American snowboarder Eric Willet has won the 2013 Air and Style contest at the legendary Bergisel Stadium in Innsbruck. The Colorado native stomped a switch backside 1260 in his second run of the super final to pip Canada’s Seb Toots to the ‘Ring of Glory’.
Despite landing two triple corks and earning the highest score of the evening, the much-fancied Mark McMorris couldn’t hold onto the trick in the final.
The knockout format meant he had progressed through relatively easily (despite coming up against Stale Sandbech, who also landed a triple, in the semis) but he couldn’t hold onto it when it counted, tweeting afterwards:
Choked in the final:/ on to the next one…. Congrats to all the dogs that slayed it!
— Mark McMorris (@markmcmorris) February 2, 2013
To get to the final, he, Seb Toots, Eric Willet and Aleks Oestreng had had to fight their way through a packed field, beating many of the world’s best along the way – including Yuki Kadano, the Japanese kid who won Air & Style Beijing.
Meanwhile the crowd – the biggest that Whitelines had ever seen packing out the Bergisel – lapped up every minute of the action, enjoying what was a suitable celebration of 20 years of the legendary event.
The legends who’d ridden in the previous evening’s Burn Style Session were all in attendance (well, almost all, Jamie Lynn and Bryan Iguchi had apparently headed off into the Arlberg Mountains to ride pow) and the crowd even sung Happy Birthday at one point!
You can catch up with what exactly went down on our minute-by-minute live blog here.
All in all, it was a great way to mark the impressive anniversary, and something truly special to have witnessed. Here’s to teh next 20 years!
2013 Billabong Air and Style Innsbruck Result:
1. Eric Willet (USA)
2. Sebastien Toutant (CAN)
3. Alek Oestreng (NOR)
4. Mark McMorris (CAN)