Press Release
29 February 2024

PR29 – Epic FWT by Peak Performance event takes place in Georgia

 World’s best freeriders turn up the intensity at the Georgia Pro

·   Georgia delivers with epic conditions greeting the riders

·   Last event before the Cut prompted huge performances

·   Roster for the FWT Finals decided

MESTIA, Georgia – February 29, 2024: The FWT by Peak Performance season went into overdrive today, with the first FWT Pro event in Georgia completed in picture-perfect conditions. It was the last stop before the FWT Finals, meaning titles – and careers – were on the line.

Khakhiani – or კახიანი in Georgian – was the chosen venue, which was caked in dry, fluffy snow from the top to the finish line, offering up pristine conditions for the world’s best freeriders. With bountiful creative options – mixed with a complex web of features – athletes were enticed to go big… which they did.    

Here’s what went down today in the Georgian Caucasus Mountains:

Snowboard Men

Victor de Le Rue (FRA) was the first rider out of the gates and threw down the gauntlet for the rest of the field, sending a huge double drop followed by four 360s, buttering the bottom section to take his third win in a row. FWT veteran Jonathan Penfield (USA) showed us why he has been one of the best riders for years with a solid run to finish second, ahead of Liam Rivera (SUI) in third.

“I am super happy. The traveling was stressful, but I was stoked to ride my line in good snow. I am in a good position in the rankings; I want to continue having fun and try even more in the remaining competitions.”  

-    Victor de Le Rue, 2024 Georgia Pro winner

Snowboard Women

Núria Castán Barón (ESP) wowed the judges with a fast and fluid line to take her second win of the season. Her run included two big hits out of the starting gates before linking multiple clean features with an aggressive freeride approach. Erin Sauve (CAN) showed total commitment on the entire face to finish second, while rookie Anna Martinez (FRA) locked in her third FWT podium from as many starts.  

“I was nervous, but I think that actually helped me. I am proud of my line; I made some changes that worked out and am happy with my second win. It’s a dream to be leading the category, especially after finishing last at Kicking Horse. I have been competing on the tour for four years now, and my goal is to be the FWT World Champion.”

-    Núria Castán Barón, 2024 Georgia Pro winner

Ski Women

Sybille Blanjean (SUI) needed something special today to make the Cut, and she delivered a colossal performance. Sybille took no time to get into her line, sending a massive air into the face before going into cruise control, linking a bunch of smooth drops ahead of another huge send at the bottom. Hedvig Wessel (NOR) went full throttle on the Khakhiani face, showing impeccable style in the air to take second place, just in front of Lily Bradley (USA) in third.

“I am super happy to put down that run, especially with how nervous I was at the top. There were a lot of questions in my mind, so I am happy that it paid off. Thank you, Georgia! It means so much to make the Cut and have my ticket to compete at home in Verbier.”

-    Sybille Blanjean, 2024 Georgia Pro winner

Ski Men

The new generation shone today, signaling a changing of the old guard in the Ski Men’s category. Marcus Goguen (CAN) put down an absolute mind-blowing run and earned a near-perfect score of 98 from the judges. He exploded into his line with a smooth 360 into the guts of the face and then didn’t deviate from the fall line, combining a huge backflip with a corked-720 before endlessly sailing over a transfer to bring home the win. Young Swiss rider Martin Bender (SUI) finished in second, leapfrogging up the rankings and securing an FWT Final berth with a fluid line that included a 720, backflip and a 360. Max Hitzig (GER) backed up his pair of wins this season with a solid third-place finish, combining multiple gravity-defying backflips with an equally deep 360. 

“It’s a dream come through – I’ve been working towards this for basically my entire life. I’m still in shock and can’t believe I landed that run. I made it up after the 720 as I had way more speed than expected, so I’m glad it worked out. Stoked to have scored the equal highest score with my buddy Logan Pehota. My objective is to keep it going; keep skiing lines I want to and keep having fun – that’s what it is all about.”

-    Marcus Goguen, 2024 Georgia Pro winner

This was the final event before the Cut, pushing riders to go even bigger. In the Snowboard Women’s category, Anna Martinez (FRA) qualified in her rookie year and Núria Castán Barón (ESP) continued her amazing season, while FWT 2022 World Champion Tiphanie Perrotin (FRA) didn't make it through the Cut.

Victor de Le Rue (FRA) made it an incredible three wins from three in the Snowbaord Men’s category, while Liam Rivera (SUI) made a big move today with his podium finish, making the Cut and progressing to the FWT Finals. Among the big excluded from the Finals there is FWT 2023 World Champion Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA) and Cody Bramwell (GBP).

The young guns are really pushing the sport in the ski categories, putting down incredible runs. Manon Loschi (FRA) – in her rookie year – kept the lead in the Ski Women’s category, and Astrid Cheylus (FRA) also qualified. Sybille Blanjean put down an amazing run and qualified for the FWT Finals, where she returns to competing in front of her home crowd, where she has already tasted success. Molly Armanino (USA) had a solid choice of line, but unfortunately crashed and missed her spot in the Finals as well as Addison Rafford (USA)  and Megane Betend (FRA).

In Ski Men, Max Hitzig kept the lead and Marcus Goguen jumped from an 8th to a solid 2nd position. The highly anticipated rookie Martin Bender finally put down a solid run and qualified for the Finals with an amazing podium, as did Maxime Chabloz (SUI). Jackson Bathgate (CAN), Max Palm (SWE) and FWT legend Andrew Pollard (USA) all missed out on the Cut, and will head to the Challengers.  

The much-anticipated Georgia Pro went off with a bang today, with riders delivering solid freeride performances and unleashing their deep bags of tricks. The FWT by Peak Performance season now heads into the FWT Finals, increasing the pressure on the riders who have made the Cut. Relive all of today’s action at, stay tuned to the FWT social media channels, and subscribe to the FWT newsletter to keep pace with the latest news as it drops. 

About the FWT

FWT Management SA is based in Verbier, Switzerland, and has been organizing premier sports events globally in mountain resorts since 1996. The company founded the Xtreme Verbier, an iconic event in freeride skiing and snowboarding and, in 2008, it turned this single competition into a prestigious series of worldwide events, called the Freeride World Tour (FWT). The company has since grown to include multiple competition series that fall under the FWT brand – including FWT Challenger, FWT Qualifier and FWT Junior – with events across all formats taking place in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. Since December 2022, FWT is part of the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS).

About Peak Performance

Born in the Scandinavian mountains out of a love for skiing in remote, untouched terrain, our passion for adventure and nature runs deep. Our purpose is simple: we bring the freeride spirit to the world. As for our products, they all have the same purpose – empower the freedom to be adventurous and follow your own line. Whether it be horizontally or vertically, on skis, by bike, or on foot, they offer a balance of style and performance. Our Scandinavian heritage is ever present and our commitment to doing better things in a better way is our never-ending responsibility. For more information, please visit