It's hard to describe the atmosphere here in Davos for the O'Neill Evolution. It's even harder to imagine how hard it is snowing. A testament to an immense effort from the organizers, shapers, event staff and above all, the riders, the first round of qualifications were completed on schedule. It was a surreal experience to see the look of concentration on competitors' faces as they focused on their heat, soon replaced by a look of elation as they arrived back at the contest site after a powder run.
The Night Final event lights were illuminated from the start of the first 09:00 training session and remained switched on all day to assist visibility. Before the snowfall intensified, the overnight fine-tuning of the main kicker was tested with broad approval from riders, before speed became an issue resulting in the optional line to rail set up favoured by the contestants.
In a two-run, best run counts format, the top 10 riders from each heat made it through to Round 2 of Men's Qualification. Some of the runs of the day as scored by the judges included:
Sven Thorgren(SWE) - Backside Double Cork 1080 to gapped stalefish to nose press
Jamie Nicholls(GBR) - Backside 540 crail to gapped Cab 270 to frontside boardslide
Ethan Morgan(GER) - Frontside 720 tailgrab to frontside tailslide on the down rail
Markus Mathis(SUI) - Backside Double Cork 1080 mute to frontside tail slide to revert on the wall
Petja Piiroinen (FIN) - Backside Double Cork 1080 mute to frontside 50-50 on the wall.
Emil Ulsletten(NOR) - Frontside 1080 melon to frontside tail blunt to 270 out on the down rail
Billy Morgan(GBR) - Double Backside Rodeo to gap cab 270 on the kinked rail
Ville Uotila(FIN) - Frontside 1080 Mute to gapped backside lip slide
Rocco Van Straten(NDL) - Backside Double Cork 1080 to frontside boardslide on the down rail.
With the Women's night training session now underway, the O'Neill Evolution returns tomorrow morning with Round 2 Men's Qualification, Women's Qualification, and Men's Semi-Final scheduled to commence at 18:00.
More snow is in the forecast. For today's results, schedule changes, videos and updates check: http://www.oneill.com/evolution/