakeham at ISPO last week, where he was collecting a brand new Head board, and persuading the dudes exhibiting the massive waxing machines to tune it up for him before he headed off to the Nescafé Championships in Leysin, Switzerland. The long-running contest went off in style, as you can see from these video highlights, and Dan had an amazing time of it. He sent us this blog about the event.
The Nescafe Champs has been running since 1992. Terje Haakonsen won their first event when he was only 18. So this year’s event was their 20th anniversary. This last month, Europe hasn’t seen much in the way of snow. Leysin is sat not to far from the city and isn’t massively high in altitude so they must have been panicking when they had to build a top quality slopestyle course for the 5 star TTR event.
Nevertheless, they managed to scrape the snow together and build a great set up. The set up consisted of a kicker straight in to an 80m pipe, then another kicker to a wall ride. The course was tight which meant there was no room for error, each landing needed to be clean so that the riders could keep their line and speed in to the following feature.
My kicker skills weren’t as sharp as the young double dipper ripper kids involved. My run consisted of a cab 900 on the first kicker, McTwist to Crippler in the pipe, BS 540 on the next jump and a cab to rock on the wall ride. Although I didn’t make the cut I had a great time. The event is a so much fun. It is French style event with a Swiss twist. The park in Leysin itself is sat in a little bowl sheltered by a huge rock wall. The opposite side offers stunning views of the Lac Leman (Geneva).
The resort has a great track record of blue bird weather and this year was no exception. The sunshine was beating down and the crowd sat back and relaxed as the DJ from Colour 3 (Geneva based radio) played some great tunes. Every time I have been to Leysin for an event, I have had a great time. I will be back there next year for sure!