Jess Hotter on top and Carl Regnér in striking position after FWT in Fieberbrunn

It’s been a season filled with tricky snow conditions on the Freeride World Tour, and the first of the two final rounds, held in Fieberbrunn, Austria didn’t fail to follow that tradition. With nothing but sun in the forecast, the competition was even held one day earlier than the official weather window originally stated.

The Wildseeloder, as the competition face is called, looked as majestic as ever, even though it hadn’t seen fresh snow in while, and considering the condition we can imagine that more than one rider shared the strategy of Jess Hotter, who said she basically just wanted to make it down in one piece.

New for this year was the two run format, where the best run counts. To squeeze it all in, the first athletes out, Ski Women, had an early morning start with pretty firm snow. But that didn’t seem to bother New Zealand’s Jess Hotter who swung herself out of the start gate as number two and just went full throttle over the hardpack. A couple of solid airs and some nice turns later she landed what turned out to be highest score of the day. Her second run looked good from the start but after losing her balance in a deep landing she tomahawked pretty bad, luckily without any serious injuries.

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Hedvig Wessel was struggling in her first run, but when the sun had worked its magic on the face, she pulled the move of the day in the women’s category with a massive cliff drop in the top section. And even though she missed one of her planned features at the end of her run she got the next best score of the day. In the total standing this means that Jess keeps the golden bib, as overall leader, and increases her gap in point to Hedvig Wessel who is currently in second.

In the Ski Men, Carl Regnér copied Jess in the sense of dropping as number two and taking the lead, but unlike Jess he couldn’t protect his top spot. Wild card Max Hitzig snatched it and was able to hold on to it over the two runs. But Carl gave him a good fight and landed a close to perfect second run that awarded him the second place of the day.

Abel Moga really went for it in his first run of the day, taking on the legendary Eagle cliff, but didn’t clear the landing and took quite a tumble. For his second attempt, he went skier’s left instead and was able to land the 7th best score of the day thanks to a beautiful backflip and couple of full speed straight airs.

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The results from Fieberbrunn closes the gap in the top of the men’s standings and Carl Regnér is now only 2 840 points behind the leader Maxime Chabloz going into the finals in Verbier. Abel Moga sits in 7th place but it’s tight between the spots and still many points to fight for. In the men’s snowboard category, Head athlete Cody Bramwell managed to snatch the second spot on the podium which puts him in third overall. The weather window for Verbier is between 26th of March and 3rd of April.