Mad River Glen's Silas Chickering-Ayers wins Snowbird Freeskiing World Tour Competition. Photo: FWT

Mad River Glen freeskier Silas Chickering-Ayers won the first North American Freeskiing Championship event of his career at Snowbird last week; the event was the fourth stop of the 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (FWT).

First-time event winners were crowned on both the men and women's side after two days of competition.

Variable snow conditions and cloudy skies didn’t dampen the high spirits and energy of the athletes and the huge crowd gathered to watch the action. "Going into today, we knew we had a weather window in the morning and lucked out," said competition director Ron Pankey.

"Due to the approaching storm, it was a one-run final with skiers stepping up their game in response,” he continued.

According to Pankey, Chickering-Ayers “blew away the field scoring 41.03 for today's run, six points ahead of the next competitor of the day, totaling 76.40 for the championship. His big left-side 360 through the ‘Fields of Glory’ was just one highlight of his flawless run. The elder Chickering-Ayers, Lars, winner of Snowbird in 2010, was unable to compete due to injury so it was a fitting honor for his brother to take home today's championship.”

"Despite the hard conditions today, I knew everyone would be skiing hard and that I had to send it and stay on my feet," said Chickering-Ayers. "It couldn't have gone better,” he added.

The 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour continues this weekend with a qualifier event in Moonlight Basin, MT, slated for March 22 through 25 and wraps up at Kirkwood, CA, April 4 through 9.

The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour is the largest and longest running competitive big mountain freeskiing tour in the history of the sport with an unprecedented six stops. Founded in 1998, the FWT, created and produced by Mountain Sports International, Inc., is heading into its 15th year.

In addition to up to $110,000 in winnings, the world tour champions are awarded the McConkey Cup, honoring legendary skier Shane McConkey, founder of the IFSA. The FWT also features the Sickbird Award, which honors the athlete with the most spirit, style and wow-factor.

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