Sista Sessions female ski and snowboard competition
Méribel and the Méribel Moon Park played host to the first ever Sista Sessions on the 6th, 7th and 8th March. The sun shone throughout both the coaching and competition days; and despite poor forecasts the girls came in big numbers (50 throughout the two days) from as far away as Marseille, Val D’Isere and the Pyrennées.
On the first day of the sessions the snowboarders received excellent coaching from Alliance (Tignes) and Cab9 (Méribel) snowboard schools, whilst skiers were instructed by Jon White from Liberty Skis. The “Sista’s" took full advantage of the sunshine. With beginner girls trying the flat box and small kickers, many for the first time, they started on 50-50s and by the end of the day all got the boardslides down. The intermediate groups went off to do bigger obstacles such as the red kicker and the big rainbow rail.
While the freestyle coaching was going on, the pros and more advanced riders ensured they got a few good shots for the cameras. A first session on the wall ride got everyone going and this led to another impromptu session on a roof just outside the park. With smiles all round and just a few bumps and scrapes the tuition was a big success. Check out the photos to see some sick style and great views over the Méribel Valley.
Day 2’s slopestyle competition was equally blessed with blue skies and perfect conditions in the park. Following an hour-long jam session the best 8 boarders and 2 skiers were chosen for the final. Qualifiers were showing their guts and style by hitting the larger kickers, mainly the black table, and the more technical rails such as the flat-down, the S box and the big rainbow. Sarah Avettand was the only lady to go for the double black. The success of the lessons and sessions of the previous day was evident as many of the ladies were stepping it up for the competition: many of the girls who had just started rails the previous day were hitting the long flat rail in the comp, all were trying 180s on the hip. Elissa Milford (ski) deserves a mention for coming to the lessons and then taking part in the comp after only 1 week’s skiing.
In the snowboarding category top position went to Lea Hein who came third in Girls Gone Wild in Villaret, Switzerland (SGT). She showed amazing style throwing 3s off the red kicker and killing it on the rails. 2nd place was taken by Céline Maichal who stomped the black kicker several times and Muriel Holub came in 3rd having shown solid skills on the flat down (50-50 to crooked nose press). Props should also go to Zabou Bernard who came in 4th having showed courage taking on all the bigger obstacles.
In the skiing, Sarah Avettand came in first by doing a huge 360 off the black kicker and Laure Vailly took second by showing strength and style on all the rails and boxes and a 360 off the red kicker. Laure also took the prize for best trick of the day with a switch unnatural on - 270 out.
All the finalists were rewarded with prizes (including an Apo snowboard, Liberty skis, lots of Nikita clothing and Tog Shop goodies), and the non-finalists all got a chance to get their hands on some prizes in the final session of the day on the long flat box, where once again the overall progression of the 2 days was apparent.
After a few drinks in Jacks bar the night before combined with another forecast for bad weather (this time an accurate one) the winners photoshoot was pushed back a couple of hours on day 3. After a sturdy breakfast at Evolution Bar a ‘secret’ spot in the forest was selected as the best place to get some shots in the mist and fog. After sessioning a tree the girls grabbed the shovels and built a jib onto a tree trunk and set up a rail. Everyone left happy and tired. Unfortunately for the hordes of cross-country skiers their track was rudely invaded but the photos prove that the intrusion was worth it!
Attending pro riders included Rita Comi (It), Maude Richon (Ch), Aurélie Garcin (Fr), Conny Bleicher (Aus), Alexandre Barrère (Fr), Beranger Moroc (Fr), Banska Bystrica (slo) and Camille Imbert (Fr), who helped to judge, inspire and guide the girls.
1. Lea Hein - DK
2. Céline Maichel - FRA
3. Muriel Holub - FRA
4. Zabou Bernard - FRA
5. Virginie Chabert - FRA
6. Melissa Adams - NZ
7. Lucy Griffiths - UK
8. Kat Harle - UK
1. Sarah Avettand - FRA
2. Laure Vailly - FRA
Sponsors and partners: Apo Snowboards, Liberty Skis, Nikita Clothing, TogShop, Jee Vice, Board Brains, Cab9 Snowboarding, Alliance Snowboard School, Faction Skis, Eira Clothing, Meribel Alpina, Moon Park, Jacks Bar, Evolution Bar and Dicks Tea Bar.