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World of Freesports
April 24, 2010 AT 2:14 AM
On another stunning day of sunshine at the base of the Jakobsorn, Davos, it was the menÊ¼s turn to take to the halfpipe for the qualification rounds. With over fifty riders in two heats, and only seventeen going through to the finals, it was always going to be a spectacular day of halfpipe riding. A close first heat saw the Norwegian rider, Per Iver Grimsrud come out top, closely followed by the 15 year old Japanese snowboarder, Masakaze Yoshida. However, it was in the second qualification heat that the competition really started to step up as the crowds gathered at the bottom of the halfpipe in the town of Davos, Switzerland. Dan Wakeham, from the UK, was the sixth rider to drop into the pipe in the afternoon qualification session, and quickly made the score of the day with 86.83 points. "I like pipes like this. ItÊ¼s big and open," he said. Plus itÊ¼s a lovely sunny day in Davos so when youÊ¼re at the top just before you drop in and youÊ¼re standing in the sun, it charges you up a little. It puts you in a good mood." From there, things only got even bigger and better when Finnish rider, Ilkka-Eemeli Laari took to the pipe. With a score of 91.33 Ilkka-Eemeli was sitting in first place going into his second run. With no one threatening his lead it could have been an easy runâ€¦ so he pulled out a double corkâ€¦ after a Backside 540 - Frontside 1080 - Cab 720 - Double Cork 1080 - and scored himself the run of the day with 95.17. "I just decided to try the double because no one else had done it, so I had to do it," he said. "It was fine even though I didnÊ¼t get my last trick. I was supposed to do a switch backside rodeo after the double, but the pipe ended so soon. But I was happy with the doubleâ€¦ because I landed it." With the semi-finals starting on Friday at 10.30am, it is going to be a halfpipe competition not to miss based on the standard of the qualifications. American Eric Willett, currently sitting 7th on the TTR World Tour, finished his first heat qualification round in fourth place, and is very much looking forward to the finals: "I started doing the pipe for fun last year and started getting a bit better at it so I decided it was something I should probably start to do," he said. "IÊ¼ve only hit a few 22 foot pipes before. This one is really good. I have a few more tricks I want to do so I will save them for the final."