Freebom again a huge success on Buller
THIS year’s Freebom on Mount Buller was a big success, not surprising when the ingredients were 40cm of fresh snow, awesome natural bumps, unbridled enthusiasm and a bunch of very talented skiers.
Grassroots community ski events are few and far between these days and that’s what makes Freebom such a fun event and for many, the highlight of the season.
Held at Woodrun on Buller, Freebom embodies everything that is good about skiing – fun, freedom, energy, snow and the mountain.
The first Freebom was held four years ago when myself and a crew from Team Buller Riders turned up at the bottom of Wood Run, Buller’s spiritual home of mogul skiing, with a PA system, some refreshments and the idea to have fun.
The event hasn’t changed much since then with no set fenced-off course, no specific rules and no particular style of skiing being rewarded.
Freebom is a judged event but as the name suggests, the judging is not limited to some set criteria which focuses on hand positions, turning technique or speed.
No, the Freebom judging criteria is about overall impression, who is ripping and who’s having the most fun.
Well, that’s the criteria I was judging by and there were a lot of skiers of all ages who pushed that criteria to the limit.
Christian Sirianni’s massively high Cossacks, Johnny Lapser’s back flips, Jock Gunn’s switch skiing on teles and Mitch Reeves’ high speed GS turns through the bumps are just a few of the things that stood out.
“This is what it used to be like,” said TBR legend Chris Schwarz, referring to the heady days of the early ‘90s.
In the end we saw the return of the prodigal son with Buller legend Christian Sirianni taking out the prestigious Spiritual Leader award, winning a pair of Dalbello boots and a custom boot fitting from the Boot Lab.
Freebom brings the Buller community out in force and it’s a day that Buller’s skiing soul shines through, a bunch of like-minded people celebrating skiing, its culture and, of course, their mountain.
Andrew Pattison, TBR program manager, summed it up nicely: “It was a fitting celebration of all that is great about Mt Buller.”
I think he’s right and Freebom is the kind of event every mountain in Australia should have.
Thanks: A big thankyou to the sponsors Oyuki, Dalbello, Rip Curl Mount Buller, the Photoshop, the Boot Lab and Mount Buller Resort. RESULTS:
FREEBOM AWARD Spiritual Leader Award: Christian Sirianni
Kirstie Marshall Award for Best Female: Lisa McComb
Nick Cleaver Award for Best Male: Max Bernard
Pigmy Possum Best under 12 girl: Lucy Butler
Pigmy Possum Best under 12 boy: Banjo Burrel
Future Focussed Best under 18 female: Mia Kollveris
Future Focussed Best under 18 male: Ben Ashkanasy
Mrs Energetic Best over 40 female: Genevieve Kain
Mr Energetic Best over 40 male: Josh Laney
Best family performance: Cushan Kain
Winkipop award for Best air: Johnny Lipzker
Client Liaison award for Best dressed: Alice Butler and Abbey Adams
Best crash: Paddy CalvertJones
HERE THEY COME: Skiers had free run of the Freebom slope during competition - doing their own thing and being judged on who was having the most fun.
IT’S ME: Watkin McLennan, one of the instigators of this event, was there having the most fun of all.
PHOTOS: Courtesy Watkin Mclennan (Facebook)