With the AFP World Tour Finals set to begin in two weeks in Whistler, B.C. during the World Ski & Snowboard Festival, things are continuing to heat up on the 2015 AFP World Tour.
Over the course of the past week and a half, eight significant events have taken place, including the Gold-ranked European Freeski Open in Laax, Switzerland (Slopestyle), the Freeski World Cup in Corvatsch Silvaplana, Switzerland (Slopestyle), Iceland Winter Games in Akureyri, Iceland (Slopestyle) and the Sony Snow Crown at Blue Mountain, Ontario (Slopestyle, Halfpipe & Big Air), along with the Silver-ranked USSA Revolution Tour at Mammoth Mountain, California (Slopestyle & Halfpipe) and Bronze-ranked Carinthia Freeski Open at Mount Snow, Vermont (Slopestyle), The Golden Crown / North Face Summit Freeski Tour at Saint Bruno, Quebec (Slopestyle) and NOR Freeski Cup in Hovden, Norway (Slopestyle). Here's a look at how they affected the AFP World Tour Rankings…
European Freeski Open Men's Slopestyle Podium: Noah Wallace (2nd), Jossi Wells (1st), Oystein Braten (3rd)
We'll start with Men's Slopestyle, as being that all eight events consisted of this discipline, there's plenty to report on. Beginning with the Gold-ranked events, Jossi Wells is now in 30th thanks to his victory at the European Freeski Open, while Noah Wallace is sitting pretty in 13th thanks to placing second at Euro Open and third at the Iceland Winter Games. Rounding out the podium in third was Oystein Braten, who has been having a breakout season and is currently in 10th. At the Freeski World Cup Corvatsch, Felix Stridsberg-Usterud picked up his first slopestyle win of the season to land himself in 33rd, Andri Ragettli (who like Braten has been blowing up all season long) took second and is now in 9th, and Swiss wonder kid Luca Schuler scored the third and final step on the podium to end up in 27th.
Iceland Winter Games Slopestyle Podium: Noah Wallace (3rd), Siver Voll (1st), Robby Franco (2nd).
At the Iceland Winter Games, Siver Voll picked up the win and is now ranked 86th, Robby Franco took second to put himself in 12th, with the aforementioned Noah Wallace just behind him in third and in 13th on the Men's Slopestyle Rankings. Up in The Great White North, the second annual Sony Snow Crown went off at Blue Mountain, where Riley Culver won his first event of the year to end up in 28th, Dakota Eliuk is now in 42nd after scoring second, and Canadian work horse Noah Morrison rounded out the podium in third to crack the top 20 in 19th.
Sony Snow Crown Men's Slopestyle Podium: Noah Morrison (3rd), Riley Culver (1st), Dakota Eliuk (2nd)
At the lone Silver-ranked event, the USSA Revolution Tour at Mammoth Mountain, California (which was a make-up event for the cancelled stop at Mount Hood), Jonah Williams got himself on the board in 240th by picking up the win, the up-and-coming youngster Birk Irving is now in 61st after placing second, and Aaron Milligan is in 53rd thanks to taking third.
The Golden Crown / North Face Summit Freeski Tour Men's Slopestyle Podium: Yan Bussieres (2nd), Gabriel Boudreau (1st), Philippe Langevin (3rd)
Amongst the Bronze-ranked events, Ben Smith is now in 58th after winning the Carinthia Freeski Open, Tyler Duncan is on the board in 201st thanks to his second place performance, and Jake Muller is a bit behind him in 279th after taking third. At The Golden Crown in Saint Bruno, Quebec (which is part of The North Face Summit Freeski Tour), Gabriel Boudreau is now in 260th after claiming victory, Yan Bussieres is in 400th after scoring second at his first contest of the season, while Philippe Langevin is also now on the board in 514th thanks to placing third. Last but not least, at the NOR Freeski Cup, Henning Hansen Pytte is in 203rd after topping the impressive Scandinavian field, second place finisher Peder Vilhelm Aubert is in 340th, and Jens Johnsen third place showing has bumped him into 62nd.
European Freeski Open Women's Slopestyle Podium: Johanne Killi (2nd), Tiril Christiansen (1st), Isabel Atkin (3rd)
In Women's Slopestyle, Tiril Christiansen has roared back from her knee injury with a vengeance by scoring her second and third podiums in a row via winning both the European Freeski Open and Freeski World Cup Corvatsch, which has placed her in 37th on the Women's Slopestyle Rankings, while last year's winner Johanne Killi is now in 8th after scoring second at Euro Open and third at the Freeski World Cup Corvatsch, and Isabel Atkin is now in 18th thanks to taking third at Euro Open. At the Freeski World Cup Corvatsch, the aforementioned Tiril Christiansen emerged victorious, X Games slopestyle gold medalist Emma Dahlstron remains in 2nd after placing second, while as previously mentioned, Johanne Killi rounded out the podium in third. At the Sony Snow Crown, Kelly Sildaru is now in 4th after picking up the win, Yuki Tsubota has climbed into 6th after placing second, and rising star Sofia Tchernetsky is in 39th after nabbing the third and final step on the podium.
