Freeride World Tour to merge with TNF Masters and Freeskiing World Tour for a unified global series

The Freeride World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding and the Freeskiing World Tour have merged to create one, unified global 5-Star championship series for 2013. The new six-stop world tour – named The Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face – will include snowboarding and freeskiing at each stop. Locations include: Revelsoke, Canada; Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France; Kirkwood, USA; Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal, Austria; an additional European stop TBD; and the World Tour Finals in Verbier, Switzerland.

"Big mountain freeriding has a long and rich history with incredibly talented athletes around the world," said Adam Comey, Mountain Sports International President and Freeride World Tour Managing Director Americas. "Now, with two great brands in Swatch and The North Face, and two dedicated organizations in Europe and North America coming together for one mission and one tour, the next chapter of freeride skiing and snowboarding is very bright."

For 2013, start lists will feature qualified athletes from all three of the 2012 Tours, as well as from qualifier events (4-star events), along with a limited number of wild card entries from both America and Europe.

“The union of the three tours is a major step in the sport’s growth,” said Nicolas Hale-Woods, Freeride World Tour Managing Director Europe. “Not only at World Tour (FWT) level, but also at qualifying level, with events happening in New-Zealand, North & South America, and Europe, all counting for one unique Freeride World Qualifiers (FWQ) ranking, enabling riders from all active areas to qualify for the next season’s Swatch Freeride World Tour by the North Face.”

There will be roughly 50 qualifier events (FWQ) around the world, ranging from 1 to 4-Stars for up-and-coming athletes to earn a spot on the next years FWT. First stops of the 4-Stars FWQ will be in New Zealand and in Chile in August 2012. Riders will score points in two separate rankings, a 5-Stars FWT ranking and a 1 to 4-Stars FWQ ranking.

“I couldn't be more stoked to hear that the The North Face Masters of Snowboarding and FWT will be combined for next season,” said Ralph Backstrom, a regular on both the TNF Masters and FWT. “I look forward to seeing some more North Americans at the European stops, some more Euros in North America, and an increased talent pool.”

Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2013 competition calendar:

1. Swatch Freeride World Tour Revelstoke 2013 by The North Face
Dates:   7 – 12  January; Location: Revelstoke (CAN)
Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard

2. Swatch Freeride World Tour Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 2013 by The North Face
Dates: 26 January – 1 February; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (FRA)
Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard

3. Swatch Freeride World Tour Kirkwood 2013 by The North Face
Dates: 27 February – 3 March; Location: Kirkwood (USA)
Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard

4. Swatch Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal 2013 by The North Face
Dates: 9 – 15 March; Location: Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal (AUT)
Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard

5. Stop No 5 in Europe – Location TBD

6. Swatch Verbier Xtreme 2013 by The North Face
Dates: 23 – 31 March; Location: Verbier (SUI)
Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard

Visit freerideworldtour.com for more info.

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