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Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Crowns 2018 Champions

The Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Snowboard and Ski Festival celebrated its 5th edition with an incredible weekend at the Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho.

The four day event (2-5 August 2018), which is organised annually by LW Mag, saw a host of local and international Snowboarders and Skiers participate in the Slopestyle competition. Luke Dutton and Mawa Jekot took top honours in the Pro Mens and Ladies divisions respectively.

Snowboarders and Skiiers ready to drop into the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip park

This year’s Slopestyle course was designed by the resort’s Kapoko Park crew and included more features than ever before. A mix of rail, stair and box features were included in the top half of the course moving into the final two big kicker platforms. The course provided fun and technical options for the competitors, allowing for progressive runs throughout the jam style contest.

Snowboarding at its best at the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip

The Pro Mens division did not disappoint with an array of technical riding and big air tricks being thrown down by the top competitors. Errol Krauss made his return to South Africa from the UK to compete, and it paid off with runs including a Toe 180 to Switch 50-50 to Switch Back 180 out and Hardway 270 Switch Frontboard on the rail garden sections, a Backflip, Back 540 Indy, and Cab 180 on the kickers saw him claim the 3rd step of the podium.
Kaylib Louw, who finished in 8th last year, upped his game immensely with a Back Tailslide on the square rail, a Front Lip Noseslide on the handrail and a Frontboard on the rainbow rail before landing a big Frontflip, a Back 540 and back-to-back 540’s on the kickers to take 2nd place.
Kaylib Louw snowboarding in the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter WhipKaylib Louw

Luke Dutton always finds himself in the mix for the top step and this year he finally nailed it. Dutton’s trick list of a 50-50 to Switch Back 180 out, Front Lipslide and Front 360 in the rail gardens, and a Front 360 Double Shifty, Superman Frontflip and Back 360 Grab over the kickers edged out the rest of the field to take the win.
The win also sees Dutton take the Club Med prize consisting of a snow holiday for two to a Club Med resort in the French Alps.
Luke Dutton winning the Pro Mens Snowboarding at the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter WhipLuke Dutton

In the Ladies division it was Mawa Jekot who put in a solid performance to claim yet another Winter Whip victory. Jekot’s dominant victory came from her Switch 180 on 180 out on the flat box, Switch Boardslide on the down box, Noseslide over the rainbow rail before throwing a Cab 180 Indy, Switch 360s and stylish Methods over the kickers.
Mawa Jekot winning the Ladies Snowboarding division at Ultimate Ears Winter WhipMawa Jekot

Vanessa Phillips rode well all weekend long seeing her take a well deserved 2nd place. In the Rail garden sections Phillips stuck a Front 50-50 and Boardslides moving onto a Cab 180 and Tailgrabs over the kickers.
Ladies snowboarding competing in the Ultimate Ears Winter WhipVanessa Phillips

14 year old Anja Gluch rounded off the podium with her progressive runs featuring 50-50’s through the top sections of the park and Straight Airs over the Bonk and kickers.
Anja Gluch snowboarding in the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip contestAnja Gluch

The win also sees Jekot take the Club Med prize consisting of a snow holiday for two to a Club Med resort in the French Alps.

The Open Mens division saw the biggest field of the contest with competitors having fun and progressing throughout the jam session. Last year’s winner, Kevin Hingst put in a solid performance with a 180 on 180 out over the flat box moving onto Stalefish grabs and Nose grabs over the kickers, but it wasn’t enough for the win and he had to settle for 3rd place.
Kevin Hingst competing in the Open Mens Slopestyle comp at Ultimate Ears Winter WhipKevin Hingst

Competing for the first time in Winter Whip, Russia’s Timur Khananov claimed 2nd place with runs consisting of 50-50’s through the rail gardens and Front 360’s over the small kickers.
Timur Khananov takes 2nd place in the Open Mens at the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter WhipTimur Khananov

Damien Laird has been preparing all season for this contest and it was evident in his riding, 50-50’s through the rail sections and steezy Methods and Shifty’s off the big kickers saw him take 1st place.
Damien Laird wins the Open Mens division at the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter WhipDamien Laird

