Strong winds at Mammoth Mountain postpone majority of Day 2 at US Grand Prix
The second day of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain was supposed to bring action from several Summit County snowboarders in the men’s halfpipe and slopestyle qualifiers, but the weather had other plans.
The day was scheduled to feature competition from Summit’s Red Gerard, Chris Corning and Kyle Mack in the men’s snowboard slopestyle qualifiers as well as Taylor Gold and Chase Blackwell in the men’s snowboard halfpipe, but after several weather delays, the team at the U.S. Grand Prix decided it was best to postpone events until further notice.
With winds gusting at close to 40 mph, and event flags flapping rapidly in the strong winds at the top of the halfpipe, athlete safety was the main consideration when deciding to postpone the events.
“I got to practice a little bit but definitely gnarly conditions,” Blackwell wrote in a text. “I think they made the right decision with putting safety first. Once the wind dies down, it’ll be a good contest though!”
For the men’s snowboard slopestyle competition, this is the second consecutive day the qualifying round has been postponed due to wind.
The wind also postponed the qualifiers for the men’s freeski slopestyle, which were scheduled to take place Friday morning.
There is a good chance that several events get flexed into a reserve competition day Sunday, Jan. 9, that was set aside ahead of the start of the U.S. Grand Prix.
All events are currently being being reworked for either Saturday, Jan. 8, or Sunday.
According to a post made on the FIS Snowboard Twitter page regarding the men’s snowboard halfpipe competition, “The plan now is to run qualies and a two-run final (Saturday).”
“The new proposal is to use our scheduled weather day on Sunday for men q’s and finals for women and men,” according to a post made on the FIS Freestyle Twitter page regarding the men’s freeski slopestyle qualifiers.
Winds at Mammoth Mountain are forecast to level out in the early morning hours Saturday.
Women’s freeski halfpipe
Before the postponements Friday, the women’s freeski halfpipe qualifiers took place during a night session Thursday, Jan. 6.
Americans Hanna Faulhaber, Brita Sigourney, Devin Logan and Svea Irving made it onto the finals among the 10-woman field.
Basalt native Faulhaber, 17, had the best score among the Americans and the second best in qualifiers, scoring an 86.50 on her top run of the night and getting massive amplitude on the first wall of the 22-foot halfpipe.
2018 Olympic bronze medalist Sigourney scored an 81 for the fourth best score of the night, while Logan scored a 69 for the seventh.
Winter Park native Irving squeaked into the finals scoring a 66.25 for the 10th best score of the night.
Eileen Gu of China topped the competition, distancing herself in qualifiers by scoring a top run of 90. Gu is on a tear this season, winning all four of the freeski halfpipe competitions in which she has competed, including the Winter Dew Tour in December.
The finals of the women’s and men’s freeski halfpipe competition are tentatively scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7. The event will be broadcast on Peacock TV.
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