Sony Snow Crown Women's Slopestyle Podium: Sofia Tchernetsky (3rd), Kelly Sildaru (1st), Yuki Tsubota (2nd)
At the Silver-ranked USSA Revolution Tour, Gabrielle Ward prevailed and is now in 51st, Nikita Rubocki is in 38th after scoring second, and Kathryn Alexander has moved into 23rd after placing third.
The Golden Crown / North Face Summit Freeski Tour Women's Slopestyle Podium: Gillian Golosky (3rd), Florence Therrieault (1st), Emma Stevens (2nd)
Meanwhile, at the Bronze-ranked Carinthia Freeski Open, Jenna Henry, Allison Perotti and Julia Schneider placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in their first contests of the season to get on the board in 119th, 126th and 132nd. At The Golden Crown / North Face Summit Freeski Tour, Florence Therrieault is now in 121st thanks to picking up the win, Emma Stevens has risen into 35th after placing second, and Gillian Golosky is just above her in 33rd after taking third. And at the NOR Freeski Cup, Marina Johansen's victory has allowed her to move into 40th, Elvira Marie Baltzersen placed second to get on the board in 128th, and Sandra Eie has jumped into 28th thanks to placing third, along with an eighth place showing at the European Freeski Open.
Sony Snow Crown Men's Halfpipe Podium: Aaron MacKay (2nd), Taylor Wilson (1st), Riley Culver (3rd)
In Men's Halfpipe, there are two events to report on, beginning with the Gold-ranked Sony Snow Crown, where Taylor Wilson walked away with the win to jump into 21st, Aaron MacKay is now in 54th after scoring second, and Riley Culver scored his second podium appearance at the event in third to land in 77th on the Men's Halfpipe Rankings. At the Silver-ranked USSA Revolution Tour, Birk Irving also made it two-for-two on the podium front to jump into 17th, Alec Bowman is now in 53rd after scoring second, and Jaxin Hoerter has cracked the top 20 in 20th thanks to taking third.
Sony Snow Crown Women's Halfpipe Podium: Rachael Karker (2nd), Kelly Sildaru (1st), Mackenzie Wilson (3rd)
In Women's Halfpipe, in addition to winning slopestyle, the always impressive Kelly Sildaru claimed victory in halfpipe at the Sony Snow Crown, which has moved her into 29th, Rachael Karker has jumped into 22nd after placing second, and Mackenzie Wilson is now in 38th after taking third. At the USSA Revolution Tour, Saori Suzuki has climbed into 39th after claiming victory, Jeanee Crane-Mauzy is now in 9th after scoring second, and Brittany Hawes is up to 16th after rounding out the podium in third.
Sony Snow Crown Men's Big Air Podium: Alex Bellemare (2nd), Teal Harle (1st), Jeremy Pancras (3rd)
In Men's Big Air, Teal Harle continued his breakout season by picking up the win at the lone big air event of the week at the Sony Snow Crown, which places him in 38th, X Games slopestyle bronze medalist Alex Bellemare landed just behind him in second to move into 6th, and Jeremy Pancras has risen to 14th after rounding out the podium in third, while Noah Morrison just missed the podium in fourth but is now in 7th on the Big Air Rankings. Also worth noting is the fact that Snow Crown hosted the third Women's Big Air event of the season, which Kelly Sildaru won (making it three-for-three for her at the event), with Yuki Tsubota in second, Rachael Karker in third and Gillian Golosky in fourth. And while there are currently no Women's Big Air Rankings on the 2015 AFP World Tour due to a lack of events, the AFP is keeping a running tally on Women's Big Air results this season and will be giving special mention to the top female big air competitor at AFP World Tour Finals as we look at establishing Women's Big Air Rankings for next winter.
Sony Snow Crown Women's Big Air Podium: Yuki Tsubota (2nd), Kelly Sildaru (1st), Rachael Karker (3rd)
In the Men's Overall Rankings, Gus Kenworthy (who was recently and unfortunately injured) continues to hold down the top spot by close to 1000 points, with Jossi Wells in 2nd, Torin Yater-Wallace in 3rd, Simon d'Artois in 4th and Byron Wells in 5th. In terms of major changes to report, Taylor Wilson, Riley Culver and Teal Harle have all made significant leaps, into 8th, 10th and 11th respectively, thanks to their impressive performances over the course of the last week and a half.
On the ladies' side of things, Devin Logan and Jamie Crane-Mauzy continue to hold down 1st and 2nd, while Sabrina Cakmakli has overtaken the 3rd place position from Cassie Sharpe, who is now in fourth, and Kelly Sildaru and Rachael Karker have ascended into 5th and 6th.
That's all for now from the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, but stay tuned for another update on the AFP World Tour Rankings, which will include a look at how the last few events prior to AFP World Tour Finals shake things up.