In the Ski division, Linze Veenstra (aka JTK) was dethroned by the hard charging Frenchman, Tomas Frontoni. It just didn’t come together for JTK this year as small mistakes in his runs counted against him and although he had some massive tricks to throw down he finished in 2nd place.
JTK competing in the Skiing Division at Ultimate Ears Winter WhipJTK

Tomas Frontoni charged through the course and finished off his last run with a massive Backflip Spread Eagle on the big kicker to take home 1st place.
Skiing slopestyle action at its best at the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter WhipTomas Frontoni

Switzerland’s Dominik Schalper rounded off the podium in 3rd place.
Dimonik Schalper skiing in the Ultimate Ears Winter Whip slopestyle contest Dimonik Schalper

The Junior Division saw local Lesotho newcomers competing. 10 year old Thabang Mabari finished in 4th place while 9 year old Sekhola Ramonotsi claimed an impressive 2nd place by hitting the big kickers and throwing in a Fire Cracker over the stairs.
Newcomer junior takes to the Ultimate Ears Winter Whip park and claims 2ndSekhola Ramonotsi

Last year’s winner, Kyle Benade had some stylish riding in his runs with Backside grabs and a Fire Cracker over the stairs, which saw him place 3rd overall.
Kyle Bendae hitting the stairs section of the course at Ultimate Ears Winter WhipKyle Benade

Ethan Terblanche impressed the judges with his Front 360’s and Backflip over the kickers to finish in 1st place.
Ethan Terblanche wins the junior division at Ultimate Ears Winter WhipEthan Terblanche

10 year old, and first time competitor, Oliver Guy took victory in the Junior Ski division with progressive runs through the park including 180’s over the small kickers.

The competition was rounded off with the Red Bull Method Madness which took place off the last big kicker. A half hour jam session to see who could pull off the biggest, steeziest Method grab. This year it was Damien Laird who threw down to take the win and the R5,000.00 cash prize.
Damien Laird win the Red Bull Method Madness at Ultimate Ears Winter Whip
Dean van Greunen showing styel in the Method Madness snowboard jam

Ultimate Ears treated the athletes and resort guests to activations and giveaways throughout the weekend, while Club Med setup an exclusive lounge offering hot chocolate and gluhwein. Zappa Sambuca kicked off the après-ski party on the snow and celebrations went on late into the night with live performances from Lawless Gentlemen and Sutherland, and DJs Black Sparrow and Half n Half.

Ultimate Ears wireless speakers keeping he vibe going at Winter Whip
Zappa Sambuca getting the party started on the Afriski slope

Event organiser, Ryan van der Spuy commented, “Although weather conditions threatened to put a damper on the weekend, the passion for snow sports shone through and with the continued support from our partners; Ultimate EarsRed BullZappa, Club Med and GoneSkiing, we were able to mark off another fun and successful Ultimate Ears Winter Whip event.”

Lawless Gentlemen performing at the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip
The 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip after party
Sutherland performing at the 2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip

2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Results

Pro Men
1st – Luke Dutton
2nd – Kaylib Louw
3rd – Errol Krauss
2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Pro Men Podium

Ladies
1st – Mawa Jekot
2nd – Vanessa Phillips
3rd – Anja Gluch
2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Ladies Podium

Luke Dutton and Mawa Jekot presented with their Club Med prize.

Open Men
1st – Damien laird
2nd – Timur Khananov
3rd – Kivin Hingst
2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Open Mens Podium

Juniors
1st – Ethan Terblanche
2nd – Sekhola Ramonotsi
3rd – Kyle Benade
2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Juniors Podium

Ski
1st – Tomas Frontoni
2nd – Linze Veenstra (JTK)
3rd – Dominik Schalper
1st – Oliver Guy (Junior Ski)
2018 Ultimate Ears Winter Whip Ski podium

Photos by Alexander Wolf Photography and Michael Allen Photography.

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