Open Faces 2* FWT Qualifier Kappl-Paznaun 2024 - Winning Runs

The first Open Faces qualifier competition of the season started with prime conditions and a triple victory for Austria in the men’s ski category. The freeride hotspot Kappl / Paznaun served as the venue for an OPEN FACES stop for the 11th time. The freeriders met at the “Stoamandl” for the 2* FWT Qualifier and “Kapplaska” has once again lived up to its name. The rider field with 71 international starters promised to be a show.

The jury's evaluations are tight, which is evident, in the Ski Women category. Hannah Gruber (ITA), ski instructor and model from Italy, is able to prevail here with 2 safe jumps and a quick pace. Only three tenths separate second and third place. Emma Ledet (DEN) narrowly has to admit defeat to the Austrian Amelie Rosa Deniffel, who starts the race with a great choice of lines and a good dose of self-confidence.

It is also close for the Ski Men - only 5 points separate places 1-5. At the end of the day, Nico Partell (AUT), who leads an Austrian triple victory, celebrates on the top podium. He starts his run at high speed with a 360 and a backflip in the upper steep area and scores points overall with a lot of airtime. After a straight air jump over the wind lip, second-placed Simon Widauer (AUT) performes the first backflip in this competition and then did a 360. Florian Michelini (AUT) also proves that he can flip, taking third place with a front flip in combination with a wide cliff drop and a back flip in the middle section.

Co-commentator Flo Örley recognizes the potential of the winner in the Snowboard Women category, Nina Schleifer (AUT), with a smart, safe and fluid run. With her on the podium are second-placed Lisa Sabrina Peck (AUT) and two-time Wild Face winner Lilli Schmitt (GER).

Florian Handschuh (GER) wins the Snowboard Men category this year after his 2nd place last year. The 34-year-old former freestyler has the big goal of getting into the Freeride World Tour. Behind him is Sebastian Kepplinger (AUT), who despite the high starting number looks for a “fresh line” and impresses with a 360 in the lower area. With a stylish jump over the wind lip in the lower section, Tommaso Gazzini (ITA) took third place.

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