Marc-André Tremblay and Breana Stangeland were first-time winners in Whistler’s 16th annual Showcase Showdown after rain held up for finals at Skiers Plaza on Saturday afternoon (March 2).
Canada’s longest-running snowboard contest featured a big air format this year and Tremblay captured the men’s top prize of $2,500, riding into the top 12 that advanced during the rainy qualifiers and surviving three rounds of head-to-head jump-offs.
Tremblay was happy to redeem himself from 2012, when he did “not too good” in his Showdown debut.
“I fell and didn’t even make it to finals so I’m stoked to win this one this year,” he said.
Matt Belzile made a last-minute decision to enter and wound up in second place, while Nathan Therrieault also hit the podium after reaching the one-run, three-man superfinal. Judges picked Tremblay for the win after he put down a switch frontside 900 tail grab for his last trick of the day.
Tremblay said the downpour at the base of Whistler Mountain made conditions tough early in the day, but he credited the work of event staff to keep the 55-foot kicker in good shape.
“It was pretty bad this morning, but in the afternoon it came out pretty well,” said the unsponsored rider. “All those volunteer guys who were scraping the jump did a real good job.”
National team rider Stangeland recently recovered from a broken tailbone and vertebrae that she sustained during the FIS World Snowboard Championships in January. She had been back on her board for just four days but topped the women’s field on Saturday.
“I had fun and I thought it was a good jump. I’m just coming off an injury, so I was kind of nervous … I’m glad to come back and win.” said Stangeland, who will compete in World Cup slopestyles in Czech Republic and Spain later this month.
“It just gives me a lot of confidence coming into the next contests … and it’s nice to do a contest before the big ones.”
Gillian Andrewshenko finished second and Carly Scott placed third to round out the women’s podium.
Read more in Thursday’s (March 7) edition of The Question.