“Sweet” competition requires a new bag of tricks for world’s best aerialists
LAC BEAUPORT, QUEBEC (August 28, 2012) – The Yves Laroche National Aerials Training Centre in Lac Beauport, Quebec will host some of the world’s greatest skiing acrobats this Sunday as they take part in the eighth annual Festival AcrobatX.
The stellar Canadian aerial squad, including 2012 Crystal Globe winner Olivier Rochon (Gatineau, Que.), will compete their most difficult tricks in this FIS-sanctioned water ramp competition against jumpers from Russia, Japan and the USA.
Last year’s winner, Russia’s Ilya Burov will be back to defend his crown.
As well, Canadians Sabrina Guerin (Laval, Que.) and Travis Gerrits (Milton, Ont.), both of whom were injured last season, will use this opportunity to show the competition that they’re at their peak after a year of rehab.
According to festival organizers and Canadian National Freestyle Team coaches Daniel Murphy and Nicolas Fontaine, this year’s event will use the newly introduced Olympic and World Championship competition format.
In this format all athletes compete in a semi final round; the top six scorers automatically advance to finals. Everyone else competes one more jump and the top six finishers from that jump round out the 12-competitor finals field.
There are three single-jump rounds in finals, where the competitors are whittled from 12 to eight to four athletes. The catch is; athletes must compete a different jump in each of the three finals rounds (athletes can repeat their semi-final jump in one of the final rounds).
Essentially, to win the competition each aerialist will need three different jumps in their repertoire, up from two in the previous Olympic format.
Murphy explained what the changes mean, “There is a different approach and more strategy because all of a sudden you need three jumps. And, you don’t wake up in the morning knowing exactly what jump you’ll do in what order on that day; you have to work with your coaches to strategize on which jump to use at which point in the competition depending on what you have in your inventory and what the other competitors are performing in each round.”
He acknowledged that it’s a learning curve, “Even for coaches, knowing what to do is a challenge.” That’s why he and Fontaine elected to use it for the AcrobatX.
“We don’t have many opportunities to practice this format, because it isn’t used in most World Cup events; so using it at the water ramp competition is a great chance for the athletes and the coaches to learn the best strategies in a really good competition simulation atmosphere, with real FIS-level judges, international competition and an enthusiastic crowd to add pressure. That makes the athletes sit up and take it seriously, it’s pretty sweet.”
Everyone is welcome to attend the Festival AcrobatX. Entry is $2 per person at the gate. Along with the competition, there is a barbeque and an opportunity to try the trampolines and bungee set up at CNEAYL.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 2. To catch the exciting final rounds, be there by 12:30 p.m.
Canadian National Team members competing at the 2012 AcrobatX Mondial
Olivier Rochon (Gatineau, Que.)
Travis Gerrits (Milton, Ont.)
Jean-Christophe André (Saint-Laurent, Que.)
Jonathan Vellner (Red Deer, Alta.)
Sabrina Guerin (Laval, Que.)
Veronika Bauer (Toronto, Ont.)
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For more information, contact CFSA Media Relations Manager Kelley Korbin.
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