Rocket Air: Sam Pilgrim takes the honours

Sam Pilgrim with his winning cheque at Rocket Air 2013
© Bartek Wolinski

Our man at Rocket Air, Ryszard Syryczyński, brings us a detailed report of the action from Thun.

Despite the fact that Thun is a very picturesque town in the Swiss mountains, Swatch Rocket Air is in fact one of the very few indoor slopestyle events in the world.

As such this posed its own challenges for riders competing here for the Rocket Air title and of course valuable FMB World Tour ranking points.

The Flying Metal Crew prepared a very technical and demanding course at Thun’s Ice Rink. A tiny mistake on a ride often resulted in a loss of speed with riders not being able to finish their runs as a result.

The level of riding during qualification was really high but what happened at the finals on Saturday evening was mind blowing.

Highlights included Antoine Bizet's backflip nohander from the biggest step-down, a very late frontflip from Linus Sjöholm, Tomas Zejda's tailwhip to barspin, Léo Delfour Barsacq's flatspin off the step-down and Sam Reynolds' flip whips and 720s.

Thomas Genon had performed well in qualification but had some really bad luck during the finals. On his first run, he under rotated his frontflip on the step-up and ended up landing on his bottom. On the second run, he missed his bike while doing a flair.

After not-qualifying at Vienna Air King, Szymon Godziek pushed really hard this time. His backflip on the step down and backflip barspin on the biggest jump as well as an over the hip gave him a high ranking. He also showed us his very own unique trick – a 360 suicide double barspin. In his last run, he over rotated a frontflip and unfortunately crashed.

Canada’s Brett Rheeder, a pre-contest favourite, crashed in his first run. His second run played on the safe side with his stands outs being a truck driver from the biggest step-down and an opposite truck driver from the smaller step-down.

Anton Thelander had one of the best contest runs in his career so far which eventually placed him in 4th place. His highlights were a backflip down the first step-down, an amazing flatspin on the big jump, an opposite 360 on the step-down, a flip bar over the hip and nollie 360 off the truck.

Martin Söderström was going great guns on his first run. The run included a triple tailwhip on the big jump and a 360 double tailwhip on the smaller one. Unfortunately he crashed doing a flair. His second run didn’t better his first and he finished in 2nd place.

The undisputable champion of Rocket Air was Sam Pilgrim. No rider participating in Thun’s indoor arena could touch him. His winning run included a backflip tabletop on the first gap, a superflip on the big jump, a 540 up the step-up, a 360 tabletop on the step-down, a 360 downside tailwhip and an 720 over the hip. The tricks didn't end there. he also put in a tuck no hander on the truck, a barspin down off it and a perfect tabletop flair on the last quarterpipe. With so many big and unique tricks, 1st place was guaranteed.

Swatch Rocket Air was an amazing contest with the crowd doing their bit to cheer the riders and rewarding every single trick performed with loud applause.

Rocket Air Results:

1. Sam Pilgrim 91.0
2. Martin Söderström 81.3
3. Brett Rheeder 79.0
4. Anton Thelander 78.7
5. Sam Reynolds 77.3
6. Szymon Godziek 76.0
7. Amir Kabbini 73.7
8. Linus Sjoholm 72.7
9. Patrick Leitner 65.7
10. Tomas Zejda 65.3