The FIS World Cup Big Air was won by none other than a Belgian local – Seppe Smits. Smits took the top honours on Saturday in Antwerp in front of his local fans to ward off the two up and comers Clemens Schattschneider and Pat Burgener to win first place.
Of course, the biggest part of the whole event was actually bringing the championship to the flat country in the first place. The almost completely flat countryside of the country means that most of the snowboarders in the country use artificial and indoor snow parks for practice.
It would be highly unlikely that the local FIS body would have been able to host a world cup or any sort of big air event for that matter without Smits. Smits managed to persuade the local FIS to host the event and also went as far to design the ramps for the event. Even more notable was the fact it was the biggest in FIS history at a pretty colossal 39meters high – just over 128 feet - beast.
The local boy winning the event cannot be seen as any form of favouritism either. Smits was beaten in the semi-final by Billy Morgan – who we all know as the triple rodeo kid. However, Smits fought back and seems to have added a new trick to his fine repertoire. Instead of his usual favoured flat spins, it seems that he has also managed to nail a cab double cork 12 too- meaning he really is one to watch for the near future.
Smits seemed overwhelmed with the event saying, ‘I feel pretty crazy. It’s been insane, the whole contest, the whole event. I’m super happy. I didn’t expect this. When I came here I was going for a top-3 result. This is just above my expectations. It’s a crazy moment right now.’
Smits managed 183.25 to battle Schattschneider into second place with a score of 181.50 in front of a home crowd of around 10,000. This was the third top three finishes for Schattschneider and the fifth time that Burgener came in a top three.
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Images from Transworld.net