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NEW SEASON AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2018!

New under-14 age category on the FJT and other exciting changes for the upcoming competition seasons on the Freeride World Qualifier by Tyrolia (FWQ) and Freeride Junior Tour by HEAD (FJT)!

The 2018 season is officially underway on the FWQ and FJT! With the snow starting to fall in the Southern Hemisphere, riders in New Zealand and South America are gearing up for the start of the competition season. Riders in the Northern Hemisphere can witness all the exciting action that is about to take place starting at the Beartooth Basin Summer Shredfest (Montana, USA) in June followed by four 2* events South America (three in Chile and two in Argentina) in August, The North Face Frontier 4* in New Zealand in September, and an additional 2* event at Mount Olympus plus three FJT events on the New Zealand Junior Freeride Tour.

Besides the exciting event lineup, the most important changes to note this year include a new age group for junior riders: the under-14 age category. This is an important grassroots development for young riders who have been eager to compete from a young age and will now benefit from a competition structure that provides them with unique venues in different resorts around the world. The new age group will already be in place in New Zealand this summer. National champions will be crowned in each country in the under-14 category but no tour champions will be crowned this year. All under-14 riders are required to be accompanied by an adult at all times during events. In the Americas region alone this year there are already more than 300 registered riders in the under-14 junior athletes’ category and events are selling out in a few minutes – so be sure to register ASAP!

Photo (c) Thomas Bekker

For all riders, new memberships are available as of June 1, 2018, just in time for the start of the season in the Southern Hemisphere. Just like last year, riders can acquire single event licenses or tour licenses. Be sure to register ASAP once registration is open because events are filling up quickly! Stay tuned for updates on registration dates!

Detailed Rule Changes and Developments for the 2018 Season

A list of the definitive rules can be found on the FWQ/FJT/FWT websites at http://www.freerideworldtour.com/competitor-information-rules. All riders should carefully read these rules before the competition season. The most important changes for each tour are highlighted below.

FWQ:

  • The point system has been refined to give more weight to 4* events and top finishers in 4* events. This ensures that riders making the cut for the elite FWT are competing in top-level qualifying events and allows space for more riders in the lower-level competitions and new riders. This change also eases concerns that riders wishing to qualify must travel to many of lower-ranked events just to accumulate points.
  • Event cancellation: if an event is cancelled, all confirmed riders will receive the minimum points for their respective categories; ski men, rank 50; ski women and snowboard men, rank 25; snowboard women, rank 20. This is aimed at helping riders who are affected by multiple cancelled events so they can maintain some seeding list points.
  • In the event that a competition is postponed and riders must cancel, the remaining spots will be filled from the waiting list. If an event is still not filled after the waiting list, registration will be reopened. Should the event be postponed for a second time, confirmed riders can receive a refund if they want to cancel. Riders confirmed for the first event but that cancelled for the second date will be asked if they can attend the third date based on the current seeding list.
  • Registration for all 1* events will be on first come, first served basis. Registration for all 2-4* events is based on the 52-week seeding list.
  • Riders are not allowed to use drones to film a face 30 days prior to a competition–the same rules as on-face inspection.
  • A harness is required at all competitions. Whether or not the harness will actually be used will be decided at the riders meeting but they are mandatory equipment for all riders.

Photo (c) Thomas Bekker

FJT:

  • Junior riders must submit a liability waiver with their membership before they can register for events unless they have successfully submitted a waiver for the 2017 season.
  • Event cancellation: if an event is cancelled, all confirmed riders will receive the minimum points for their respective categories; ski men, rank 50; ski women and snowboard men, rank 25; snowboard women, rank 20. This is aimed at helping riders who are affected by multiple cancelled events so they can maintain some seeding list points.
  • In the event that a competition is postponed and riders must cancel, the remaining spots will be filled from the waiting list. If an event is still not filled after the waiting list, registration will be reopened. Should the event be postponed for a second time, confirmed riders can receive a refund if they want to cancel. Riders confirmed for the first event but that cancelled for the second date will be asked if they can attend the third date based on the current seeding list.
  • Registration for all 1* events will be on first come, first served basis. Registration for all 2-4* events is based on the 52-week seeding list.
  • Riders are not allowed to use drones to film a face 30 days prior to a competition–the same rules as on-face inspection.
  • A harness is required at all competitions. Whether or not the harness will actually be used will be decided at the riders meeting but they are mandatory equipment for all riders.

Stay tuned to the latest event information and the upcoming Southern Hemisphere competitions on FJT and FWQ social media channels. We look forward to an epic season for all competitors.