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Quiksnow SA Snowboarding Championships - Final Results
The Quiksnow SA Snowboard Championships have concluded in near-perfect conditions at the Afriski Resort in the heart of Lesotho’s Maluti mountain range. Resort staff have worked tirelessly preparing a course that meets international standards, resulting in several pro’s from Europe and the US attending the event, including 2011 Quiksnow champion Jojo Krivec from Slovenia. He was in fine form despite only recently resuming riding after a 5 month layoff to recuperate from surgery on his shoulder and successfully defended his title.
The battle for the South African championship was a fierce one between multiple SA champion Marcin Jekot (34) from Umdloti, defending SA champ Luke Dutton (16) from Durban and young dark horse Dean Van Greunen (16) from Johannesburg. The format in the finals uses only the best run out of 3 attempts, allowing riders to put their limits to the test. Despite excellent efforts from the young competitors it was Marcin’s smooth technical ability on the rails and impressive versatility on the kickers that saw him re-claim the title he lost to Luke last year.
“I was very nervous coming into the contest. I don’t get to ride nearly as often as I’d like, but after qualifiers yesterday I relaxed and felt more confident. I focused on enjoying my run instead of worrying about the scores. I guess that paid off,” said a clearly elated champion after hearing the results.
Sibling Marta Jekot (29) from Cape Town took no prisoners in the Women’s division. Brigitte Heeb (30) from Johannesburg looked threatening in her final run, but a fall late in the course prevented her from posting a score high enough to unseat the defending champion.
“The guys who build and maintain the course need to be acknowledged,” Marta commented. “They put so much effort in and their commitment gives the rest of us so much enjoyment. The sponsors and organisers need to be thanked too. They run such a great contest, everyone always has a good time.”
Now in its 8th year, Quiksnow is the highlight of the season for South African snowboarders. “There aren’t a lot of them, but the guys in the local scene are an inspiration and we’re proud to support them,” said Quiksilver’s Marketing Manager Dane Patterson.
Considering the Slopestyle contest format has been included in the 2014 Olympics, it’s feasible that the continued growth of snowboarding in South Africa could result in a competitor one day representing South Africa at the Winter games.
“As the size and scope of the park increases and more snowmaking facilities lengthen our season, it’s not impossible to imagine one of these younger guys competing at that level,” said contest director Oliver Schwankhart. “What an honour that would be, to see someone who learned to ride at Afriski wearing the green and gold.”
1. Jojo Krivec (Slovenia)
2. Marcin Jekot (South Africa)
3. Luke Dutton (South Africa)
South African Men’s Pro Division
1. Marcin Jekot
2. Luke Dutton
3. Dean Van Greunen
South African Women Division
1. Marta Jekot
2. Brigitte Heeb
3. Vanessa Jackson
South African Boys Division
1. Luke Dutton
2. Dean Van Greunen
3. Ross Bailey
Amateur Men’s Division
1. Davo Phillips
2. Michael Rassmann
3. Alessio Lacovig
For daily images and updates visit www.snowsports.co.za
Twitter: @Quiksilver_SA (#quiksnow)
Marcin Jekot (34) from Umdloti re-claimed the title and was crowned the 2012 SA Snowboarding Champ. Photographer: Luke Patterson