World snowboarding competition shreds powder on Chile’s slopes

The Volcom Avalanhce 2011 tournament visited Valle Nevado last weekend, and three local boarders walked away with medals after a hard-fought race among international pros.

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The Chilean snow season started with a bang last weekend, when spectators were treated to the extreme snowboarding competition Volcom Avalanche 2011.

The competition brought some of the best snowboarders from around the world to one of Chile’s top mountains, Valle Nevado. To the delight of spectators, local talent held their own in a field of more than a hundred boarders from around the world.

On a spectacular winter afternoon, the tournament took place in two heats: first the hard-fought women’s race, and then the downhill men’s competition. Both races started at the top of Andes Express and finished 1.2 miles (2,000 m) downhill at the El Vaivén chairlift.

Among the women, local boarders Roberta Irarrázaval and Carolina Dávila took first and third places, respectively, while French professional Dany Gillion took second. Among the men, Chilean Iñaqui Irarrázaval took third place, giving up first place to Frenchman Joel Certano and second place to Canadian ¨Sergio¨.

The prizes were awarded on the terrace of the Valle Nevado ski resort. In August, the Chilean resort will be readying itself for the Freeskiing World Tour, one of the world’s oldest and most venerated freeskiing competitions.

Likewise, nearby Chilean ski resort Portillo is preparing to receive skiers and snowboarders in August for the final filming of the big-mountain ski and snowboard movie, Solitaire.