Feb 19 | MacFarlane and Lazzareschi crowned 4-star Champions at The North Face Masters of Snowboarding at Squaw Valley
The 4-star competition of The North Face Masters of Snowboarding presented by PrimaLoft was a pleasure for spectators with dynamic and creative lines abound in spring break weather. Ruari MacFarlane out of Mount Olympus, New Zealand and Squaw Valley local Iris Lazzareschi were crowned Masters Champions of a highly competitive field consisting of 16 females and 53 men.
"Today was impressive because there was so much hard charging on really tough conditions," said Masters Head Judge Jim Zellers. "The riders really exceeded our expectations. They played it smart and rode some lines I honestly did not think could be done today."
Ruari MacFarlane's run started with a clean 360 at the top. He maintained a fluid high speed run down the looker's right side of the venue hitting numerous airs. McFarlane then proceeded to charge off a huge cliff in a highly technical area and sailed into the finish. The judges applauded his performance with a high score of 89.33.
Rounding out the men's podium in second place was Sammy Luebke with a score of 85.00. Luebke's run delighted the crowded as he actually started by scurrying up the ridge and quickly dropping into huge frontside 360. He then brought his run back under control maintaining fluidity through a very technical section. Luebke finished his run with a solid backside 360.
In third place, Hans Mindich may have executed one of the most unconventional runs in Masters' history earning an 83.67 score. Mindich dropped into his run switch executing a backside 180 near the top. He continued to ride the majority of his very fast line switch accelerating a backside 180 off a large cliff on the looker's right side of the venue. In addition to a podium spot, Mindich was recognized as the Young Gun of the event-a tradition which celebrates a rider under 21 rider who demonstrates raw talent, an innovative riding style and exemplifies true sportsmanship and passion for the mountains.
In the women's field, Iris Lazzareschi, hit a solid cliff at the top which continued to be her namesake throughout the competition. She rode a fluid run integrating many air and style elements including a half-cab and grabs. Lazzareschi's run earned her a high score of 85.00.
The North Face Masters is part of the Freeride World Qualifier system. FWQs are rated on a 1 to 4-star scale with competitors earning more or less points at events according to venue difficulty and scale, competitive pool and other factors. The Masters is the top-level qualifier event and a pivotal step for athletes hoping to advance to the SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face.
The North Face Masters of Snowboarding is presented by PrimaLoft and supported by Subaru of America, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Mountain Sports International, Snowboard magazine, Clif Bar, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.