The KIA Snow Cup 2011 was recently held in the Zakopane area! The Sunshine World Pro Team and Academy members headed to Bialka Tatrzanska to compete in the rail/box and big air freestyle competition.

On the first day the rail competition was held. In the morning the team registered and grabbed their numbered bibs and headed over to the competition area where the practices had begun. Alan Garcia, Mike McKernan, TJ Alty and Ben Tricarico all hit up the rails and boxes, pulling off some sick manouvers. TJ had been really ill the night before, but that was not stopping him from trying some truely insane tricks, including 270 spinds onto the rail and several 180s onto and off the elements. Alan was hitting up everything, both on his board and skiis (the only mixed competitor in the competition!) and was perfectly landing pretty much everything. Ben and Mikey were really pushing themselves too, Mikey especially, the crowd favourite being a 180 spin onto the box, 180 onto the 2nd stage and yet another 180 off the end! Sick!

As the practice came to an end the judges took their seats and the beginning of the actual competition was announced! Everyone stepped up to the start and began to hit the rails as hard as they could. TJ was really going for it, trying some really tough stuff, maybe a little too hard for his condition as he was bailing more than in the practice session. Alan busted out the skiis and was nailing some epic boardslides and 180 dismounts, some really good stuff – very tidy! Mikey relaly stole the show, only falling once, he was pulling out the same series of 180s as well as combinations of nose and tail slides – totally out of this world (especially considering these were his first rails of the entire season)!

In the afternoon there were practices for the big air competition, time for the Sunshine World team to push themselves to the limit! Competing were Alan Garcia, Matty Alder, Greg Calcutt, Ben Tricarico, TJ Alty, Adam Ward, Joe Marples and Ben Pocklington. This was many of the team’s first massive jumps and nerves were building! Both Matty and Greg shot straight for a backflip, neither of them landing one on their first attempt, but Greg started to nail them after some practices – his first ever backflips! Matty, after getting tired of trying for flips, went for a huge spin but (due to a previous rugby injury) wound up so hard he dislocated his shoulder, popping it back in as he landed! Hardcore! Alan went straight for a huge flip on his skis, nailing it perfectly first time! He was on fire, even managing to land a very challenging frontflip!

At the end of the day the team gathered to chat about their day and boast about their best tricks. After a couple of TV interviews and photographs the results for the rail competition were ready to be announced! Our very own Mike McKernan was announced the winner of the Snowboarding rails! None of us could believe it, especially Mikey! We all let up a huge uproar of support as a very shocked Mikey held his hands and head high, basking in the limelight! Not too bad for his his rail session of the season! He won a bag full of free stuff, including t-shirts, a 500GB HDD, a board bag and laods of other awesome stuff!

The Sunshine World Pro Team had an amazing time at the KIA Snow Cup 2011, especially with one of our own taking the win! We expect to see many more great things from Mikey and the rest of the team in the future – be sure to keep an eye out! Hells yea!