The 2015 winter Dew Tour stop was in Breckenridge, Colorado. But it would have been more aptly named Podium City for three Comox Valley athletes.
Darcy Sharpe won the snowboard streetstyle and was third in slopestyle while Cassie Sharpe finished second in ski superpipe and Spencer O’Brien took silver in snowboard slopestyle at the Dec. 10-13 event.
Before a huge crowd on Main Street on Dec. 11, Darcy Sharpe continued his domination of the Dew Tour’s snowboard streetstyle event, taking his third win and $5,000 with his flawless style.
“The course was fun,” he said. “It was quicker than last year, so everybody rode a lot better, and everybody rode really good, so it was fun.”
For Sharpe, it wasn’t about the tricks though. “Just snowboarding was pretty fun,” he said. “Having a course where you can shred and enjoy it is what it’s all about.”
As far as his favourite obstacles on the course? “I like just the classic downbar, and the crates were fun. It was interesting – not features you get to hit in a park, so it was fun.”
One report notes: “Taking his smooth Canadian style over one feature and onto the next, Sharpe threw down inventive transfers and technical tricks alike, wowing the crowd with tricks like a switch backside 360 creeper slide to switch 360 off.
“Among a slew of inventive moves, his clean switch 270 lipslide to 270 off on the bottom rail appeared all but effortless, impressing the judges enough to award him the win over a group of standout riders.”
On the final day of the event, Sharpe was one of only two riders spinning a frontside 1080 off the toes during his slopestyle run.
‘’My goal on the second run was to bump (silver medallist Stale Sandbech)out,’’ said Sharpe. ‘’(Gold medallist Mark McMorris’) run was untouchable but I had a chance at Stale but couldn’t quite put it down with the speed going up but I can’t be too sour about it.’’
National slopestyle coach Elliot Catton was pleased with Canada’s showing.
‘’The team vibe was great all day,’’ he said. ‘’The boys are all really supportive of each other. Having five Canadians in finals was awesome and any one of them could have put down a podium run. Today it was Mark and Darcy’s day.’’
Darcy’s sister Cassie also impressed the judges. Competing in only the second Dew Tour of her young career, Sharpe had a high score of 87.40 to finish second in the women’s ski superpipe final on Dec. 11. She was the only competitor to perform two clean runs and the only skier out of a group of six to score in the 80s each time.
“I did the same run both times, but cleaned it up the second time out,” said Sharpe. “I knew that we had designed a run that was good enough to get me on the podium, but I also knew that it had to be perfect and that I needed to nail my grabs and get good amplitude. My first run was good, but I knew that I could go bigger after the first run and I did. I was thrilled with the result.”
Sharpe is coming off a breakout 2014-15 season that saw her capture a silver medal at the FIS Freestyle World Championships and also win her first FIS World Cup in March in Tignes, France.
“I’m over the moon with how the season has started for me,” added Sharpe. “My goal coming in was to make it to the final. I tried to take the pressure off of myself and have fun. That’s what it’s all about. We now have a training camp coming up in Calgary at the end of December, but I get to enjoy the holidays a little more with this finish.”
Ayana Onozuka of Japan led the way with a score of 89.40 and Brita Sigourney of the United States grabbed third place with a score of 85.00.
In snowboard slope style on Dec. 11, multi-Dew Tour winner O’Brien had a shot to overtake leader Anna Gasser on her final run.
O’Brien put down a full run on her second attempt, landing a cab 540, backside 720, switch backside 540 and frontside 720 off the toes on the jumps along with strong rail sections to move her up to second place.