Overshadowing the Green Monster: The Polartec Big Air at Fenway Park 2016

Words and photos by Owen Ringwall

History was made on Thursday, January 11th, 2016 as fans and athletes gathered at Fenway in America’s oldest, and arguably most iconic, ballpark for the Polartec Big-Air. The event, which gathered national attention since the behemoth structure went under construction – is the first ever Big-Air Centric US Snowboarding Grand Prix event, as well as the first of its kind, bringing Olympic-level riding to downtown Boston.

The structure was staggering. With the drop in standing at 140-feet tall, it was three times the height of the famed Green Monster. The gap stretched to a solid 70 feet from takeoff to knuckle (some may scoff and say that is ‘not that large’, but this thing was definitely no joke) and finished off at home plate. The field of riders was then narrowed down to 10 men and 6 women finalists after a series of qualifying rounds, which sidelined podium favorite Sage Kotsenburg as well as female Olympian Ty Walker.

This jump was fakkin’ huge.

Finals kicked off once the sun had dropped below the Boston skyline and the temperature plummeted, firming up the jump and landing. Riders were given three runs to stick two different runs, the best two combining to form a final score. In the ladies department Julia Marino, an 18-year-old from Connecticut who came to the event as a forerunner with no actual intention to compete, made it through qualifications to take home the big gold with a cab underflip and an absolutely massive backflip. Jenna Blassman took home second with a massive backside 720, and Brooke Voight brought home third with proper frontside and backside 360’s.

When it came to the men, New Hampshire local Chas Guldemond brought home third and was a crowd favorite all night, stomping a cab double cork 1260, and a backside 1080. Mikey Ciccarelli snagged second with a cab double 1260 and a backside double 1080. Max Parrot clinched first on his second run with an absolutely massive triple cork 1440 that followed a cab doublecork 1260 from his first run. Max Parrot has dominated the Big Air field as of late and gave the crowd at Fenway something to cheer for on his third and final victory lap with a huge laid out backflip to the bottom of the landing.

See also: Focal Point: Air + Style LA by Gabe L’Heureux

Max Parrot preparing to drop down into Fenway Park from the stratosphere.
The Boston skyline made quite the backdrop for the event.
Like we said, this jump was no joke. A glimpse of the sea of scaffolding that was the backbone to this monster.
Shaerer batting it out of the park and flying into home base.
Lyon Farrel heating it up during one of the only moments of sun all day.
From upcomer to first place, 18-year-old Julia Marino showed up and took the ladies division by storm.
Michael Shaerer showing us what it means to spin off axis, good thing the man knows how to get the board back under his feet because the landing was bullet proof.
Jessika Jenson does not need to apologize for this huge air.
Mikey Ciccarelli has serious style and was pushing the envelope all night, here he is mid backside double cork 1080.
Told ya Mikey Ciccarelli has style, here he is spinning a cab double cork 1260 into second place.
Brooke Voigt snagged third with massive back and frontside 360s.
Max Parrot laying out a behemoth backy on his victory lap.
Chuck G (Chas Guldemond) was one of the few New England locals competing and he kept the bar high all night, here with a backside 1080 to the bottom of the landing.
Women’s podium: 3rd place – Brooke Voigt, 2nd place – Jenna Blasman 1st place – Julia Marino
Men’s Podium: 3rd place – Chas Guldemond, 2nd place – Mikey Ciccarelli, 1st place – Max Parrot

Full Results

Men:
1st: Max Parrot
2nd: Mikey Ciccarelli
3rd: Chas Guldemond
4th: Seppe Smits
5th: Jonas Boesiger
6th: Mons Roisland
7th: Eric Beauchemin
8th: Lyon Farrell
9th: Michael Schaerer
10th: Sage Kotsenburg

Women:
1st: Julia Marino
2nd: Jenna Blasman
3rd: Brooke Voigt
4th: Spencer O’Brien
5th: Jessika Jenson
6th: Karly Shorr

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