Innsbruck, Austria – December 3rd, 2009: At large inner-city events on the Swatch TTR Tour a spot on the start list is a prized commodity as it guarantees a rider the chance to enter the snowboarding book of fame. You might have asked yourself, “How does one get a ticket to compete at an event of such epic proportions as the 6Star Billabong Air &Style in Innsbruck?” Well here’s one way to get yourself on the riders list: The Air & Style Rookie Challenge.
Some of the riders competing in the main event this year made their way to the invite list through winning the Rookie Challenge in the past including the 2006 winner Mikkel Bang (NOR) who went on to take second place in the 2007 6Star Nokia Air & Style. The 2007 Rookie Challenge winner, Tim Humphreys (USA), is another example and will be joining the line up at the main event this year thanks to his win in the past.
This time around, the winner of the Air & Style Rookie Challenge will be rushed straight back to the top to compete in the main event and there are 12 eager newcomers fighting for that top spot.
Young Norwegian, Gjermund Braaten, began collecting podium finishes at local events and found his way to the international event scene by taking the win at the 3Star Völkl Rookie Fest Final 2008. This win at the Rookie Fest also gave him a wild card to the Air & Style 2009 Rookie Challenge.
Many other rising stars will be competing at the Rookie Challenge such as Seppe Smits (BEL) who has also been riding well on the World Rookie Tour. He has only been competing on the Swatch TTR tour for a few years and last season we saw his solid nerves in the “head to head” format 6Star O’Neill Evolution Slopestyle where he took second place and finished the year in TTR World No 38.
The Rookie Challenge will take place early on Saturday 17:00 as a jam session with two judged runs for each rider, with the best result counting. One lucky rider will qualify to ride in the main contest of the 6Star Billabong Air & Style at 20:30 CET against the likes of current Swatch TTR World No. 1, Sebastien Toutant (CAN), and 08/09 Swatch TTR World Champion Peetu Piiroinen (FIN). Don’t miss out on any of the action and come to the Bergisel Stadium or watch the live Webcast on www.ttrworldtour.com.
ABOUT SWATCH TTR:
Founded by Terje Haakonsen and industry innovators in 2002, the Swatch Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour is a non-profit, rider-driven organization with the mission “to create the highest quality competitive snowboard environment in the world, using authenticity, accessibility, innovation as guiding principles”. Since its foundation, the Swatch TTR Tour has been developing into the most exposed snowboard tour worldwide featuring global grass root and key independent freestyle snowboarding events over a ten-month period from Southern to Northern Hemisphere locations. Events are rated via a 1-through-6Star system, with points allocated accordingly, a 6Star event holds the highest (1000 points). Any rider participating in these events, from up-and-coming to professional talent, earns ranking points and a position on the Swatch TTR World Ranking List. The top male and female rider based on an average of their best six results of the season (5+1 system) is crowned Swatch TTR World Snowboard Champion. For more information visit www.ttrworldtour.com.