Above Photo: JBERNARD.
The first event of this year’s Freeride World Tour kicked off this weekend in Baqueira Beret where Katie Anderson and Michael Mawn took home the first wins of the season. Scroll down to read the full press release from the event.
“I changed my run last minute and was pretty nervous, but the snow was better than I thought”
Baqueira Beret, Spain – January 29, 2023: Sunny skies greeted athletes today in Baqueira Beret for the first stop of the 2023 Freeride World Tour season. The day lived up to the anticipation, and the world’s best freeriders held nothing back to secure some early-season points.
Conditions proved tricky for competitors at the Baciver venue, with wind-affected snow at the top opening up to more playful powder in the lower sections. But this didn’t deter the athletes, who all went large to impress the judges and gain those valuable points. Here’s what went down today:
FWT21 runner-up, Katie Anderson (CAN), found a playful line, linking multiple airs and grabs with incredible board control, before cruising through the lower powder field with style. Anna Orlova finished in second place, ahead of long-time FWT athlete Erika Vikander (USA) in third.
“It’s really awesome to be back here with all the FWT people, and the fans especially. I changed my run last minute and was pretty nervous, but the snow was better than I thought. I had a lot of fun, and I am stoked with the win. Shout out to Tiff [Tiphanie Perrotin] for the massive air!” – Katie Anderson
Michael Mawn (USA) took the win for the second consecutive year with a strong technical line. He threaded the needle at the top of the course, airing into a tight couloir, which threw him out at high speed into the face. He then sent multiple critical airs while maintaining complete control of the board under his feet. Holden Samuels (USA) was close in second with 90 points – an impressive feat in his first FWT performance – and Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA) rounded off the podium.
“It’s so good to be back here; this is my favorite stop, and the fans are so welcoming. An avalanche took out my planned line, and so I had to pick out another one, which I was a bit on edge about. But I found some good snow and went full throttle – I was really pushing it! I just felt really happy to be here with everyone.” – Michael Mawn
The world’s best freeriders will only have a short time to rest and prepare for the next event – the Ordino Arcalís Pro, running February 4-9 – as the quest for the coveted FWT trophy continues.